Mapping the Archive: Lexa Walsh
PSU Alumna Lexa Walsh is an Artist Fellow at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum. In this yearlong program, highly regarded community arts organizations join forces with the de Young in presenting artist fellows who create new work to share at the de Young, other local venues, and online.
Lexa Walsh is collaborating with Oakland Museum of California and cultural workers from local institutions large and small, as well as individual artists and archivists to develop a process-oriented map and archive of remarkable and sometimes underrepresented Bay Area art projects, venues, and opportunities, both institutional and DIY, as well as local organizations’ existing archives. As funding becomes tighter, we are seeing archives reprioritized. What does an archive mean to each of us? What tools do we use? How is it shared? What is its afterlife?
The project’s goals are to preserve & promote local culture, create networks among organizations, share practices among organizations & the public, expand ideas of what an archive can be, curate, organize & create a taxonomy from archived materials and ephemera, locate and legitimize under-recognized activities, and propose more public access to archives, offering valuable resources to local artists, scholars and the general public. As the project is collaborative and research-driven, it ultimately opens itself to discovery.
Walsh’s process includes research, roundtable discussions, interviews, and site visits to existing archives. With information in hand, Walsh is developing an online map and, yes, archive, of her collective findings, along with an exhibition of the work in progress in May 2014 at the deYoung’s Kimball Education Gallery. This month will feature public workshops and events with professionals about research, archiving and resource-sharing, connecting the deYoung and the public with the current, past and future art & cultural scene.