Jessalyn Aaland: Hopes, Dreams, Family, Resistance, Resilience

Radical Art Theory Nights

Jessalyn Aaland: Hopes, Dreams, Family, Resistance, Resilience

A discussion on identifying alternative types of wealth in our communities

July 26, 2016
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Southern Exposure
Limited to 15 participants, RSVP here

What are some of the strengths, in ourselves and our communities, that often go overlooked? How can we celebrate our community wealth, strength, and resilience, particularly when dominant narratives ignore or even negate it?

After defining and discussing the six types of capital (familial, linguistic, navigational, social, resistant, and aspirational) described by Tara J. Yosso in her article “Whose Culture Has Capital?” as we see them in our own lives, we’ll then apply this knowledge to analyze artworks. We’ll also consider how we might apply the concept of cultural wealth in our own contexts (school, work, home, etc.).

Attendance by young adults is encouraged – ideally, one third of the participants will be high-school age, one third 19‐24, and one third 25 or older. This workshop is recommended for those who want to speak back to negative depictions of their communities, such as in the media, and explore the many strengths they and their communities possess. It will also be of interest to those who enjoy discussing artwork, whether or not you are experienced with doing so.

The presenter honorarium for this workshop will be donated to Teachers 4 Social Justice, a volunteer‐run, teacher‐led organization which works to introduce other teachers to concepts like community cultural wealth, and Peer Resources, a non‐profit organization which creates just change in our schools and communities through the leadership of young people supporting, training, and advocating for each other.

Required Reading (participants will receive a pdf of this text after RSVPing):

  • Tara J. Yosso, "Whose Culture Has Capital?," Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Vol. 8, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 69–91

Additional Reading:

  • Gloria Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” and “La conciencia de la mestiza/Towards a New Consciousness,” both from Borderlands/La Frontera, The New Mestiza, 1987
  • Carmen Lomas Garza, A Piece of My Heart/Pedacito de mi corazon, 1994
  • Julia Alvarez, “Woman’s Work,” from Homecoming: New and Collected Poems, 1996
  • Lucille Clifton, “won’t you celebrate with me,” from Collected Poems, 1991
  • Gary Soto, “History”
  • Pedro Pietri, “Puerto Rican Obituary,” 1973
  • Lois‐Ann Yamanaka, “Obituary,” Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers, 2006

Jessalyn Aaland is a Bay Area‐based artist and educator. Her installations and works on paper explore utopian ideas of joy, humor, and possibility through color, shape, and texture. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, including at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Narwhal Projects in Toronto. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, both nationally and internationally. Jessalyn has been an artist‐in‐residence at People’s Gallery in San Francisco at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.

In her former career as a high school English and ELD teacher at Balboa High School in San Francisco, Jessalyn piloted the school’s inclusion program as part of the PULSE (Peers United for Leadership, Service, and Equity) pathway for 11th and 12th grade students, which supported general education, honors, Special Education, and English learner students in moving from theory to practice. Teaching through a critical pedagogy framework was a core part of her practice as a high school teacher, and continues in her current practice as a teacher-educator at an art museum.

Radical Art Theory Nights are conversations about art theory, art history, or research-based art practices that reflect on narratives of the historically marginalized. Visiting writers, curators, and artists contend with both current and canonized concerns, critically engage with texts, and lead open community discussions.

Radical Art Theory Nights are facilitated and organized by C.A. Greenlee in partnership with Southern Exposure’s Artists in Education program.