This Saturday, the Facebook Artist in Residence (FB AIR) program marks its fifth anniversary with a unique group exhibition featuring work from artists who’ve created work at their campuses across the world since the program’s inception in 2012. The show will be up through Sept. 16, and open to visitors at The Lab in the Mission, Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.
“We believe that art and artists are essential in society and deserve ongoing support as well as platforms for experimentation and engagement,” says Drew Bennett, the founder and director of FB AIR. “We’re thrilled to publicly share new work by some of the incredibly talented artists that we have worked with since launching five years ago.”
FB AIR grew out of Facebook’s Analog Research Laboratory, an on-site analog design/print studio created for Facebook designers in order to give them the opportunity “to step away from their screens and get back to their roots as physical makers,” reads a press release issued last week. While the Analog Research Lab is the home base for artists making new work at Facebook, it also houses a team of designers as well as suite of art, design, and craft classes offered Facebook employees throughout the year.
The exhibition features 50 artists who have been given the opportunity to create work in the context of Facebook’s office space, both down on the peninsula and overseas. “After five years of inviting artists into Facebook’s headquarters, we felt it was time to celebrate these artists in a more public forum,” Bennett says.
“Many of these artists are locally based and were still at an early point in their careers when they participated as AIRs, and it’s been truly wonderful to see the evolution of their respective practices since then,” Bennett says, explaining that the show is “hung and close” in an effort to promote a dialog across different works.
“Facebook has a sincere belief in creativity as a transformative resource for humans,” Bennett says. “By inviting analog visual artists to share their visual languages throughout Facebook’s offices, we’re committing to a genuine openness of outside ideas and ways of thinking.”
FB AIR Presents: Group Hang, Saturday, Aug. 19, 6-9 p.m., at The Lab, 2948 16th St. Free; facebook.com/artistinresidence