During Summer 2023, BACC Hosted ArtTable Fellow Yaning Xing. Yaning is an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst, working across the mediums of painting, drawing, and installation. In this guest blog, she reflects on her experience and work as an ArtTable Fellow.
The ArtTable National Fellowship program provides quality real work experiences and mentorship to women-identifying and non-binary emerging professionals from backgrounds generally underrepresented in the visual arts. Thanks to ArtTable for the fellowship support; it was a pleasure to have Yaning as part of #TeamBACC.
My Journey at BACC
By Yaning Jing, Summer 2023 ArtTable Fellow
After (well, maybe not entirely "post") Covid, it feels like a dream to once again embark on adventures and explore the world. My summer kicked off with an amazing opportunity – the ArtTable fellowship with Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC).
Having previously interned at Archival Matters for a year, the ArtTable fellowship at BACC presented me with an incredible chance to deepen my knowledge of art conservation. It also opened my eyes to a whole new dynamic between conservators and artists.
During my fellowship, I joined forces with the BACC team to conduct audience research. We aimed to uncover the conservation needs of San Diego artists to help inform future workshops focused on preservation education for artists. It was immensely satisfying to put my teaching skills to good use here!
Our journey took us to local art institutions and artists' studios, where I engaged in meaningful conversations with artists, institutions, collectors, conservators, and educators – each with their unique perspectives and roles in the art world. But what became clear is that there is a wealth of information and knowledge we can share within the art community to enhance the art ecosystem.
BACC is dedicated to tearing down the barriers that have traditionally separated conservators from artists. Through their innovative series of workshops, artists at any stage will be able to gain insights into the materials they use, understand how the environment impacts their work, and discover ways to extend the lifespan of their art.
As someone who straddles both worlds, I am thrilled to have learned about the art-making process from a conservation/preservation perspective. The knowledge I've gained is not only enriching my studio practice but also helping me to think about my future role in the art community. BACC's commitment to connecting and sharing resources serves as a role model for me as I aspire to contribute more to my art communities.
Keep exploring and creating!
The Balboa Art Conservation Center's newest initiative, Preserve Community Art! was created as part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to protect important cultural heritage. Through this program BACC provides pro bono art conservation services for culturally significant works that emerge from community-led movements in the San Diego area.
Here is just some of the press coverage that resulted from the program's announcement:
ABC10 News: "Some San Diego County Organizations to Preserve Artwork Following Protests"
Art Daily: "BACC Announces Program to Protect and Elevate Artwork from Social Justice Movements"
KPBS: "Local Art Conservators To Preserve Protest Art"
KUSI: "Balboa Art Conservation Center Begins Social Justice Art Preservation Program"
San Diego Union Tribune: "Column: Why the Balboa Park Conservation Center Thinks Protest Art is Worth Protecting"
Times of San Diego: "George Floyd Murals, Similar Works Sought by Balboa Art Conservation Center"
Learn more about the Preserve Community Art! program by visiting its webpage here.
"The artworks are beloved by that community and the artwork was saved by that community" Dana Springs, executive director of the City of San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture (in 2014) said, referencing the paintings, murals, and other work from Aztec Brewing's rathskeller now housed at the Logan Heights Library.
In the late 80s, a group of concerned artists and citizens convinced the city to take ownership of these historic pieces after discovering that the building that once housed Aztec Brewery, a former gathering place in San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood, was to be demolished. Decades later, the city received a grant to help with their restoration, and after months of work by BACC's team, they can now be viewed at the Logan Heights Library.
Browse the collection of articles below to learn more about the amazing history of Aztec Brewery and BACC's role in treating this collection: