Who We Are


Board of Directors

Curatorial Council

Advisory Board

  • Raquel Baldocchi
  • Mary Bennett
  • Mike Blockstein
  • Rena Bransten
  • Amy Charles
  • Kitt Condrey-Miller
  • Mary Conrad
  • Nilus De Matran
  • Barbara Eaton
  • Courtney Fink
  • Stephen Galloway
  • Ed Gilbert
  • Jim Goldberg
  • Rebecca Goldfarb
  • Laura Goldstein
  • Janet Hunter
  • David Lawrence
  • David Rees
  • Robin Strawbridge
  • Valerie Wade
  • James Watts
  • John Weber
  • Tracy Wheeler
  • Thet Shein Win
  • Jon Winet
  • Nicholas Wylie

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  • Jillian Crochet – Development and Archive Research
  • Cecilia Dong – Programs and Administrative Intern

Site Credits

Design by MacFadden & Thorpe
Development by Kanopi Studios
Maintenance by Palante Technology Cooperative

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Staff Bios

Leigh Lehman, Interim Director

Leigh has worked for over 20 years in the field of education and the arts. Following an earlier career as a classroom teacher, she served as Executive Director of the nationally acclaimed youth writing center 826 Valencia, and as Interim Director of the David Brower Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, and currently as the Co-Director at Southern Exposure. She has been an avid Rhythm & Motion student for several years and joined the staff as Managing Director in 2015. Leigh lives in SF with her husband and two kids, who like to join her for impromptu dance parties in their kitchen most evenings of the week.

Valerie Imus, Artistic Director
Valerie Imus is the Co-Director and Artistic Director at Southern Exposure. In her tenure with the organization since 2011, she has worked with the Curatorial Council to oversee numerous exhibitions, projects, performances, and events for Southern Exposure. Her curatorial projects at SoEx include Metropolis, When and where I enter, Steam Work, You Make a Better Wall Than A Window, How to Move a Mountain, and Hopeless and Otherwise. Formerly, she was the Exhibitions Manager at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Curatorial Associate at the CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art. She has also curated projects at the Oakland Museum of California and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She first became involved at Southern Exposure as an exhibiting artist in 2001. She is a member of the (on long-term hiatus) collectives The Citizens Laboratory and OPENrestaurant and received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a long time ago.

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Carman Gaines, Engagement Coordinator
Carman Gaines has grown over two years within Southern Exposure, a non-profit gallery bound to holding space for local Bay Area Artists. In the arts administrator areas of co-leading a pilot partnership of the Alternative Exposure re-granting program with Facebook AIR, developing exhibition initiatives designed by the Curatorial Council, extending relationships within the community, and sharing our space with the community through Facility Rentals, these efforts culminate toward strategies moving the greater art ecology forward. An early Curatorial and Administration internship at MACLA in San Jose, after graduating high school mapped a pathway which led to a dual BA in Art History and Studio Arts at San Francisco State University, and an A.A. Art History, Criticism at De Anza College. Born, raised, and currently residing in San Jose, they have resolved a need to remain committed to the Bay Area community. Intrinsically, it is a studio practice in analog photography which bridges the relationship of support performed as an arts administrator to the lived experience of a conceptualizing an art practice. Recently, Carman has joined Emerging Arts Professional's Cohort IX, and learning from others lived experiences to assist in achieving personal visions.

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Board Bios

Rebecca Camacho, President
Rebecca has worked in the San Francisco arts community for nearly twenty years. Beginning her career as an intern at the Capp Street Project, she joined Anthony Meier Fine Arts in 1998 where she is now Senior Director. Nurturing artists through the varying steps of their careers, from emerging to international recognition, is her primary focus.

Born and raised in the East Bay, Rebecca now resides in Alameda with her husband, their four young children, and extremely energetic dog. She is an avid cook and admirer of vintage homes; Rebecca and her husband spend much time restoring their 1927 abode. Rebecca frequently looks at complicated tasks and figures, 'I can do that.' This mindset also contributes to Rebecca's strong belief that, when really pressed, tape can fix most everything.

