On-site at the museum
Local artists celebrate the life and work of artist Bernice Bing.
Into View: Bernice Bing opens with an afternoon of local artists celebrating the life and work of Bernice Bing, born in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1936. Poet Tongo Eisen-Martin and musicians Caroline Chung, Nora Free, and Heather Watkins perform popular tunes from the mid- to late 20th century—Bing’s era in the Bay Area—alongside with new, experimental works inspired by her creative legacy. Twenty-minute exhibition tours with Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator, will commence every hour outside of Hambrecht Gallery with limited capacity. Spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
1:30 Exhibition tour in Hambrecht Gallery
2:00 Welcome and remarks, jazz and poetry performance #1 in Bogart Court
2:30 Exhibition tour in Hambrecht Gallery
3:00 Jazz and poetry performance #2 in Bogart Court
3:30 Exhibition tour in Hambrecht Gallery
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Caroline Chung is a jazz bassist, songwriter, and producer based in Oakland. She has opened for various bands, including Ozomatli and as part of Buena Vista Social Club’s last US tour. Chung performed at SFJAZZ and San Jose Jazz Festival, where she was one of 27 recipients commissioned to compose original music. Last year she released her full-length album Sounds of Haejin, in addition to several singles and a tribute to Nina Simone. Chung is currently working on a project called Free Energy, leading up to an EP to be released in late 2022.
Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker, and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. He is the author of Someone’s Dead Already, Heaven is All Goodbyes, Waiting Behind Tornados for Food, and Blood on the Fog. In 2020, he co-founded Black Freighter Press to publish revolutionary works. Eisen-Martin is San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.
Nora Free is a saxophonist and composer from New York. Described by The Village Voice as “a fearless and experimental improviser,” she has performed with avant-garde musicians Salim Washington, Bobby Few, Rasul Siddik, Ichiro One, and Lawrence “Butch” Morris, and opened for David Murray, Geri Allen, Dave Liebman, Tony Allen, and Bombino. Free completed a PhD in jazz composition at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. Locally, she has been a music instructor at San Francisco University High School and most recently at the Athenian School, where she directs student ensembles and teaches music history and composition.
Heather Watkins is a Bay Area musician, dancer, and visual artist. Watkins sings and plays piano, guitar, and percussion with a focus on jazz and Brazilian music, and is versed in Brazilian, West African, and Cuban dance styles. She has devoted her creative energy working for community-based youth arts programs, teaching performing arts classes while directing multi-media performance pieces around social justice issues. Watkins is currently pursuing a career as a license marriage family therapist.
Photographs courtesy of the artists.