Friday, February 17, 2012

Micelle Obama Celebrated at Oakland's Joyce Gordon Gallery

sheRose of our Time: A Tribute to the First Lady, Michelle Obama
Curated by Eric Murphy 
March 2 – April 19, 2012 

First Friday, March, 6-9pm 
feat "Poet Voices" - Deborah James, Paradise, Jeanne Powell, and Mechelle LaChaux, Katie Ball and Aqueila Lewis

Saturday, March 10, 1-4pm:
In Celebration of our First Lady
Music and Poetry, hosted by Kim McMillon  
Performers: Chokwadi, Al Young, Ayodele Nzinga, Meg Day, Anna de Leon, Kaylah Marin, and Kim Shuck.

Spoken word performance by Jazz Hudson
Saturday, March 24, 3pm  

Thursday, April 5, 5-7pm

WORKSHOPS at Joyce Gordon Gallery
Saturday, April 7, 1-3pm  Christine Balza - Babayin Script
                           3-4pm  L. Frank - Language Reclamation
Judy Stone enamel workshop at The Crucible - visit

Public Forum with Urban Releaf: 
Saturday, April 14, 1-4pm

Thursday, April 19, 5-8pm
2hr play by Shelly Cone from the Santa Maria Sun
“Tales from Motherhood” English and Spanish version

Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 14th St 
Oakland, Ca. 94612

Who: Christine Balza, Ebony Iman Dallas, Shari Arai Deboer, Joan Finton, Penny Harncharnvej, Betty Nobue Kano, Deborah Lozier, L. Frank Manriquez, Kemba Shakur in partnership with installation artist and sculptor Karen Seneferu and the Oakland Museum of California, Judy Stone, Flo Oy Wong, Sandhya Sood with the Julia Morgan 2012 and the Organization for Women Architects and design artists (OWA) and more.

Joyce Gordon Gallery and A.I. Oakland presents “sheRose of our Time” an exhibition paying tribute to the First Lady, Michelle Obama for her continued support of cultural and economic significance in the arts at a time when many worthy causes compete for her attention. Our First Lady informs us that nearly 6 million people make their living in the nonprofit arts industry and that arts and cultural activities contribute more than $160 billion to our economy every year. "The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it," she said. "Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation. My husband and I believe 
strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our 
nation’s leaders of tomorrow,” – Michelle Obama

It has become commonplace in the United States for the title of "First Lady" to be bestowed on women, as a term of endearment, who have proven themselves to be of exceptional talent, even if that talent is non-political. “sheRose of our Time” highlights women artists of diverse media and performing arts who have and will inspire innovative thinkers of the next generation. In keeping with the tradition of Michelle Obama as a presenter of artist awards, we on behalf of Joyce Gordon Gallery would like to honor the first ladies of our lifetime for making a difference in the arts through history, culture, craft, design, and urban development.  

Betty Nobue Kano, painter, curator and lecturer, was born in Sendai, Japan. After earning her M.F.A. in Painting from U.C. Berkeley, she has exhibited her work in over 200 regional, national and international venues. She lectures at SFSU and a former Executive Director of Pro Arts Gallery, a nonprofit art gallery in Oakland, CA.  Betty Nobue Kano and Flo Oy Wong co-founded the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA), a nonprofit organization promoting the visibility of Asian American women artists and to serve as a vehicle for personal expression with a view of Asian American cultures and history from women’s perspective. We are honoring Betty Nobue Kano with a Joyce award as First Lady of Culture.

Flo Oy Wong, a Sunnyvale, California-based mixed media installation artist, is a visual storyteller who began her career at the age of forty.  Born and raised in Oakland’s Chinatown, she has received numerous awards for her narrative work, including two National Endowment for the Arts. Flo is also a co-founder of the Northern California-based Asian American Women Artists Association. AAWAA gave Asian American women artists access to major museums, galleries, collections and publications and furthers the goal of establishing the place of Asian American women in American art history. We are honoring Flo Oy Wong with a Joyce award as First Lady of Culture.
Christine Balza, a mother of four children and a self taught artist, finds her inspiration with the ancient Filipino script, Baybayin. Her paintings, sculptures and informational video share a lost writing system from the indigenous people of the Philippines. Baybayin’s use can be carbon dated to as far as 900C.E. and was last actively used in the 1800’s. In 2009, newspaper articles lead to featured interviews reaching both local and international media attention. She has taught Baybayin in workshops at Immaculate Conception, Sonoma and San Francisco State University and the Asian Art Museum. Exhibitions include, Linen Life Art Gallery, City of Oakland/State of California Craft and Cultural Arts Gallery, National Japanese American Historical Society Peace Gallery and Asian Art Museum. We are honoring Christine Balza with a Joyce award as first Lady of Culture.

