Archive for September, 2008

r & r

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Long. Exhale.
And now, back to woffling somewhat more consistently. And also randomly.

Well, the Market Street posters are up, Galleon Trade BAN 5 is doing its thing, and I’m settling into the school year. It’s been such a treat to finally dispatch the last of this round of 2008′s hyperactive artistic mania! Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way this year, but too much, all at the same time, does not a healthy Wofford make. The analogy that seems to apply best is: you know when you have too many programs running on your computer at the same time? And how, you know, even if you’re not technically using them all simultaneously, they’re still open, and they just bog down your computer unbelievably? It’s been like that.


So. As of mid-September, I’ve shut most of the  programs down, and it’s officially time to reflect and re-energize. I’m loving getting to finally feel focused on my teaching, and I’m really enjoying connecting with my students more. And I’m loving finally having time to just catch up with friends and family, see movies, get some exercise, even cook actual food in my actual home. (Well…for as long as I still have a home, although given how slow the market is, I probably won’t be moving any minute soon.) Basic stuff, all flung to the wayside whilst busy.

Lesson for 2008: a little recreational art-opp-juggling is fine from time-to-time, but if you OD, the party’s over. I got invited to do a lot of awesome stuff, from exhibitions to teaching opportunities, but too much of it happened all at the same time, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and strung out at too many moments. There are some artists who thrive on constant busy-ness: I’m actually not one of them, contrary to popular opinion. I do love the rush of work and deadlines, but really, one deadline at a time from hereon out is fine. At various points this year, I’ve had multiple deadlines overlapping, all while teaching, too. (And teaching 3 different classes at 3 different campuses, mind you). I think that any of us who choose the life of a working artist is choosing to do a little juggling, but really, more than 3 bowling pins is just overkill, n’est-ce pas?

Market Street posters are up!

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

For immediate release
Contact: Judy Moran at 415.252.2586 or judy.moran at

Market Street Poster Exhibition of Flor de Manila y San Francisco, a graphic novel by artist Jenifer K Wofford about the life of Flor Villanueva, a Filipina nurse who has emigrated from Manila in 1973, on Market Street.

Exhibition dates: Monday, September 22 through Friday, December 19, 2008.

Exhibition Location: In the pedestrian side of the triangular kiosks on both sides of Market Street between Van Ness and the Embarcadero.
Artist Jenifer K Wofford creates the story of Flor Villanueva, a nurse who has emigrated from Manila to San Francisco, as she adjusts to life in the Bay Area over a six year period beginning with her arrival in 1973 through 1978. This graphic novel includes drawings of Flor in a variety of settings both in San Francisco and Manila, with captions of her thoughts about both personal and political developments.  Market Street pedestrians are able to follow Flor’s story, year by year, in the kiosks running along either side of Market Street.

Artist Jenifer K Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and arts educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has most recently been exhibited in the Bay Area at Southern Exposure, the Frey Norris Gallery, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. She is the lead organizer of the Galleon Trade Arts Exchange Project, stage two of which is at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of the current Bay Area Now exhibition. Since 1995 she also has been part of Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., a three-woman artist group that has collaborated on projects presented at the De Young Museum, Elizabeth Oliveria Gallery, and the National Asian American Film Festival among other places. She has received a grant from the Art Matters Foundation and the Pacific Rim Film Research Program, and undertaken Artist Residencies at Skidmore College in New York and Chateau de la Napoule in France.

Panel Discussion: A panel discussion about the Flor de Manila y San Francisco poster project will be scheduled at the Kearny Street Workshop later this Fall.

The San Francisco Arts Commission’s Art on Market Street Program brings contemporary art by Bay Area artists to San Francisco’s main thoroughfare on a year-round basis.  In 2008 the Art on Market Street Program is commissioning projects that focus on narratives.  All events are public and free of charge

The Art on Market Street Program is funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to City life from the murals and monuments under the care of the Civic Art Collection to the dance and theater productions funded by Cultural Equity Grants, to the new generation of teen poets cultivated by the WritersCorp Program.

