Episode 20: Kim Anno

(un)making

Episode 20: Kim Anno

By Weston Teruya November 10, 2017

Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.


In this episode I will be talking with artist, educator, and arts advocate Kim Anno. For years Anno was perhaps best known as an abstract painter, but more recently expanded her practice to focus on video and photography that explore environmental justice and the future of communities being impacted by sea level rise. Her pieces have ranged from what she calls puppet shows—long shots of pastoral prints and globes dunked in water tanks with injections of paint slowly blossoming in the water—to large scale productions involving casts of performers, sports teams, and people waving stitched together flags on beaches and waterfronts. Along with her artistic practice, Anno also serves as the current chair of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission and recently started a non-profit arts incubator called Wild Projects to support individual artists through fiscal sponsorship.

Our discussion focuses on Anno's most recent projects: a documentary, Quba, about LGBTQ organizing and politics in Cuba and a staged film, 90 Miles From Paradise, the latest in her Men & Women in Water Cities series that envisions cultural and social resilience in coastal regions at risk of destruction as they face rising tides due to global warming. In the conversation, we talk about restorative justice, the ethics and process of building trust, how sports plays a role in her visual language, and building legislation to support artists in the city of Berkeley.

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Kim Anno is a painter, photographer, and film/video artist who has had exhibitions and screenings at the 14th Annual New Media Festival (Seoul, Korea), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley), Goethe Institute (Johannesburg), Flux Projects (Atlanta), Marcia Wood Gallery (Atlanta), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Patricia Correia Gallery (Santa Monica), the Site Santa Fe Biennale, and the Berkeley Art Museum. Anno has received grants and awards from Gerbode, Zellerbach, Open Circle, Sustainable Arts (via Kala), Berkeley Film Foundation, and the Fleishhaker Foundation’s Eureka Fellowship. Anno has been a professor at the California College of the Arts since 1996. You can follow Kim on Instagram @anno.kim, @skimi2 on Twitter, and kimanno.com. Wild Projects is at wildprojects.org.

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