March 9–April 21, 2015 | Thacher Gallery at University of San Francisco

hiraeth560x320 (1)Works by Nancy Cato, Rodney Ewing, Mark Harris, Kevin B. Jones, Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, Ramekon O’Arwisters, William Rhodes, Tim Roseborough, Michael Ross, and Ron Moultrie Saunders

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The Welsh word Hiraeth roughly translates to “homesick”: a longing for a far-off home—one that may not even exist, now changed by time or idealized memory. This word resonates with 3.9 Art Collective, a group dedicated to exploring black arts in diaspora and the exodus of African Americans from San Francisco over the last couple decades. Hiraeth is found in layers for black American artists: the lack of ancestral history through slavery, the loss of cultural identity through pop-culture appropriation, the expulsion of black communities through gentrification (such as what happened in the Fillmore before and is beginning in Bayview/Hunter’s Point now), and to the loss of space to create work due to rapidly rising studio rents in the city.

For the exhibition at USF, ten artists from 3.9 Collective explore the concept of Hiraeth, the exodus of African Americans from San Francisco, and its lasting effects on art, community, and perceptions of home. Curated by 3.9 member Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, the works presented span photography to installation to social practice and represent the wide range of artists in the collective. The variety of interpretations of home—from historic to current, from literal to metaphorical—signify the complexity of how we identify and define home.

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