Fil-Am artist Pacita Abad’s retrospective at SF MoMA comes with free admission and workshops
In April, the Walker Art Center mounted the first retrospective of the works of Filipino-American artist Pacita Abad, who is known for her life-sized trapunto or painted and quilted canvasses.
Over 100 works from her 32-year career, including experiments in different mediums, ranging from textiles and works on paper to costumes and ceramics—some never before seen in the United States—were displayed until Sept. 3.
This October, 40 of Abad’s multifaceted works made their way to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as a continuation of her first US retrospective.
These include a few of her most recognizable paintings like “L.A. Liberty” from her “Immigrant Experience” series from 1983 to 1995 that highlight the rising multiculturalism of the 1990s. Abad, who became a US citizen in 1994, created this trapunto painting after a visit to Ellis Island, lamenting a lack of representation of the immigration story of Asians, Latin Americans, and Africans.
“She set out to challenge and correct how representation is constructed in the civic sphere. In a kaleidoscopic explosion of color and pattern, Pacita replaces the neoclassical European icon of freedom and justice in America with a brown-skinned woman, modeled off herself and her friends,” reads a press release about the upcoming exhibit.
Free museum admissions, workshops, and performances
To celebrate its opening on Oct. 21, SF MoMA is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as art workshops and live performances.
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Taking a page from Abad’s oeuvre, Filipino-American artist Roseli Ilano will teach participants how to embroider beads, buttons, textiles, and shells onto canvases painted by muralist Monica Magtoto. There will also be live performances from the non-profit arts organization KULARTS featuring traditional Filipino musical instrument kulintang and a string ensemble known as rondalla.
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The opening also coincides with the Undiscovered Block Party, featuring emerging artists and merchants celebrating San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) Pilipinas. This is already the third and final leg of the creative market/block party that began in August. SoMa Pilipinas was officially recognized in 2016 as the city’s Filipino Cultural District.