Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life

Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life

Museum of Craft and Design

May 10, 2023
Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life
April 15–September 10, 2023
Museum of Craft and Design
2569 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 10am–5pm,
Sunday 12–5pm
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Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life is on view at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco through September 10, 2023. A timely examination of the Bay Area arts ecosystem, it features 23 Bay Area artists who have stuck it out during the crises of our times: a pandemic, gentrification, high cost of living, limited access to resources, insurrection, and racist, xenophobic, and transphobic violence. Their responses are evident in their artworks. From them, we get a sense of what it takes to make it in the Bay Area now.

Curated by Jacqueline Francis and Ariel Zaccheo, Fight and Flight is about the struggle to live and work in the Bay Area where, despite the lack of affordable housing and studio space, the participating artists’ histories are nuanced expressions of the determination to remain.  Francis comments, “For a long time, artists have ingeniously crafted a life in the Bay Area. For some of those who decide to move on, the careers and relationships started here are central to their sensibilities as makers.” 

Exhibiting artist Nasim Moghadam, an Iranian-born art educator and multidisciplinary visual artist, moved to the Bay Area in 2010. Her work focuses on discrimination, hyphenated identity, and the constraints on women, their bodies, and their voices. Moghadam’s work creates narratives inspired by the efforts of women worldwide who are defending their basic, unalienable rights. When discussing her artwork and living in the Bay Area, Moghadam mentioned the struggle of studio space and affordability; but for her, the weight of community care is greater than the complications of living here. She has found a welcoming community and wouldn’t be able to express the themes and concepts within her work if it weren’t for having moved to the Bay Area.

Francis and Zaccheo identified local artists and collectives working across a multitude of craft mediums and processes. Intentionally, the selected artists’ work questions the totality of what “craft” can encompass. The exhibition’s subtitle, Crafting a Bay Area Life, denotes action: crafting refers not only to the creation of art but also designing a creative life, whether or not the artist identifies as a craftsperson.

The artist collective Related Tactic’s artwork, the future now, is a series of multilingual, site-responsive posters that “illuminate facets of Black life in the city.” Originally installed in 2020 in multiple sites within walking distance along the 3rd Street corridor of San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, the posters served as prompts to explore national politics and encourage community dialogue.

San Francisco-based artist Alexander Hernandez uses textiles and found objects in his mixed-media art practice. Having been born in Mexico and raised in Colorado, the Bay Area evokes a nomadic sense for Hernandez, but he is inspired by the grit of the city and community he has found. Craft is a safe space where his love of U.S. pop culture and Mexican culture coexist. His work explores intersectional identities rooted in immigrant experiences, gender expectations, HIV+ survival, and queer sensibilities.

Recent narratives have placed San Francisco and its surrounding urban areas “in the shadow” of larger art metropolises. The Bay Area finds itself in the penumbral margins of the art world conversation. So too is craft often marginalized or footnoted in the canon of art history. To survive and thrive in the margins is a radical act that occasionally requires the will to fight. Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life positions the Bay Area as a uniquely advantageous site for makers of craft.

Participating artists: Libby Black, Craig Calderwood, Erica Deeman, Cheryl Derricotte, Ala Ebtekar, Liz Harvey, Angela Hennessy, Alexander Hernandez, Liz Hernández, Cathy Lu, Michelle Yi Martin, Adia Millett, Nasim Moghadam, Richard-Jonathan Nelson, Ramekon O’Arwisters, yétúndé ọlágbajú, Woody De Othello, Related Tactics, Charlene Tan, Margaret Tedesco and Leila Weefur, Lauren Toomer, and Jenifer K Wofford.

Learn more and explore the 360-degree virtual walk-through at

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May 10, 2023

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