Yearly Activities & Themes

Each academic year, after assessing surveys and participating in focus groups, ArtSeed’s executive director selects a theme to give structure to the next year’s artwork and exhibitions. Exploring topics ranging from politics to mortality, ArtSeed has never been afraid to break new ground – and challenge artists and students. Full activities summaries are listed on the pages below with working project annual themes/exhibition titles.

Current theme: Marching Home: Grasping Valor, Preserving Freedom, and Protecting the Earth on the Way to Peace!

We are looking for veterans, foster children and other gifted or vulnerable members of the Bay Area community (and beyond) to share stories and help inspire the making of visual or performing art works to be showcased in the Presidio this summer 2017. 

Marching Home: Grasping Valor, Preserving Freedom, and Protecting the Earth on the Way to Peace!, brings hands-on art and music projects to participants and interactive audiences nationally and abroad. Together we brainstorm, share images and stories, and make new, interdisciplinary works. To inform the process, we collect newspaper articles, study the United States Constitution, and seek out professionals who make it their business to resolve conflicts. Our stories, and the various art forms they inspire, will culminate in an exhibition at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability. Participants and visitors will meet people from many walks of life. Prepare for expanded horizons!

A core stimulus for the making of new art, music and writing will be the Mailing Home Project which includes the dissemination, via post and online documentation, of existing original works from the ArtSeed Art Bank Archive. We will send these drawings, paintings, and prints (or newly made artists trading cards) as conversation starters from those of us living in the Bay Area who may be considered by others living elsewhere as mostly privileged and sheltered but who may actually be feeling vulnerable, isolated, and frustrated. We aim to use the art gifts to stimulate exchanges between people of different political persuasions, ages, ethnicity, and concerns. We are reaching out far and wide to those facing economic and environmental challenges or healthcare and national border uncertainties.

The federal postal system will be employed to connect us, person-to-person with families in Louisiana, Georgia, Washington D.C. and Texas. We will also reach out to contacts in Paris, Istanbul, Israel and Egypt. Memorialized responses to art and writing will describe the effects of conflicts at home and abroad, depicting what we learn about some of the most urgent problems of our time. Our aim, with this project, is to create new understandings and find common ground with those whose opinions and experiences differ from our own. In the process we are making, sharing, and preserving feedback representing many insightful, often ancient, and irreplaceable points of view.

“Especially topics such as death, afterlife, heaven, hell, reincarnation … We fool ourselves when we think kids don’t think about stuff like this. To not have an outlet or to be denied one because it’s just not something we like to talk about is sad and a missed opportunity to get a peek inside their amazing landscape.” -Ymke Dioquino