May 16, 2024 to August 17, 2024

Praxis of Local Knowledge

A group exhibition featuring four artists creating work that explores ancestral stories and grappling with these memories today.

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Main Gallery is pleased to present Praxis of Local Knowledge, a group exhibition featuring four artists, Kimberley Acebo Arteche, Miguel Arzabe, Daniela Rivera, and Trina Michelle Robinson, curated by Carolina Aranibar-Fernandez, SFAC Director of Galleries and Public Programs. 

This exhibition features the work of four artists exploring diverse narratives of movement and memory. Through their artistic practice, each artist in the exhibition delves into their own migration experiences as well as those of their ancestors, seeking reconnection with ancestral traditions and stories through video, printmaking, photography, textiles, painting, and performance. 

Praxis of Local Knowledge draws inspiration from the work of Bolivian and Aymara sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, and her decolonial approach through ch’ixi. A concept that advocates for a juxtaposition rather than a fusion of cultural narratives and that ch’ixi “expresses the parallel coexistence of multiple cultural difference that do not extinguish but instead antagonize and complement each other.”

Oakland-based artist Kimberley Acebo Arteche’s work explores the impact of colonialism on self-identity. Working in textiles, photography, and performance, Arteche reconnects herself to indigenous Filipino traditions that she and many other Filipino Americans have been separated from. In the textile works in the exhibition Arteche uses some of the traditions she learned while in the Philippines, to amplify the voice of the women whose voices have been made obscure by patriarchy and colonialism.

Miguel Arzabe creates work that is deeply connected to his family and his Andean ancestry, whose weaving tradition informs his process and imagery. For the Oakland-based artist, weaving becomes a way to deconstruct and recontextualize images and materials, finding new meanings, contradictions, and juxtapositions. For this exhibition, Arzabe is exhibiting a new woven painting, incorporating paintings made by his mother and daughter, an intergenerational collaboration connecting three generations of this family.

Working with the architecture of the space as well as political and personal histories, Chilean-born artist Daniela Rivera aims to generate open-ended conversations with her work to examine how these histories have shaped and informed us. Her installation for this exhibition will feature a structure coming out of the wall of the gallery, a visualization of how inextricable structural rules and norms are to our lives, but also the possibilities for us to counter and subvert them.

San Francisco-based artist Trina Michelle Robinson creates work that explores the relationship between memory and migration. Her interdisciplinary practice includes film, printmaking, installation, and archival materials to get to the roots of lost memories. The stories of her ancestors act as catalysts to release and recover the ways migration, both forced and willing, have become imbued in our bloodlines. Robinson’s work dives into the fractures, folds, and glitches in the stories we tell to release the trauma that lives inside and to find a way to glimpse into the future.

About the Artists:
Kimberley Acebo Arteche is an educator, cultural worker, and interdisciplinary artist. Arteche received her BFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and MFA from San Francisco State University, where she received the School of Art’s Distinguished Graduate award. She is the co-founder of Balay Kreative, a future Filipinx American Cultural Center providing artist sustainability and professional development programs in SOMA Pilipinas, and has served on Southern Exposure’s Curatorial Council, SOMA Pilipinas’ Arts & Culture Committee, and was the Visual Arts curator for UNDISCOVERED SF. She is Community Arts Panelist for the Zellerbach Family Foundation, is a Healing Justice Practitioner with the Anti-Police Terror Project, and is a 2023 Leaderspring LeadStrong fellow. Arteche is committed to collaboratively creating decolonial practices within arts institutions, while creating visibility and providing resources for emerging Asian Pacific American and BIPOC Artists.

Miguel Arzabe lives and works in Oakland, CA. He had recent solo shows at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) and Johansson Projects (Oakland, CA). Arzabe’s work has been featured in such festivals as Hors Pistes (Centre Pompidou, Paris), Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal), and the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale (Gongju, South Korea); and in museums and galleries including MAC Lyon (France), MARS Milan (Italy), RM Projects (Auckland), FIFI Projects (Mexico City), Marylhurst University (Oregon), the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, the CCA Wattis Institute, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Arzabe’s work is held in public collections such as Albuquerque Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, the de Young Museum, San Francisco Arts Commission, the State of California, as well as numerous private collections. He has attended many residencies including Facebook AIR, Headlands Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, Millay Arts, and Santa Fe Art Institute. He holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS from Arizona State University, and an MFA from UC Berkeley. In 2022 Arzabe was awarded the San Francisco Bay Area Artadia Award. In 2023 he was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and and a Golden Foundation Residency. 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Daniela Rivera received her BFA from Pontifcia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1996 and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, Boston in 2006. She is currently an associate professor of Studio Art at Wellesley College. She has exhibited widely in Latin American cities including Santiago, Chile, as well as in the United States. She has been awarded residencies at Surf Point, Proyecto ACE in Buenos Aires, Vermont Studio Arts Center, and the Skowhegan School of Paintings and Sculpture. And she has been the recipient of notable fellowships and grants including from The Rappaport Prize, Now + There, the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award, VSC, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, The FONDART in Chile, and the Saint Botolph Club foundation Distinguish Artist Award. Recent or upcoming exhibitions include: Políticas del Espacio, Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (October 2021), Stop, LaMontagne Gallery (2020), Labored Landscapes; Where The Sky Touches the Earth, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fragmentos para una Historia del Olvido/ Fragments for a History of Displacement, The Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA (2018–2019); En Busca de los Andes, solo exhibition with Proyecto ACE, Buenos Aires, Argentina (June 2019); Sobremesa (Karaoke Politics), a public art project developed as her Now + There Accelerator Fellowship, Boston MA (summer/fall 2019), and The Andes Inverted, solo show at the MFA, Boston 2017-18. 

Trina Michelle Robinson explores the relationship between memory and migration through installation, film, print media and archival materials. Her work has been shown at galleries and film festivals throughout the country including the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Art Commission Main Gallery, Catharine Clark Gallery, Minnesota Street Project, and Southern Exposure in San Francisco, New York’s Wassaic Project, and the Museum of Contemporary Art - Arlington. She has told the story of exploring her ancestry with The Moth Mainstage on stages throughout the country including New York’s Lincoln Center and NPR’s Moth Radio Hour. She previously worked in print and digital media in production and as a managing editor publications and companies such as The New York Times T Magazine, Vanity Fair and Slack and received her M.F.A. from California College of the Arts where she was also awarded the 2020 Yozo Hamaguchi Award. In 2022 she had a solo exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), a Smithsonian Affiliate, as part of their Emerging Artist Program 2022-23 and is currently included in the prestigious triennial Bay Area Now 9 at Yerba Buena Center for Fine Arts in San Francisco and Paper is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures at San Francisco Center for the Book. 

Image Credit: Trina Michelle Robinson, Liberation Through Redaction, 2022. Photopolymer intaglio print, ink made with soil collected from Senegal, charred cedar, bone black dry pigment, sisal dyed with hibiscus from Senegal, raw cotton paper sourced from a Black-owned farm in North Carolina. Photo by Nicholas Lea Bruno. Courtesy of the Artist. 

Praxis of Local Knowledge is organized in partnership with

San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs    Headlands Center for the Arts

Opening Public Reception Details 
Thursday, May 16, 6 – 8 p.m.  
SFAC Main Gallery, War Memorial Veterans Building 
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94102 
Free and open to the public. No reservations necessary.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

December 16
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

December 09
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online