Filling In Spaces

Imagine going to a mall and seeing, between the teenagers and restaurants, art. That is one artist’s vision of the future. Andrea Guskin, artist, educator, curator, and San Leandro resident believes bringing art to commercial spaces is one step in making the Bay Area a more welcoming home to artists. She calls this art invasion the Filling In Spaces Project.

Andrea’s vision for the Filling In Spaces project involves setting up artist’s studios as well as exhibitions in vacant commercial and industrial spaces. By showing landlords the value of having an artist occupy a space, Andrea hopes to make studio space more affordable for artists as well. She believes that making art more accessible to the general public and finding spots for artists to occupy will help the artists build relationships with their neighborhoods.

“I know a lot of artists, friends that had to leave the area because of the price,” Andrea said. “I want the Bay Area to build a thriving art community.”

From Where to Here is another project of Andrea’s socially engaged art practice, which focuses on collaborating with the community to create change. For the project, she held art-making events in order to showcase the different immigration paths families have taken to the Bay Area. The events encouraged creativity and conversation through art-making, writing, and music.

“For me the events, where people are interacting and there is music and food and togetherness. That is almost more the art for me than the art-making itself,” said Andrea.

The piece, Dreaming of a Land in Two Times is the result of the From Here to Where events. Inspired by maps of San Leandro, Guskin’s painting became the backbone of interactive community work. Community members painted their journeys to the Bay Area on small wooden attachments and added on to Guskin’s work. The painting was a collaborative effort created during those community events and is featured in our joint exhibition Overlap: Home, Immigration and Identity at the Bayfair Center.

A joint project between ARTogether, Andrea Guskin, and the Bayfair Center, the exhibition was curated by Guskin and features ARTogether partner artists Somaieh Amini, Nimisha Doongarwal, and Roya Ebtehaj.  The exhibition will run until March 1st at the Bayfair Center in San Leandro. 

Join us for the virtual opening of this gallery on February 25th at 7 pm. RSVP for access to the gallery when we go live.

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