Personal Histories: Work by 2021 AYP AIR Artists

December 11, 2021 - February 20, 2022

reception: Saturday, December 11, 6-9pm


Image: Blight: Fear of a Black K Street, 72″x66,” Jordan Seaberry, 2021

Personal Histories; Work by 2021 AYP AIR Artists marks the culmination of Verge’s three year collaboration with the Ali Youssefi Project, an organization founded to honor the late developer and community leader, Ali Youssefi. This will be the third exhibition produced by Verge on behalf of AYP, representing the work of local and national artists. This year’s artists in residence developed work exploring personal narratives relating to race, domestic labor, social injustice, the importance of grandmothers, cultural archetypes, and the temporality of human existence. The disciplines, methods, and approach each artist takes in examining these concepts runs the gamut from traditional media like painting and ceramic sculpture to spoken word and fountain construction. 

Veronica Jackson is an artist, architect, and designer whose work explores visual culture. Her work “A Constellation of Blackness: Rendering Invisibility, Hypervisibility, Devaluation, and Triumph,” articulates her experience as a black woman in America. Maurice Moore continued to evolve his process during his residency, incorporating performance, writing, and gesture drawing to create immersive environments engaging his own personal experiences relating race and gender identity with black histories and cultural traditions in America. 

Yoshie Sakai and Ramona Garcia both created work focused on familial ties relating to matriarchal roles. Sakai focused her examinations specifically on Grandmothers recording oral histories featuring individuals from Sacramento’s historic Japanese community as well as fellow studio artists and Verge staff. In addition to the interviews Sakai also engaged with local craftspeople as much as possible in the development of her work. As a Mexican immigrant who came to America in her early teens, Garcia’s work depicts familial scenes and folkloric archetypes. Utilizing materials like papier mache and gouache, Garcia’s seeks to recreate the comfort of home through dioramas, dolls, and domestic scenes. 

Jordan Seaberry’s practice bridges the painting studio with community organizing and advocacy. During his residency he explored the troubled history of Sacramento’s west end community that was razed to make way for Capital Mall, displacing an entire community of Japanese immigrants. Nancy Sayavong, a recent transplant to Sacramento, used the belongings left behind in her Roseville home as the raw material for a series of sculptures and structural interventions.

About AYP: The purpose of the Ali Youssefi Project is to give creative innovators access to opportunities that elevate Sacramento. We invest in people, cultivate ideas, and connect communities. The Ali Youssefi Project was created by his family in 2019 to honor Ali Youssefi after his death. Ali was a proud Sacramentan and dedicated his work to harnessing the power of community and to uplift the city that he loved. It is with Ali’s impactful legacy in mind that AYP started. It’s our way to celebrate his life’s work and continue to build meaningful projects in his name.