My first month and a half at Root Division has gone by so fast! It’s been a whirlwind of studio visits with Root Division Studio Artists, selecting work for the Frank-Ratchye project space, and lately, helping the RD staff prepare for the upcoming Annual Art Auction on Thursday, October 27. This year’s auction features 199 works of art by over 160 established and emerging Bay Area artists, and let me tell you, there is so much great work to choose from! I’ve been asked to choose my top five favorite works from the RD Auction–a near impossible feat–but here are my picks (hint, they’re all Root Division Studio Artists!):
Centa Schumacher’s piece Arkansas Quartz (after Moebius) makes magic visible. By modifying the lens of her camera and fitting it with crystals selected for their healing properties, Schumacher captures the light that passes through sacred stones resulting in otherworldly photographs and videos. Arkansas Quartz (after Moebius) was made using an overhead projector, which was used to light a fairly common quartz crystal from below and projected on to the wall, which was then photographed by Schumacher. The result? An image of a stunning rainbow aura hovering just above the shadowy quartz that leaves me wondering about all the mystical power this unassuming rock may possess.
Hunter Franks creates art that intervenes in the social and physical landscape of our urban environments. When he’s not declaring himself BART’s Artist in Residence or making sure we look out for more condos, Franks is creating LED light boxes and signs that call attention to some of the more ubiquitous phrases of our modern life. As a millennial, this piece speaks to me and my generation’s often noncommittal approach to all things personal, professional and everything in between.
While it appears to be a tiny textile, Spacetime by Leigh Ann Coleman is actually portal to a specific moment in time, experienced simultaneously by a network of individuals living in the Bay Area. Coleman asked 31 participants to set alarms on their phones for three specific times of day on August 1, 2015 and then to take a picture at that exact moment and record their location. The resulting images, all from 6:15 pm, were printed and woven together with paper, cotton and yarn to create this poetic and stunning piece.
Clare Lynch’s Feathers appear soft and weightless from afar, but up close you’ll notice how sharp and aggressive they actually are. Lynch’s work takes negative emotions such as tension and anger, and transforms them into sculptural forms that make visible the beauty that can be found in discord. The juxtaposition of these contrasting physical and emotional characteristics makes for an enchanting experience both at a distance and in proximity.
It was the color palette in Self-Portrait (site E) that first caught my attention. The deep greens of the ivy bushes and the satin dress contrasted with the two tiny clusters of red berries actually sparkle on this metal photo print. Beyond its shine, Self-Portrait (site E) is an intriguing examination of the intimacy Natasha Carlos feels for her environment. This work comes from a series of self-portraits in which Carlos is photographed interacting with personally significant sites, often almost completely immersed in both natural and urban landscapes. This piece captures that very human moment where place and identity converge.
Check out these five works, plus the other 194, at Root Division’s 15th Annual Art Auction on Thursday, October 27! Preview the entire auction, buy now, or place a proxy bid here. See you there!
Centa Schumacher is a fine art photographer based in San Francisco, California. She crafts specialty lenses that explore the transformation of light and the self. She received her BFA in Photography from San Jose State University, and her MFA from San Francisco State University.Inspired by occult groups, Schumacher looks into the unknown using the help of symbolic tools. In the place of a ritual knife or sacred cup, Schumacher has modified the lenses of her camera, fitting them with a crystal selected for its mystical properties. The light that passes through these sacred objects becomes abstracted into otherworldly videos and photographs.
Hunter Franks creates art that intervenes in the social and physical landscape of our urban environments. His participatory installations in public space break down barriers and help us reimagine our relationships with each other, our neighborhoods, and our cities.
Projects include a 500 person dinner on a freeway, a storytelling exchange to connect disparate neighborhoods, a public display of first love stories, and a vacant warehouse turned community hub. His Neighborhood Postcard Project has been carried out in 23 communities from Chennai, India to Santiago, Chile and his League of Creative Interventionists has chapters in cities around the world from Cologne, Germany to Akron, Ohio.
In 2011 he walked from Los Angeles to New Mexico — an experience that continues to fuel his desire to tell the stories of underrepresented people and places. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.
Born and raised in Long Beach, I have been living in the Bay Area for the past 6 years and attended San Francisco State University, graduating in December 2014. There, my studies dove into a wide range of medias and art history. Through combining all of these studio skills, I create mixed media art works (using textiles/fibers, drawing, painting, digital, & video in my work). My knack for combining creative avenues came from my grandmother - who was always sewing, painting, drawing - constantly making.
I draw inspiration from the minds of scientists, programmers, and physicists. I interlace their ideas, by putting humanity into cosmic perspectives. My curiosity to fully grasp physiological theories in a visual sense has steered me to view art making as a scientific process, experimenting with ideas and materials. As an art educator, I am fascinated by how directions could be creatively interpreted in multiple ways. I experiment with this concept in my artwork
Claire R. Lynch was born and raised in Arlington, Virginia and moved to the bay area in 2009 to attend Stanford University, where she received her B.A. in Art Practice and focused on sculpture. Claire now lives in San Francisco, where she continues to build her large-scale metal, wood, and found material sculpture.
Natasha Carlos is a photographer working across mediums to explore her relationship to nature through self-portraiture that celebrates the mysterious moment when environment and identity come together.
Her latest project Remember There’s Magic, was completed during her first residency at Zaratan - Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, Portugal. Between photography, video and installation, the series explores the unpredictability of our individual existence and how that can impact our perspective.