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Monuments and Ruins: Sculpture Workshop with Maryam Yousif and Nick Makanna

Programmed by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

Our national, personal, and historical understandings of both place and ourselves are often interwoven with architectural markers. Using air-dry clay and gouache, we will explore the construction of identity, history, and nationhood through the lens of architectural monuments and ruins. Creating miniature versions of both real and imagined places allows us to meditate on the many ways these spaces linger within our personal and collective memory, while also imagining the kinds of places we would like to see in the world.

Nick Makanna is a San Francisco–based artist who creates looming ceramic sculptures that evoke a sense of dusty empires, decaying monuments, and fragile landscapes. These precarious structures are inspired as much by the Bay Area’s rich ceramic tradition and ever-changing landscapes as they are by an end-of-days anxiety that accompanies our impending political and environmental crises. He has exhibited most recently as part of BAMPFA’s Way Bay exhibition, and at Bay Area galleries including Guerrero Gallery, the Richmond Art Center, and Alter Space. Makanna received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Maryam Yousif is an Oakland-based artist working in ceramics, painting, and instillation. She received her BA in visual arts from the University of Windsor in Canada and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is inspired by American and Iraqi kitsch and pop aesthetics alongside ancient forms and structures particular to Mesopotamia. She has exhibited at R/SF Projects (San Francisco), Brilliant Champions Gallery (Brooklyn), CTRL+SHFT collective (Oakland), and Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco). She is a member of CTRL+SHFT Collective.