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Abner Nolan, Vice President
Abner Nolan is a San Francisco based artist, curator, and educator. For the past 16 years, he has been deeply involved with the local artist community and with Southern Exposure in particular – as an exhibiting artist, as a member of the curatorial committee and as an enthusiastic supporter. His work and public projects have been exhibited nationally and throughout the Bay Area including at the Yerba Buena Center For the Arts, Wattis Institute and SF Camerawork. Nolan is a senior adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts and also works as a collections manager for the Fisher Family Collection.

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Julie Wagne, Treasurer
Julie Wagne is an art enthusiast and entrepreneur with financial expertise in fundamental credit analysis, financial statements, modeling, forecasting, industry analysis, and risk. She has over 15 years of international and domestic experience spanning tech, banking, education, art, and retail, and is multi-lingual in French and Fulani (African dialect). She received her BA in Art History from The Colorado College and her MBA from the executive MBA program at San Francisco State University. Julie works at Square in the Risk department, as well as being the co-founder of Petel, a socially innovative company benefitting education in West Africa.

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Máire P. Walsh, Secretary
Máire P. Walsh is the SVP of Digital Technologies at Enterprise Ireland, the venture capital arm of the Irish government. In this role, she oversees the growth of Enterprise SaaS, SaaS and Travel Tech companies in the U.S. Previously, she led digital at Subdirect, a company that collaborates with leading media and e-commerce companies to scale growth and engagement. Prior to Subdirect, Máire was a Partner and VP, Sales & Marketing at Next Steps Marketing, a company that specializes in building and monetizing audiences for media and tech companies.

Máire has been recognized by The Irish Times as one of the most influential Irish women abroad in technology. She is also on the board of No Bull Sports and The Irish Network Bay Area. She is a guest instructor at the Advanced Media Institute, UC Berkeley and an advisor at StartOut. She has an MBS from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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Nicole Avril, Board Member
As Project Director with the Capital Partnerships Division of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, Nicole leads the City’s effort on the design and rehabilitation of the Geneva Car Barn and Power House, a historic landmark which will provide arts-related training for under-served youth as well as serve as a vibrant arts and culture center for the residents in San Francisco’s southeastern neighborhoods.

Nicole has also served as Director of External Relations for UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, and as the first Executive Director of Gen Art San Francisco, whose mission was to support emerging artists and cultivate new arts audiences. Nicole was a Trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts for seven years, four of which were on the Executive Committee. She also created a business plan for the Mexican Museum and was a Founding Board Member for Out-of-Site: Center for Arts Education, visual arts, architecture and performing arts program for public high school students. She holds an MBA with a focus on arts management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Art History from Cornell University.

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Taraneh Hemami, Board Member
Taraneh Hemami works with materials of history, organizing archives of images, data, and information, weaving complimentary and contradictory narratives in objects, installations as well as experimental collective and collaborative curatorial projects. Hemami’s architectural sculptures become platforms for interaction and engagement, personal reflections, and public action. She explores themes of displacement, preservation, and representation in installations that intermingle with the architecture of the spaces they occupy, complicating their identity and altering their function. She has received awards from the Creative Capital, Creative Work Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, and the California Council for the Humanities. Her works have been exhibited widely including at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, Victoria and Albert Museum, Boghossian Foundation, and at the Sharjah International Biennial. 

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Zach Klein, Board Member
Zach Klein is an entrepreneur who cofounded and designed Vimeo – one of the largest creative communities in the world. Zach is currently the CEO of DIY, a service to help kids learn any skill. He was a faculty member for the MFA program in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts. He founded a 55-acre nature preserve in Upstate New York that hosts the Beaver Brook School, an annual happening to teach building construction skills to novices.

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Jenifer K Wofford, Board Member
Jenifer K Wofford is a San Francisco artist and educator whose multidisciplinary work plays with notions of hybridity, authenticity and global culture, often with a humorous bent. Born in San Francisco, Wofford was raised in Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and the Bay Area. She received her BFA from SFAI and her MFA from UC Berkeley. She is senior adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco and UC Berkeley, president of Wofflehouse, and CFO of Manananggoogle. Wofford has been part of the SoEx community for over twenty years, in roles ranging from teacher to exhibiting and performing artist as well as semi-regular auction ham(host).

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