by Alejandra Salazar
“Rise Up! Art As Action,” a pop-up exhibition hosted by the San Francisco Arts Education Project, is a collection of politically minded original works by more than 21 contemporary artists from around the world.
This exhibition is particularly unique, not just because it covers such a vast range of subject matter — the works tackle issues like immigration, race relations, women’s rights and democracy, to name a few — or because of its sizable list of featured artists, but because of its target audience: Like most of SFArtsEd’s programming, “Rise Up!” is a show for Bay Area youth. The target age range is 5 to 17 years old.
“Many of us are really concerned that this climate is a really toxic one for those who understand it well, but even more so for young people who don’t understand it well,” said SFArtsEd Artistic Director Emily Keeler. “A lot of this show is helping young people figure out how to speak out against what is wrong.”
On view through May 6 at a Minnesota Street Project gallery, “Rise Up!” is also engaging with the local arts community. Situated in the heart of the Dogpatch neighborhood, an up-and-coming contemporary arts district in San Francisco, the Minnesota Street Project is an undertaking by local philanthropists Deborah and Andy Rappaport, created with the intention to provide spaces for local contemporary artists to develop and display their work.
This gallery choice compliments SFArtsEd’s parallel goal: to ensure that Bay Area youth not only understand what’s going on in the world around them, but to encourage and empower them to speak up through the arts.
“I thought of using the gallery as a way to not only have people speak, but to be heard and listened to,” Keeler said. “This is a new way to educate young people not just about the world, but about art.”