L. Frank (nom d'arte of L. Frank Manriquez) is a Tongva- Acjachemen artist, writer, tribal scholar, cartoonist, and indigenous language activist who work is presented by BorderZone Arts in SF. She live and work in California and has won several awards for her activities, including from the American Association of University Women, the James Irvine Foundation, the Fund for Folk Culture (travel to the Native Californian art collection at the Musée de l' Homme in Paris). In 1995 she was featured as a "Local Hero" in KQED-TV/Examiner Newspaper's Native American Heritage Month series. Her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries locally, nationally, and internationally. L. Frank serves on the board of The Cultural Conservancy and is a co-founder of Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, a non-profit entity founded in 1992 whose goal is to assist California Indian communities and individuals in keeping their language alive and provide development of new speakers. We are honoring L. Frank with a Joyce award as First Lady of Culture.

Ebony Iman Dallas is an artist, designer and co-founder of Afrikanation Artists Organization, a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in Hargeysa, Somaliland/Somalia in March 2010. Ebony Iman Dallas is originally from Oklahoma City, OK who currently resides in Oakland, CA. Her move across country brought with it a series of events that were both life altering and revealing of her purpose. This includes one fateful meeting that led her to her long lost Somali family on her late father's side, further inspiring her work. Currently an MFA Design candidate at California College of the Arts, her primary focus is on Interactive Design. Her thesis topic is about connecting artists of African descent internationally, in an effort to promote unity, understanding, collaboration and activism towards health, economic and socially related challenges among them. We are honoring Ebony Iman Dallas with a Joyce award as First Lady of International Culture.

Kemba Shakur is the founder and director of Urban Releaf, a nonprofit responsible for the planting of an estimated 14,000 trees in low-income East Bay communities. The 2009 Alameda County Women’s Hall of fame Inductee is fondly referred to as the “tree lady” and by the Oakland Museum of California as a modern day John Muir. A pivotal moment in her life came in the 1990s, when Kemba moved to West Oakland and was struck by the lack of greenery.  Instead of packing up and moving on, Kemba started planting trees.  She founded the Urban Releaf in 1999, guiding it to success by abiding two key principles – creating a more beautiful community where residents take pride in where they live and offering opportunities for at-risk youth and unemployed adults to gain marketable skills. We are honoring Kemba Shakur with a Joyce award as First Lady of Urban Forestry and Environmental Development. 

Judy Stone is one of a small group of people worldwide who call themselves enamelists. Enameling, is a centuries-old process of fusing glass to metal with high heat and a complex medium that requires that the enamelist understand the intricate dance of metal, glass and heat and use of color used three-dimensionally. Stone has studied with some of the country's most prominent enamelists including Bill Helwig, Margaret Seeler, Jamie Bennett, William Harper and Martha Banyas. Her enamels are shown at crafts fairs and galleries both in the U.S. and in Europe. She also teaches enameling throughout the United States including the enameling department at The Crucible in Oakland, California is her creation. Stone is also co-founder of the Women’s Building Celebration of Craftswomen, which began in 1979, as a small crafts show featuring 22 craftswomen in SF.  In 1989, the highly successful event out grew its new home at The Women’s Building and is now hosted annually at Fort Mason Center. Over the years, The Women’s Building Arts and Crafts Fair grew into one of San Francisco’s top holiday attractions, yet remained true to its grassroots mission: promoting hand-crafted art by women artists. We are honoring Judy Stone with a Joyce award as First Lady of Enamel, Craft and Design.

Julia Morgan (January 20, 1872 – February 2, 1957) was an American  architect, born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, Ca. A graduate of Oakland High School in 1890, Julia was small in stature (barely 5ft tall), but she left large footprints on the field of architecture and also opened doors to opportunities for many women. Morgan was a woman of firsts: one of the first women to graduate with a degree in civil engineering from the University of California in Berkeley; the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the first female licensed architect in the State of California.
In a field dominated by men, Morgan succeeded in becoming the one of the most prolific architects in American history, designing more than seven hundred buildings over her forty-seven-year career, which include schools, churches, stores, YWCA buildings, hospitals, houses, and apartments. At the same time, she spent twenty-eight years working on California’s most magnificent building, William Randolph Hearst’s Castle home at San Simeon. Julia Morgan is buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland,California.  Morgan’s legacy reminds us of what can be accomplished by those who persevere. 

Sandhya Sood is a licensed architect, exhibited artist, certified green building professional (CGBP) and founder and Principal of Accent Architecture + Design, a practice focused on ecological, vibrant and contextual architecture and urban design. Sood received a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley and has been inspired by fellow Cal alumnus, Julia Morgan. Sood is a member of the Landmarks California Committee, a collaboration working to raise awareness and appreciation for California’s cultural and historic resources, thereby helping to preserve California's rich landscape of natural, cultural and architectural treasures.  JM 2012, the first project of Landmarks California will celebrate the work and life of Julia Morgan, a visionary whose environmentally sustainable architecture, business acumen and diversity of projects has inspired many women architects as well as members of the Organization of Women Architects (OWA).  

In honor of Julia Morgan, we present Sandhya Sood with a Joyce award as first Lady of
 History, Design and Innovation for the Arts.

Joyce Gordon Gallery is a commercial fine art gallery located in the downtown district of 
Oakland California. It exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and international artists. The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of the individual and s
eeks to make such work accessible to a broad audience.

Joyce Gordon Gallery     
406 14th St, 
Oakland, CA 94612     
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