Artist/Life: Intersecting Identities in the Art World
Moderated by Natalia Nakazawa

Thursday, April 6, 7:00-9:00 pm
Minnesota Street Project - Flex Space
1240 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA

Saturday, April 15, 4:30 - 6:30pm
Arts at Marks Garage
Honolulu Biennial


Artists often have the difficult task of negotiating multiple identities and roles in the art world and beyond. Yes, we are artists, but we are also expected to be administrators, educators, activists, students, parents, and somehow support ourselves financially, socially, and intellectually.

How do we navigate intersecting identities and layered practices? How do we contend with social and institutional pressures? How do factors such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and region play a role in these dynamics? What are some ways that we can push back against reductive forces that would limit our potential? How can we invite ourselves and major institutions to embrace plurality?

During this meeting, we will discuss making art, making money, and managing the time to do it all while taking care of ourselves. We will also try to find those precious moments - when all of our practices seem to converge. Activities will span mind-mapping, mantra-writing, and small group discussions.  

This workshop is intended for any artist with questions about maintaining multiple practices and sustaining a fully realized artist/life.

Ideas generated in this workshop will be shared with Artist/Admin, a monthly series of meetings for arts administrators dedicated to the new cultural institutions; these meetings are a cross between skill-sharing, group therapy, and reading group. The Artist/Admin series is in the process of becoming an online platform, which will provide community resources to help provide administrators and other arts professionals to radicalize and improve their institutions. It is managed by David Borgonjon. To stay in touch, feel free to join the Facebook group online.


Natalia Nakazawa is an artist, educator, and arts administrator. She is currently the Assistant Director of EFA Studios, a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, which provides subsidized studio space to professional artists in midtown Manhattan. She is a regular guest lecturer at Pratt Institute on  Professional Practices for artists. Additionally, she is a museum educator working with middle school and high school students participating in the Arts Reach partnership through the Museum of Arts and Design. Nakazawa received her BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MSEd from Queens College, and an MFA in studio practice from California College of the Arts. She is a new mom and an advocate for regularly intermingling the professional with the personal.


Pablo Cristi
is an artist born and raised in Los Angeles. Born to Chilean parents escaping the Pinochet regime, Cristi’s work is motivated by an active political awareness and is steeped in a critical inquiry of power, representation and history. His investigations of the colonial past, present, and future often take the form of paintings and sculptural objects that deconstruct and commingle urban visual vernaculars. By articulating strategies of cultural erasure, survival, and transformation, Cristi’s work produces counter-hegemonic narratives that allow a critical reanalysis of the status quo. Cristi is also an arts educator and CoChairs the visual art program at Oakland School for the Arts. Cristi is a graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts(MFA) program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and was awarded the Barclay Simpson Award in 2009. He has recently exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, as well as Oakland.

Sarah Thibault is an artist living and working in San Francisco. She has exhibited projects at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, City Limits, Alter Space, Egyptian Art & Antiques, HILDE and ART in Embassies. Her paintings have been featured in The Huffington Post, San Francisco Magazine, SFAQ, The Examiner and 7x7. Thibault co-curates a monthly lecture series called The Painting Salon and is a contributor to SFAQ.us. She holds an MFA from the California College of the Arts, a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.


Nanci Amaka is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist, educator, and gallerist living and working in Oahu, Hawaii. She studied Visual Critical Studies, earning a BA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from California College of the Arts. Exploring ideas surrounding trauma, identity, memory and the sensorial elements between experience and language; Nanci works from the philosophy that traumatic events challenge perceptions of power, autonomy, and identity. She is represented by Bermudez Gallery in Los Angeles, and shows internationally. As a lecturer on contemporary art and social empathy, Nanci has been invited to speak at various institutions including Santa Cruz Museum Of Art and History, School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Vermont College of Fine Arts, International Center for Photography, Marin Country Day School, and many more. Nanci also owns and runs Ark Of The Unicorns – an alternative gallery and project space supporting artists that focus on contemporary issues and engage processes of healing. More of her work can be found at www.nanciamaka.com

Billie Lee is an artist, writer, and educator working at the intersection of art, pedagogy, and social change. She is currently the Associate Curator of Education at Shangri La: A Museum of Islamic Art, Culture, and Design in Honolulu. Lee has taught diverse audiences in a variety of settings including the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of New Haven, Queens Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and in New York City public schools as a teaching artist. Her arts practice includes painting and video, and she holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Yale University. Lee is also a PhD Candidate in American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa writing on the intersection between aesthetic practices and social movements.