Spring 2018 Contemporary Classrooms

Artists in Education Program

Spring 2018 Contemporary Classrooms

In collaboration with an exhibiting SoEx artist or project

High school teachers – bring Contemporary Classrooms to your students: 


Southern Exposure's Contemporary Classrooms is an ongoing series of workshops that take place in SFUSD high school classrooms, formulated in collaboration with an exhibiting SoEx artist or project. This spring, the workshops will respond to Inherited Division: Second Hand Planet, a concurrent exhibition at Southern Exposure of works by our Youth Advisory Board reflecting on the effects of climate change in San Francisco through the lens of science fiction.

Serving teachers and youth from 10 local high schools, these workshops will use the concept of “science fiction based on science fact” as a starting point for high school students to confront the effects of climate change with their own ideas. Contemporary Classroom participants will be encouraged to attend the exhibition and programming events in the spring of 2018.

In each three-part workshop, students will use art to create a science fiction-inspired response to environmental changes. In part one, students will examine the historical circumstances that led to current environmental challenges in the Bay Area and explore how power is connected to those challenges. In part two, students will project 50 years into the future, creating a narrative through which they will reflect on the long-term impacts of current environmental challenges. In part three, students will share their narratives, identifying patterns and similarities between their peers, in order to craft a group response to shared future challenges they envision. The goal of the workshop is to empower students to use art as a creative response to climate change. 

About the Exhibition

Inherited Division: Second Hand Planet is a Youth Advisory Board project that explores how current environmental changes will manifest socially, economically, and politically in the year 2069. Although these effects may seem distant and passive in the present, in fact they are aggressively dynamic and will prevail in the future unless action is taken. From sea level rise and biodiversity to the growing prevalence of plastic islands, these nine young artists examine how these issues will impact them into adulthood.

About the Teaching Artists

Lauren Marie Taylor is a Bay Area conceptual artist. In 2013 she was the first Artist in Residence at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, from which the first message was sent to outer space. In 2015 she was an Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, where she worked with the Vatican Astronomical Observatory. Recent projects include collaborative work on the Man in Space Collection at the Walt Disney Family Museum, Satellite Engineering at California Academy of Sciences, Workshops for BAN 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and a solo exhibition at Southern Exposure on science fiction and robotics in the Civil Rights Era. Taylor has presented at the Octavia Butler Conference, Science in the Studio Symposium for AICAD, the Bay Area Science Festival, Nerd Nite, Stairwells and more. She was a 2016-17 Equity Fellow at YBCA. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, an MEd from Portland State University and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. 

Vida Kuang was raised by the Tan matriarch, the streets of Chinatown, and the Bay. She is a Chinese American artist and educator. Her education came from growing up in her family’s grocery store in Chinatown, where she witnessed ways in which her community creates abundance out of scarcity. She studied Art History and Sociocultural Anthropology with a focus on public art at the University of Chicago. As a visual storyteller, Vida wants to define her histories into existence alongside a legacy of cultural workers whose labor keeps her communities thriving. Her art practice is inspired by movements led by women of color for racial and economic justice. Her work addresses the complexities and intersections of gender, class, race, survival, healing, and memory. She uses illustration, photography, mixed media installation, and video as tools for storytelling. Vida believes storytelling is one of the most fundamental ways to decolonize her communities’ hearts and minds for collective liberation.