February 27th – December 17th



HVCCA has a history of exhibitions that feature artists from the international community, some with established careers and stellar reputations as well as those just emerging onto the art stage.  ‘WORD’ is HVCCA’s first open call juried exhibition purposed to highlight talented regional artists who prominently feature ‘a word’ or ‘words’ in their artistic productions.  Some 140 artists applied and 45 artists were selected.  These newer and lesser known works will sit side by side with works of artists such as Beatrice Coron, Dylan Graham (Netherlands), Ann Hamilton (US 1999 Venice Biennale artist), John Mellencamp, Jeffrey Gibson, Laura Kimpton (SLS Miami, Burning Man, California) and Robert Indiana.

Words have appeared historically as artistic forms in illuminated manuscripts, in Arabic text on the walls of mosques and in its mosaic murals, on Chinese calligraphic scrolls.  ‘Word’ as contemporary art form has been popularized by contemporary artists Ruche, Wiener, Kruger and Holzer, Anastasi and others.  Words have the power to hurt and to heal, to be offered as prayer or diatribe. Some of these ‘word’ facets will be explored in the works presented at the HVCCA.  Education programs, word performances and readings by renowned poets Gerald Stern and Cindy Beer Fouhy, will enhance the visual exhibition at the HVCCA.

Two featured projects in WORD are:

I’m Tired Project (on view through June) by British artists Paula Akpan and Harriet Evans,highlighting the lasting impact of everyday micro-aggressions, assumptions & stereotypes. Performance is fused with written word as each of the participants formulate statements completing the phrase ‘I’m tired of…” The statement can address absolutely any kind of discrimination that the individual has personally experienced or feels passionate about. The artist duo then transcribe the individual’s text onto his/her bare back, excising the tension through this very physical act.  Photography documents the final product, serving as a personal and communal diary of purification and absolution.

Visions From the Inside is an illustration project to highlight the personal costs of detention and the resiliency of the human spirit of migrants. The project is based on letters written by detained women and children at the for-profit detention center in Karnes County, Texas that illuminate their courage through their own words. This project was a collaboration between CultureStrike and the migrant-rights advocacy groups Mariposas Sin Fronteras and End Family Detention. These visual art interpretations were commissioned by CultureStrike and created by a diverse lineup of 15 visual artists from across the U.S. The painful letters describe the journeys of migrant detainee mothers and their children, as well as the conditions they experience while in immigration custody. In the last couple of years Central American migrants, including many unaccompanied minors, have sought refuge in the United States. Those who survive the dangerous trek from Central America through Mexico are often apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol and placed in detention, with little or no legal counsel, while they wait to see whether they will be allowed to stay in the United States with their families. Unfortunately for many, this journey ends in deportation back to the country from which they were escaping. We need a world without borders and detention centers! In the meantime, artists and migrants across the globe will continue to imagine the possibilities through culture and action. Check out this video, which was filmed in Oakland as part of the project!

CultureStrike is a national organization that empowers artists and social justice movements to dream big, disrupt the status quo, and envision a truly just world rooted in shared humanity through art. We believe cultural work is key to creating systemic change.
End Family Detention is a digital library composed by a network of families, volunteers, pro bono lawyers, social justice organizers, and digital activists dedicated to raising awareness and promoting action to end family detention.
Mariposas Sin Fronteras is a Tucson, AZ based group that seeks to end the systemic violence and abuse of LGBTQ people held in prison and immigration detention.

WORD artists:

Fafnir AdamitesPaula Apkan &  Harriet Evans Victoria ArakcheyevaElizabeth ArnoldPaul Arts •  Robert BarthelmesCarly BlaisMati Bracha Jo-Ann Brody Stefan Bruggermann   Robert BrushCollective SettlementValeria Clark •  Beatrice Coron Kathryn Frund Jeffrey Gibson Sally Gil •  Nicolae GoliciDylan Graham Inguna GremzdeAnn HamiltonErica HauserRobert IndianaCarla Rae Johnson Lance JohnsonLaura KimptonJob Koelewijn Carole KundstadtNestor MadalengoitiaJean-Marie MartinBarry MasonJohn MellencampKristina & Marek Milde • Bernard Mindich Patricia MirandaOscar Murillo •  Basha Ruth NelsonAdam Niklewicz Robert OlssonPamela PearceEmma RiversLucas Rollins-PageGina ScalzaBill Schuck Mike SeriDusty SimiJulie Sittler Tom SmithWillie Wayne SmithKristin Thielking & Keven Brunett Justin Randolph Thomson & Bradly Dever TreadawayLes Von Losberg