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Emerging Artists Program

Amplifying & supporting local SF Bay Area Artists
MoAD Emerging Artists Program invites local, emerging and mid-career visual artists and art collectives to submit proposals for solo exhibitions that reflect the cultural and artistic richness of the African Diaspora.


The EAP is a call for Bay Area-based artists to submit a solo exhibition proposal of their work at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Competitive proposals will present innovative artwork to activate the MoAD Salon space. Four final artists will be selected. Each artist will have a 3-month solo exhibition as part of the Emerging Artists Program and will receive an honorarium.

This year we are proud to announce that EAP Awardees receive an honorarium of $10,000 to immediately amplify and uplift their work.

Since its inception in 2015, the Emerging Artists Program has provided exhibition space to 20 artists and members of art collectives including Chanell Stone, Angela Hennessey, Indira Allegra, Andrew Wilson, Rodney Ewing, the 5/5 Collective, and many more.

MoAD is currently accepting applications for our 2023-2024 cohort. Application deadline is January 27, 2023. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.

EAP 2022–23 cohort

Cynthia Aurora Brannvall: The Threads That Bind March 30, 2022 — June 12, 2022

The Threads that Bind is an allusion to a body of artwork rendered in textiles to evoke memory, presence, labor, trade, industry, slavery, luxury, baptisms, weddings, funerals, gender, and history in the African diaspora. The concept and material of thread creates meaning as an ancestral carrier traveling through time across borders through voluntary and involuntary migration from one body to another. The bind refers to shared experiences of trauma, oppression and perseverance that cohere in black identity.

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Richard-Jonathan Nelson: Interlacing Distributed Intelligence/ Noir Care June 22, 2022 — September 18, 2022

The Black body and craft can be intermeshed to depict our western culture's speculative future no matter how foreign the idea of Black craft is outside of the American Low country. Through the hybridizing of traditional craft practices like embroidery, weaving, and quilting along with digital art, the Black body is reimagined as a place for futuristic progress. Thereby creating images of the Black Diaspora far removed from continued historic depiction as servile and without agency, but instead as visual and culturally complex individuals. The work is balanced visually between the dichotomy of Blackness as an expansive unknowable monolithic void and a chromatically intense generator of culture.

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Trina Michelle Robinson: Excavation: Past, Present and Future October 5, 2022 – December 11, 2022

Using early photography and motion picture processes, Excavation looks at the relationship between memory and migration. Robinson’s ancestry is the catalyst for this exploration, but the work also looks at stories of migration and memory outside of her immediate family. In Paul Virilio's The Vision, the author talks about capturing the impression of someone or something rather than producing an exact copy when it comes to creating an image. An ethereal copy is Robinson’s approach when considering the excavation of memories. An exact replica might not be possible, but we can get a glimpse, hold on, and sit with what remains so we can move forward into the future. Hopefully we can move into the future together.

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Ashley Ross: 10/27/03 December 21, 2022 – March 5, 2023

10/27/03 is a body of work that surveys the ways in which experiential dualities can exist within the confines of a religious upbringing. Bringing together staged black and white photographs, familial archive layered works, and installation, this body of work uses photography and personal memorabilia to illustrate ideas about indoctrination and legacy within the black familial structure. Whether through visual allegories or the artist’s personal explorations of religion, each photographic work represents the process of rumination and memory when confronting one’s own former spiritual experience allowing the viewer to contemplate the ways in which we internalize belief systems.

Coming this Winter

Selection Process

A selection panel consisting of MoAD staff and other arts professionals (artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, etc.) reviews and scores all submitted proposals.

The following people formed our esteemed 2022-23 Emerging Artists jury.

· Michelle Branch Board Chair of SF Camerawork

· Brock Brake Owner, Pt. II Gallery

· Chanell Stone 2019 Emerging Artists awardee

· Elena Gross Director of Exhibitions & Curatorial Affairs at MoAD

· Demetri Broxton Senior Director of Education at MoAD

· Nia McAllister Public Programs Manager at MoAD

· Charlena Wynn Visitor Experience Manager at MoAD

MoAD Emerging Artists is generously funded by Karen Jenkins-Johnson & Kevin Johnson and Westridge Foundation.

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