Who We Are
- Valerie Imus, Artistic Director and Co-Director
- Margaret McCarthy, Executive Director and Co-Director
- Sharmi Basu, Operations and Development Coordinator
- Anthony Russell, Lead Preparator
- Stevie Sokolouski, Communications Coordinator
- Simon Tran, Artists in Education Coordinator
- Minoosh Zomorodinia, Documentation Manager
Board of Directors
- Nicole Avril, President
- Jenifer K. Wofford, Vice President
- Dan Toffey, Treasurer
- Julia Pfeiffenberger, Secretary
- Rebecca Camacho
- Taraneh Hemami
- Máire P. Walsh
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
- Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
- Ryanaustin Dennis
- Ricki Dwyer
- Valerie Imus
- Kija Lucas
- José Navarrete
- PJ Gubatina Policarpio
- Azin Seraj
- Raheleh Minoosh Zomorodinia
- 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
- Alina Celik - Community Arts Intern
- Anisa Esmail - Community Arts Intern
- Pauline Maccay - Projects and Exhibitions Intern
- Mareiwa Miller - Alternative Exposure Intern
Valerie Imus, Artistic Director and Co-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.
Margaret McCarthy, Executive Director and Co-Director
Margaret McCarthy is the Executive Director and Co-Director of Southern Exposure. She joined the team at SoEx in 2019, and has over a decade of experience at local nonprofits, including serving as the Interim Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. She has led long-term organizational strategy, communications, fundraising, and staff and volunteer management at other local nonprofits including Walk San Francisco and 826 Valencia. Additionally, she managed public-private partnerships and community engagement programs at the San Francisco Department of the Environment. She is an ensemble member and the Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists, an experimental theater ensemble. She holds a B.A. in English and Theater from San Francisco State University.
Sharmi Basu, Operations and Development Coordinator
Sharmi Basu joined the Southern Exposure as the Operations and Development Coordinator in October of 2019. She is a multimedia performance artist, curator, and composer. She creates work that addresses vulnerability, accountability, and experiences of millennial diaspora through creating narratives of decolonial thinking toward individual and collective liberation. Sharmi Basu is an MFA graduate from Mills College in Electronic Music and Recording Media and has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Her abstract performances and workshops on “Decolonizing Sound” have been featured at the International Society for Improvised Music, the Empowering Women of Color Conference, and have reached international audiences. She performs almost 100 times a year and has toured throughout the US and Canada as well as internationally in Europe. She specializes in new media controllers, improvisation in electronic music, and intersectionality within music and social justice. She is a board member of DIY Safer Spaces based out of Oakland and has been curating and organizing events for queer and trans experimental artists of color for over a decade. She founded and hosts an all people-of-color improvisation and performance group called the MARA Performance Collective in Oakland, CA and was an organizer the Universe is Lit: A Bay Area Black and Brown Punk Fest.
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Stevie Sokolouski, Communications Coordinator
Stevie Sokolouski joined the SoEx team in the fall of 2018. They are a multi-disciplinary visual and performance artist with an array of interests and artistic practices including music, graphic design, ceramics, photography, drag performance and jewelry making. After receiving a dual BA in Music History and French at St. Olaf College, they gained five years of experience in marketing and communications as the former Communications Manager at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra before moving to the Bay Area in 2017.
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Simon Tran, Artists in Education Coordinator
Simon Tran aka Ghost Ghost Teeth is a Long Beach, California born artist and educator. He received a BA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. His art practice includes painting, drawing, and installation. He is an active member of Dragon School 99 where he has designed and painted murals in urban and indoor settings. Tran has frequently shown with the Compound Gallery in Oakland. His work is in The Capital One Collection. He believes Sunday afternoons are best spent listening to records and playing video games with his daughter.
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Nicole Avril, President
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.
Jenifer K Wofford, Vice President
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).
Dan Toffey, Treasurer
Dan Toffey moved to San Francisco from Washington, DC, in 2012 to join a small start-up called Instagram - where he works to this day, using data, machine learning and a small team of cool hunters to understand communities, creators and media trends. He and his wife Julia are avid art collectors, with ambitions of turning more of their peers into patrons of the Bay Area arts. Dan is a native of Philadelphia, but moved to Portland, Oregon in 2003 to study politics at Reed College. After receiving his degree, he co-authored several peer reviewed articles on early voting before entering the world of political campaigns and ricocheting around the country. He eventually landed in Washington, DC, where he worked in the press offices of Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. An active runner, Dan has covered more than 5,000 miles on foot since he arrived in the Bay, and is always looking for new running companions. He and his wife live in Alamo Square.
Julia Pfeiffenberger, Secretary
Julia Pfeiffenberger is an entrepreneur, researcher, product manager, dancer and visual artist living and working in San Francisco, CA. Julia's spent her career working in technology for companies like Google and Dropbox, and is passionate about human-centered design and contemporary art's ability to transform lives and start progressive movements.
Rebecca Camacho, Board Member
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.
Máire P. Walsh, Board Member
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.
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.