Press Release

Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 9:42am
Oakland Museum Of California’s Upcoming Hella Feminist Exhibition Reflects And Responds To Today’s Bay Area Feminist Movement
Exhibition Features Newly-Commissioned Artwork and Interactive Elements, Plus Never-Before-Exhibited Historical Objects from OMCA’s Collection, Hella Feminist Opens July 29, 2022 on the Heels of the United States Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

(OAKLAND, CA) June 30, 2022 — On July 29, Oakland Museum of California will open Hella Feminist, a major exhibition combining art and historical artifacts that explore the lesser known stories of feminism in the Bay Area and beyond. Designed to be responsive to the current moment, Hella Feminist’s timely opening comes just one month following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which profoundly affects human rights and opens a new political chapter in American feminism.

Hella Feminist is rooted in the idea that discrimination against all elements of identity (gender, class, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, education, age, etc.) is interlinked and that no element can be addressed alone. Bringing together historic objects from the Museum’s collection such as posters, pins, and photographs, alongside newly commissioned works by artists, the exhibition will highlight the spectrum of feminist actions, from the political movements shifting national policy, to the everyday practices shaping our local communities.

"Now more than ever, we must expand our understanding of feminism and learn from the communities that have been doing this work for decades in the Bay Area and beyond,” says Carin Adams, exhibition co-curator and Curator of Art at OMCA. “In the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade decision, we hope Hella Feminist provides a space to both grieve the current moment, and inspire hope and action for our collective future."

Hella Feminist invites visitors to expand their understanding of feminism, reflect on the present moment in feminist history, and be inspired to create change. Press images are available here.

More details about what’s included in Hella Feminist:

  • New accessions to OMCA’s collection include artwork by Jane Norling and a new work created especially for Hella Feminist by Sadie Barnette honoring the artist’s mother
  • Angela Hennessy’s sculpture, Mourning Wreath, made from synthetic and human hair, found hair, artist’s hair, enamel paint and other materials, reflects on cultural rituals of grief and respect. Visitors are invited to sit and meditate alongside the piece
  • An expanded section on the leadership of Indigenous women in the Land Reclamation movement highlighting the Alcatraz occupation and contemporary Sogorea Te’ Land Trust
  • An interactive installation where visitors can share their stories on body autonomy and words of encouragement via a special phone hotline, which will then be played in the exhibition. Submissions will be reviewed in advance to ensure they address the subject matter
  • A monumental textile installation by Tanya Aguiñiga, in collaboration with 30 different contributors
  • A section on the feminist youth voice, highlighting the Radical Monarchs, a contemporary Oakland organization, through ephemera, photography and video
  • A new zine entitled Backbone that celebrates the stories of Asian American daughters and their mothers

Hella Feminist is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, Gilda Gonzales & Dr. Ken Wysocki, and Nia Impact Capital.

 


ON VIEW

Edith Heath: A Life in Clay

California Gallery of Art

On View until October 30, 2022

Trailblazer. Rebel. Revolutionary. Discover the story of Edith Heath, founder and designer of Heath Ceramics. Heath transformed the ceramics industry, creating dinnerware from California clay for “Sunday best” and everyday use. Driven by the power of good design, and a commitment to her craft, Heath’s vision continues to live on through her stoneware and tile over 70 years later. Durable, not delicate, simple, yet stylish, Heath Ceramics is an icon of American design.

 

UPCOMING

Angela Davis: Seize the Time

Great Hall

October 7, 2022–June 11, 2023

Angela Davis: Seize the Time is an exhibition focused on Davis and her image. Organized in partnership with the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, the exhibition provides a compelling and layered narrative of Davis’s journey. Using the Angela Davis Archive in Oakland as both the heart of the exhibition and a source, visitors are given the opportunity to investigate how we remember, preserve, and activate radical Black history, while also allowing us to re-imagine the construction of the image of Davis as an icon of American Black radical resistance, female empowerment, and a threat to the white patriarchal status quo.

Beyond the archive and popular culture references, the exhibition positions Angela Davis as a continuing touchstone for contemporary artists referencing mass incarceration, Black Lives Matter, and economic disenfranchisement. Contemporary artworks assert Davis’ significance as a Black feminism intellectual and engage with her as a historical participant in a larger narrative, not simply as an unmoored image of radical chic. 

 


 

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state's art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California's dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $16 general; $11 seniors and students with valid ID, $7 youth ages 13 to 17, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $5 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions in the Great Hall. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. An accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum. museumca.org