Galleon Trade in the Chronicle!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Whoop whoop!

‘Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition’
Mary Eisenhart
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bay Area Filipina American artist Jenifer Wofford got the idea for the Galleon Trade series of exhibitions two years ago when, as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, she received a grant to go to the Philippines and study Manila’s burgeoning art scene.

The city may not be a hot spot in the international art world, but it’s not for lack of local creativity. “This whole exciting thing is happening there, and not enough people know about it outside of Manila and the Philippines,” she says.

Moreover, she realized, the U.S. government doesn’t put significant resources into sending artists abroad for cultural exchange, and the Philippines lacks the funds to promote its local artists.

So Wofford launched (from the Acapulco-Manila Spanish trade routes of colonial times) as a grassroots effort to build the connections. Last year’s “Galleon Trade I” sent California artists to Manila to show their work and make contact with their Filipino counterparts.

This year’s “Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition,” part of the “Bay Area Now 5″ exhibition running at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, pairs five of last year’s local participants with Manila artists.

“I paired them up thinking there was commonality between their works, and let them figure it out from there,” Wofford says.

The exhibition focuses on themes tied to galleon trade today: colonial history, globalization and commerce. Wofford says she paired Bay Area artist Johanna Poethig with Manila artist Norberto Roldan because “they’re both artists who married elements of history and politics with a very accessible aesthetic. They both deal with recognizable images – they don’t work abstractly or overtly conceptually.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Yason Banal (Manila) and Christine Wong Yap (Oakland) deal with the issues a good deal more obliquely: she crafting light-based sculptures based on the nature of optimism and pessimism, he presenting a shelf covered with black furry wigs and a large black capiz-shell chandelier illuminated with a strobe light.

Filipina American photographer Gina Osterloh’s “Rapture,” the show’s keynote image, finds a woman in Western business dress kneeling in the attitude of one receiving a spiritual revelation, facing a poster mural of a gorgeous tropical sunset.

“A lot of us Filipino Americans have longing and nostalgia for that tropic environment, even though it’s something of a constructed fiction in our lives now,” Wofford says. “We grew up in the U.S., and it’s not necessarily ours.”

Wofford launched Galleon Trade to create a template for exchanges. “I may not be doing it right, but at least I’m doing something that somebody else can do right once there’s a foundation in place.”

Through Oct. 19. YBCA Terrace Galleries, Yerba Buena  Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco. (415)

Mary Eisenhart,

putting it all together

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

A few pics from the Galleon Trade install at YBCA last week:

And two pics taken at Electric Works yesterday of the full-size (48″ x 68″) proofs for my Market Street posters!

Making art is hard but also fun.

last thursday

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition is up, and open for the world to see.
Fun opening, great show! (Of course, I’m totally biased. But I’m still right.)
A more thoughtful reflection, as well as better install shots, once I’ve caught up with other work. In the meantime, a few snaps…

Suspicious lineup: the California 6 of Galleon Trade BAN 5–Osterloh, Wofford, Wong Yap, Cortez, Wilson, and Poethig:


The BAN 5 six, plus Reyes, and Traders ’07 Barrios and Morales:

Poklong’s work in the foreground, Megawati’s in the background:

The CWY and the ATF contemplating, with Taniguchi’s piece behind them:

Macarthur’s watching you:

Peeps peeping at Jaime’s work:

the room with all the beer:

Someone hiding behind a hairy shelf:

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now Five Edition
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco
September 5-October 19

this thursday

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

It’s on.
Like Donkey Kong.


Party starts upstairs at 5 pm!
The installation’s well underway: the show is looking HOT.T-T-T.
Man, I know me some talented artist friends.

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition
Sept 5-Oct 19
reception Sept 4, 5-8 pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco