Local Artists Take Over SFMOMA’s Website for Virtual Mural Project

The museum believes that artmaking is 'crucial' during this global crisis.

Museums haven’t been deemed essential, but that doesn’t mean art isn’t important. During the pandemic, six local arts organizations are taking over the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s website with online “murals.”

Each of these murals will be displayed on the MOMA’s homepage as part of their #MuseumFromHome initiative, and each of them will answer the question: “What does it mean to work collaboratively in the time of social distancing?” They’ll share images and resources, and appear on the SFMOMA YouTube channel, every Thursday at 6 p.m.

The first collective on the program is CTRL+SHFT, a “majority Gender Variant, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and People of Color cohort” based in West Oakland. 

CTRL+SHFT’s artist takeover involves a collaborative activity called “Recipes for Self Care,” that asks participants to share what care means to them on paper. Some works will be compiled in an electronic cookbook as recipes.

Each residency will last for a week. Other artist collectives invited include: the nure collective, a community of Black artists in the Bay Area; Heavy Breathing, an experimental movement workshop; the Prison Arts Project, an organization that brings art programs to California state prisons; Work More!, a platform exploring the legacy of drag; and Bik Van der Pol, an artistic duo that works with the City College of San Francisco’s Museum Studies program.

Art making might not be the first thing on everyone’s mind as communities struggle to cope with coronavirus’ ramifications, but the SFMOMA believes that artmaking is “crucial” during this global crisis.

“The history of artmaking during past pandemics shows that artists will be vital contributors to the process of imagining our collective future in the wake of the coronavirus,” wrote Chad Coerver, an SFMOMA education and community engagement officer, in a press release. “We are excited to see what the collectives create.”

The schedule for the #MuseumFromHome mural series is below.

CTRL+SHFT Collective
May 18 to 24

nure collective
May 25 to 31

Heavy Breathing
June 1 to 7

Prison Arts Project
June 8 to 14

Work More!
June 15 to 21

Bik Van der Pol with Museum Studies Students at City College of San Francisco
June 22 to 28

For more information go to sfmoma.org/museumfromhome

Grace Z. Li covers arts, culture, and food for SF Weekly. You can reach her at gli@sfweekly.com or follow her on Twitter @gracezhali.

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