Events , San Francisco

Eccentric Conversations with the Emerging Scholars Program

Sienna Freeman, Elena Gross, and Anthea Black in conversation with the work of Ad Minoliti. Moderated by Kim Anno.

Art History often fails to acknowledge—and at times actively erases—the relationships, networks, and eccentric circles of influence that form the background of feminist and queer artists’ lives. Social exchanges, affiliations, alliances, amorous bonds, and even chance encounters that hold great meaning remain invisible in the face of “finished” artworks, exhibitions, and the history books. While developing The Feminist School of Painting at KADIST, artist Ad Minoliti embarked on a dialogue with many Bay Area artists and writers, including Sienna Freeman, Elena Gross, Anthea Black, and Kim Anno. Eccentric Conversations opens their exchange through a series of short, commissioned presentations, an open forum, and the presentation of a new zine to mark the occasion.

This event is an incarnation of the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), which brings together recent graduates in the disciplines of fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and environmental design whose work explores gender identity and issues relevant to queer and trans people of color. In collaboration with Bay Area nonprofit, community-based arts, and social service organizations, the program hosts conversations that bring local perspective and develop a network of queer scholars and like-minded partners.

Co-presented by KADIST and the San Francisco Queer Cultural Center.


Elena Gross is an independent writer and cultural critic. She specializes in representations of identity through fine art, photography, and popular media. Elena is the host of the arts & visual culture podcast, what are you looking at, published by Art Practical. Her most recent research centers on the work of artist Lorna Simpson and conceptual and material abstractions of the body in photography.

Sienna Freeman is a San Francisco–based visual artist and writer, hailing from New York state and Philadelphia. Her visual work has been exhibited across the United States, and internationally in Switzerland, London, Belgium, and Canada. Her written work has been published in DailyServing, Art Practical, and California College of the Arts’ Sightlines journal. Freeman earned an MA in Visual & Critical Studies and an MFA in Fine Art from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Anthea Black is a Canadian artist, writer, and cultural worker. Her studio work addresses feminist and queer history, collaboration, materiality, and labor and has exhibited internationally, and most recently with the publication of The HIV Howler: Transmitting Art and Activism, an artist newspaper in collaboration with Jessica Whitbread. She is an Assistant Professor in Printmedia and Graduate Fine Arts at California College of the Arts.

Kim Anno is a painter, photographer, book artist, and filmmaker/video artist whose work has been exhibited and collected by museums nationally and internationally, including SFMOMA, the Brooklyn Museum, Honolulu Museum, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Oakland Museum, Getty Research Institute. Anno has been at work on an epic social practice filmmaking project, Men and Women In Water Cities, made with local actors and citizens in coastal communities who are grappling with sea level rise.