Begin Anywhere: Paths of Mentorship and CollaborationPost an Event »

Begin Anywhere: Paths of Mentorship and Collaboration Amanda Boe, Ebonecia at the Point, 2016

Begin Anywhere is an exhibition and accompanying publication about mentorship and artistic collaboration, featuring artists Amanda Boe, McNair Evans, and Kevin Kunishi along with their mentors - Jason Fulford, Todd Hido, Mark Mahaney, Mike Smith, and Alec Soth. Through a series of collaborative projects, shown in tandem with individual bodies of work, Begin Anywhere explores the possibilities and influence of artistic mentorship, tracing the paths of visual thinking exchanged among artists and how ideas are developed and manifested in the process of an evolving artistic practice. In conjunction with the exhibition, SF Camerawork Publications will release Begin Anywhere, a 96-page companion to the exhibition designed by Bob Aufuldish and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This collectible hardcover book includes over 60 full-color reproductions and an essay by artist Justine Kurland. Copies of the book are available through the gallery at sfcamerawork.org/store. At the core of this exhibition is selected work by emerging photographers Amanda Boe, McNair Evans, and Kevin Kunishi. Amanda Boe has been photographing family and friends for the last seven years in Vallejo, a city in California shaped by conformity and disparity. Her body of work Silver Lining bears witness as a younger generation comes of age, their identities evolving and revealing themselves in portraits backdropped by the suburban landscape. For his project Sparkstone, photographer McNair Evans, inspired by the colorful family history of Russian Jewish immigrants embarking on a journey to retrace their western migration from Montana’s gold fields to Salt Lake City’s urban expanses. Evans’ contemporary images of the landscape explore the loss of home, complex family relationships, stereotypes of masculinity, and the industrialization of the Rocky Mountain region. Kevin Kunishi will exhibit work from his series Imi Haku, featuring photographs taken during Kunishi’s return to his ancestral island home of Hawaii. The resulting photographs are a search for home, a collection of cues, markers for navigating the fabricated realities of the island landscape. Ultimately, the photographs becoming a map of his own history, both inherited and imagined, and a reflection on Hawaii’s complex cultural identity. The artists also executed two collaborative projects with their mentors especially for this exhibition. The first installation is a version of the Exquisite Corpse parlor game, popularized 100 years ago by European Surrealist artists. Participants received a print in the mail, and had a month to send a responding print to the next participant. Unpackaged prints were placed directly in the mail, allowing the delivery process to alter the original work. The second collaboration, a play on the pop-culture word search puzzle, translates letters of the artists’ names into photographic prompts depicting visual intersections. Each participant received a word search puzzle created with the names of all participants. Over the following five months, participants created or curated five images inspired from the words found within the word search puzzle. These two collaborations present accessible models of collaborative practice