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Art + Process + Ideas: Constance Hockaday and Cate White

Not on view
6/23/2019 - 9/1/2019
Organizing institution: Mills College Art Museum

The 2019 Art + Process + Ideas (A+P+I) Exhibition features new work by A+P+I artists in residence, Constance Hockaday and Cate White. The artists share a community centered approach to art-making and a desire to take creative risks within their practice. The A+P+I program was established to support Bay Area artists who embrace this spirit of experimentation and social consciousness. The residency fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and provides opportunities for the students, faculty, and staff of Mills College and the wider Bay Area, to interact, learn, and work with local contemporary artists.

Constance Hockaday explores the neurological processes triggered in emergency survival scenarios and clumsily plays with how to apply them to slow motion disasters of global and historical proportions. For the 2019 A+P+I exhibition, Hockaday presents FutureHellNow, part of an ongoing inquiry into American ideas of disaster and the future, which the artist refers to in her practice as the Survival Series. FutureHellNow is both an installation and a performance space where Hockaday has constructed a potential domestic reality that integrates our less visible but ever present internal alarm and perpetual panic.

Cate White shifts from working within familiar concepts and processes to risking improvisation. She is interested in the question: what happens when we allow ourselves the freedom to evolve? What do we lose and what do we gain? White views the A+P+I exhibition as an opportunity to integrate known and unknown, private and public, controlled and free, self and other, within her practice. Work displayed from the first half of her time in residency will demonstrate writing, paintings, sculpture and an installation around subjects and themes the artist has been exploring for the past five years: cultural constructs of gender, race, power, beauty and how emotional intimacy allows for new perceptions. The rest of the works in the exhibition—experiments in painting and sculpture, video performance, plein air painting, and a sketchbook zine—will track the evolution of her work during the remainder of her residency, marking a transformation in her approach to art making.


Constance Hockaday, a Chilean American who grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, began creating “outsider” maritime arts projects at age 19. In 2011, she created the Boatel, a floating hotel and arts space in NYC’s Far Rockaways made of refurbished salvaged vessels, in an effort to reconnect New Yorkers to their waterfront. The project attracted 5000+ visitors, international press and critical acclaim. The New York Times described her 2014 floating installation--All These Darlings and Now Us—as a powerful “commentary on the forces of technification and gentrification roiling San Francisco.” The project highlighted the displacement of San Francisco’s queer community featuring artists from two recently shuttered iconic queer businesses: The Lusty Lady and Esta Noche. Hockaday holds an MFA in Social Practice and a Masters in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University. She is a 2014 TED Fellow and has received grants from The Puffin Foundation, the City of Oakland, the Fund for East Bay Artists, and commissions from Southern Exposure, Mills College Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Flux Factory, and San Francisco MOMA. Hockaday was a resident artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2016 and was a SECA finalist in 2016.

Oakland based artist Cate White was born in 1971 into the backwoods culture of guns, 4x4s and meth in Northern California, where she spent most of her life until she started painting at age 30. She then moved to the Bay Area, and for 12 years worked as a gardener while developing her painting practice.White is primarily a painter, but also makes books, videos and the occasional sculpture. White states that for her career as an artist to be meaningful, she must continue to communicate across social strata. To this end, she employs the democratic language of the figure, narrative, comedy, and self-exposure. She was the recipient of Oakland’s ProArts 2x2 Solos award in 2013, the 2014-2015 Tournesol Award from Headlands Center for the Arts, and is currently included in the Bay Area Now 8 triennial exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Residencies include a year-long, fully-funded year at the Roswell artist-in-residence program in New Mexico and the Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist residency with Joan Snyder. Her work has been exhibited in four solo shows and multiple group shows in the Bay Area and beyond.

The 2019 Art+Process+Ideas Artist Residency is supported through the generosity of the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibitions. Additional support for Constance Hockaday's ongoing project Old Man, Dance is provided by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.


Saturday, June 22, 2019
Opening Reception: 2019 Art+Process+Ideas Exhibition
Celebrate our 2019 Art+Process+Ideas resident artists and the new, exciting directions they continue to explore in their practice. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, July 13
Artist-Led Tour: Cate White
3pm, Art Museum
In conjunction with the 2019 Art+Process+Ideas Exhibition, A+P+I resident artist Cate White, will guide visitors through the gallery and share her process of approaching a threshold in her work and life and stepping over it. A mid-life reckoning--a fundamental reassessment of values, identity, purpose and meaning--is made visible through the art objects she has made for the exhibition. With open-ended time for Q&A and sharing from the vistors, we will embark together on an afternoon of collective meaning-making.

Wednesday, August 28
7pm, Art Museum
A performative lecture staged inside of Constance Hockaday's 2019 A+P+I installation. The installation will become a makeshift theatre where Hockaday is the performer and technical director all at the same time. The performance includes a stream of associations exploring how sandy beach survival strategies, homemade boats, linguistic investigations of the word “hope,” normalcy bias, and the artist's own personal anecdotes come together to illustrate the terrifying and liberating ways we make sense of our lives in the age of disaster.

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