Episode 24: Trisha Lagaso Goldberg

(un)making

Episode 24: Trisha Lagaso Goldberg

By Weston Teruya February 14, 2018

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 talk with Hawaiʻi-based curator, arts organizer, artist, and public art producer Trisha Lagaso Goldberg. Trisha creates platforms to support artists in Hawaiʻi through exhibitions, programming, and her work as the Public Art Project Manager for the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture & the Arts. Folks in the San Francisco Bay Area may also know her from her early career here where among many other things, she served as Executive Director of Southern Exposure. As an artist, Trisha’s work often explores the history and visual language of Hawaiʻi’s sugar plantation labor system, within which her family worked when they first immigrated to the islands. Through Yoruba inspired ritualistic drawings with sugar and Hawaiian quilt style patterns cut in plastic, she explores the linkages between ancestral history, the role of migrant laborers in a global economy, and local iconography.

Our conversation focuses on Tropical Disturbance: A Guide to Place Making and Contemporary Art in Hawaiʻi, an exhibition and series of programs of Hawaiʻi artists that she’s curated at the Luggage Store in San Francisco. In the course of our discussion, we talk about what it means to have a “Hawaiʻi sense of place,” dispelling misperceptions of the islands, the need to decode insider culture to build connections in this time of polarization, and the cultural ecosystem in Hawaiʻi. I also highly recommend checking out the exhibition’s page at luggagestoregallery.org where Trisha and her husband, writer and cultural critic David Goldberg have also commissioned a series of essays that compliment and complicate the concepts of place explored in the exhibition through the lens of art history, humor, personal narratives, surf etiquette, and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi—Native Hawaiian language.

Tropical Disturbance: A Guide to Place Making and Contemporary Art in Hawaiʻi is on view at the Luggage Store from January 19 - February 23, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.

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