Five exhibitions now on view


Join us for a conversation with artist Sam Vernon about her current exhibition Impasse of Desires. with The Queer Limit of Black Memory author Matt Richardson, moderated by Dr. Jacqueline Francis.

Sam Vernon: Impasse of Desires, a site-specific installation and solo exhibition of the artist’s work. Using Matt Richardson’s 2013 publication The Queer Limit of Black Memory as a critical entry point, Vernon drapes the first-floor gallery and lobby of the museum with sheets of colored fabric and creates a constellation of made and found images. Though published in 2013, Vernon uses this installation to consider the questions Richardson raises in The Queer Limit of Black Memory—most urgently, where is the space for queerness to exist within a collective imagining of Blackness?—and underscores their critical relevance seven years later.

This program is presented in conjunction with Museums with Pride

Sam Vernon earned her MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University in 2015 and her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2009. Her installations combine xerox collages, photographs, paintings and sculptural components in an exploration of personal narrative, identity and historical memory. Sam teaches in the Printmedia and Graduate Fine Arts program as an Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts (CCA) and Bard College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Studio Arts.

Matt Richardson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Feminist Studies and an affiliate faculty member in Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has published articles in various academic journals such as TSQ, GLQ, Sexuality Research and Social Policy,The Journal of Women’s History and Black Camera. He also has published fiction and poetry in publications like Pharos and Sinister Wisdom and Feminist Studies.  He is a member of the Black Sexual Economies Collective and co-editor of Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital.  His monograph is entitled, The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution and he is a co-editor of the journal Feminist Studies’ 2011 Special Issue on Race and Transgender Studies and the 2017 special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly’s The Issue of Blackness. His first novel, Black Canvas is forthcoming from Transgress Press.

Jacqueline Francis, Ph.D., chairs the Visual and Critical Studies Department at CCA. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2011) and co-editor of Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011). With Mary Ann Calo, Francis is working on a new book about African-American artists’ participation in federally funded art programs of the 1930s and their impact on the emergent, US art market of the 1940s. With Kathy Zarur, Francis co-curated the art exhibitions Where Is Here for the Museum of the African Diaspora (October 2016-May 2017) and side by side/in the world for the San Francisco Art Commission's Main Gallery (July-September 2019).

This program is presented in conjunction with the current exhibition Sam Vernon: Impasse of Desires on view at MoAD through September 18, 2022.