stARTup Success Stories: Chapter Four

Rodney Ewing is a longtime stARTup friend, having exhibited with us as a solo artist in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago and twice with the 3.9 Collective.

2018 was a stellar year for Rodney, filled with many different opportunities and accolades, including being named one of Museum of the African Diaspora’s emerging artists for 2018-19.

We first featured him in August’s article Completing the Story - How 3.9 Collective Came, Saw, and Conquered stARTup, as a founding member. But this month it’s time for Rodney to take center stage.

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Rodney started the year off as an Artist-In-Residence at Recology San Francisco. This residency was a perfect fit, providing him with access to endless discarded materials and a large studio space at the San Francisco Waste Transfer Station.

Between Walls and Ceilings  installation at Recology San Francisco, CA

Between Walls and Ceilings installation at Recology San Francisco, CA

Rodney was especially inspired by wood lath taken of the waste stream - the material that composed many of the walls of old San Francisco homes - and used it the background for his pieces “to reference the people who once lived in the structures currently being remodeled or torn down for new construction.”

Details of  Between Walls and Ceiling , January 2018

Details of Between Walls and Ceiling, January 2018


In May, the San Francisco Arts Commission commissioned him for six unique images, displayed in bus kiosks along San Francisco’s Market Street.

 Human Beings: Sanctuary City , San Francisco, CA, May - August 2018

Human Beings: Sanctuary City, San Francisco, CA, May - August 2018

For this public project, Rodney was inspired by the current political climate of aggression toward Sanctuary cities and their constituents. “The humanity of these individuals is being taken for granted, and as a result, our sense of empathy has also suffered.”

Pieces of Human Beings: Sanctuary City

Pieces of Human Beings: Sanctuary City


2018 also saw two group exhibitions closer to home. The first, 140 Characters, was on display at the San Francisco arts non-profit, and stARTup Non-Profit Partner, Root Division.

Curated by fellow stARTup artist Margaret Timbrell, this group exhibition of text-based art created a complex dialogue, questioning how new technologies and various social media influence creative production, as well as highlighting the ways in which we connect and communicate in a society of constantly changing methods.

Days and Occasions  at  140 Characters , Root Division, San Francisco, CA, November 2018

Days and Occasions at 140 Characters, Root Division, San Francisco, CA, November 2018


Former stARTup LA 2019 Juror Amy Kisch, paired Rodney with previous stARTup jurors Hung Liu, Travis Somerville, past stARTup artist Brian Singer in re:home, an exhibition that reflected on San Francisco’s past as an “Arrival City,” and presented new ways how it can become a more effective and inclusive one.

Untethered, Stories of the Fillmore  at  re:home , San Francisco, CA, December 2018

Untethered, Stories of the Fillmore at re:home, San Francisco, CA, December 2018


If all of that were not enough, Rodney also had a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, completed a private commission and was highlighted as the Featured Artist in PREGAME Magazine

Whattayear!

A huge fan of the man and his art, stARTup Fair Director Ray Beldner says, “Rodney’s absolutely on fire! We’re behind him, we love him, and we’re rooting for him—like all of our stARTup artists.”

 

Read more stARTup success stories: Chapter 1, with Andi Campognone, Chapter 2, with Victoria Huckins and Jennifer Perlmutter, and Chapter 3, with Jon Fischer.

Artists:

Applications are open for stARTup SF 2019. Those selected by our esteemed Selection Committee will each take over a hotel room for the course of three days to present a solo show and expose their artwork to the thousands of collectors, curators, gallerists, and art consultants who will be in the city for a weekend of art. 

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