Dewey Crumpler to Exhibit at SFAI 150: A Spirit of Disruption

Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle , March 5, 2021

In celebration of the San Francisco Art Institute’s 150th anniversary, curators Margaret Tedesco and Leila Weefur have assembled the new exhibition “A Spirit of Disruption,” a show that highlights artists and communities who have been previously overlooked in narratives about the school.


The exhibit, on view starting Friday, March 19, includes work from more than 30 alumni and faculty members dating from the 1960s to now. Among those highlighted are Filipino American painter Leo Valledor, whose “Ghost Ring” was a part of the artist’s East-West Series exhibited at SFMOMA in 1971 and at SFAI the same year; artist Cathy Lu, who plans to contribute a large-scale hanging installation titled “Customs Declaration”; and Mexican artist Miguel Calderón, who will showcase the film work “Pantalla hipnótica.”


Also on view will be Polaroids from the collection of Jay DeFeo, and 20 graphite drawings by Frederick Hayes that illustrate the artist’s ongoing exploration of African American portraiture. The exhibition also features work by Dewey Crumpler, Mildred Howard, Toba Khedoori, Xylor Jane, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and others.

Promising to be among the most touching highlights of the show is a section dedicated to artist and model Florence “Flo” Wysinger Allen. Allen was a civil rights activist and the subject of countless paintings, sculptures and drawings made at the school from 1933 until 1997.


Tedesco and Weefur also collaborated on a 10-episode podcast and web series, set to launch the same day as the show’s opening, detailing the process of creating the exhibition and their search through the school’s vast archives.