BAMPFA to Honor Lynn Hershman Leeson and Sky Hopinka at 2024 Art and Film Benefit


Third Annual Celebration Will Be Held at BAMPFA on Saturday, March 9


(Berkeley, CA) October 26, 2023—The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) announced today that its 2024 fundraising benefit will pay tribute to Lynn Hershman Leeson and Sky Hopinka, two creative visionaries who have made indelible impacts on the fields of art and film. Leeson and Hopinka will be honored at BAMPFA on Saturday, March 9, during the museum’s third annual Art and Film Benefit, an event that supports the museum’s distinctive commitment to art, film, and student engagement.

“For our third annual BAMPFA Art and Film Benefit, I’m thrilled that we'll be celebrating the achievements of Lynn Hershman Leeson and Sky Hopinka, two pioneering figures whose work has meaningfully impacted audiences around the world—including here at BAMPFA,” said BAMPFA’s Executive Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm. “Lynn's practice of exploring feminism and new technologies has been astonishingly prescient and highly influential for decades. Likewise, Sky Hopinka has led a younger generation of moving image artists in imagining new forms of expression, with a focus on landscape, language, and historical memory. As a museum that is uniquely dedicated to both art and film, it’s especially exciting for us to honor two individuals whose groundbreaking work straddles both gallery and cinematic settings.”

The 2024 benefit marks the third installment of BAMPFA’s new model for its annual fundraising gala. Last year’s event honored the filmmaker and multimedia artist Cauleen Smith and the conceptual artist and photographer Catherine Wagner. That event raised $750,000 from a generous community of more than 250 friends and supporters, including Alexandra Bowes and Stephen Williamson, J. K. Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Penny Cooper and Rena Rosenwasser, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Maryellen Herringer, Michael Rubel and Kristin Rey, Komal Shah, Sharon and Julie Simpson, and Roselyne Chroman Swig; as well as a number of Bay Area artists, including Sadie Barnett, Judith Belzer, Adrian Burrell, Dewey Crumpler, Hal Fischer, Liz Hernandez and Ryan Whelan, Mildred Howard, Sahar Khoury, Kija Lucas, George McCalman, Masako Miki, Gay Outlaw, Ronald Rael, Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg, Miriam Klein Stahl and Lena Wolff, Tabitha Soren, Lava Thomas, and Leila Weefur, along with the 2021 Art and Film Benefit honorees Amalia Mesa-Bains and Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Proceeds from the Art and Film Benefit support the full scope of BAMPFA’s mission, with a particular focus on the museum’s student engagement programs. As the premier visual arts center at the nation’s top public research university, BAMPFA has a deep commitment to serving UC Berkeley students through educational, programmatic, and professional development opportunities—including its work study program, the largest of its kind on the UC Berkeley campus. Students are an indispensable part of both the staff and audience at BAMPFA and are critical to advancing the museum’s mission of igniting community engagement through art and film. More information about the 2024 Art and Film Benefit will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit for the latest updates.


About the Honorees

Lynn Hershman Leeson

San Francisco-based artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to media art and film. A central figure in the Bay Area arts community since the 1960s, she has consistently worked with the latest technologies—from Artificial Intelligence to DNA programming—to investigate some of the most important social and political issues of our time. For over five decades, she has mined the ever-intertwined relationships between technology and the self, illuminating the impact of scientific advances and social movements on our everyday lives. Her wide-ranging and category-defying work in drawing, sculpture, video, photography, performance, and interactive and net-based media, address themes of identity construction, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against political oppression.

Hershman Leeson has a long history with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive—from her 1972 exhibition “Completed Fragments,” to many group exhibitions, public events, and film screenings. Her recent solo exhibition, “Twisted,” at the New Museum, New York was curated by BAMPFA Chief Curator Margot Norton. Other recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medietechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel. Her work is featured in museum collections around the world, including BAMPFA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Zentrum für Kunst und Medietechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and many others. Her recent film, Logic Paralyzes the Heart (2021) was awarded a special mention for her participation in the fifty-ninth Venice Biennale The Milk of Dreams, and she is the recipient of numerous awards including a VIA Art Fund Award, a Siggraph Lifetime Achievement Award, the College Art Association’s Distinguished Feminist Award, the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award from the sixtieth International Film Festival, and a United States Artist Fellowship, among others. Leeson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009. Her forthcoming solo exhibitions include Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf and OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Austria, curated by Alfred Weidinger.

Sky Hopinka

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and nonfiction forms of media. 

His work has played at various festivals including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Courtisane Festival, Punto de Vista, and the New York Film Festival. His work was a part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2018 FRONT Triennial and Prospect.5 in 2021. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and participated in Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He has had a solo exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, in 2020 and in 2022 at LUMA in Arles, France. He is the recipient of the Infinity Award in Art from the International Center and the Alpert Award for Film/Video and fellowships including The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Art Matters, The Guggenheim Foundation, and The Forge Project. In the fall of 2022, Hopinka received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work as a visual artist and filmmaker.


One of the nation’s leading university museums, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a forum for cultural experiences that transform individuals and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. As the premier visual arts venue at the top U.S. public research university, BAMPFA is uniquely dedicated to art and film in equal measure. Its annual program encompasses exhibitions, screenings, and public programs that connect visitors from campus, across the Bay Area, and beyond with the leading artists and filmmakers of our time.

BAMPFA takes a contemporary and critical perspective on its wide-ranging collections. The museum’s holdings of more than 25,000 works of art include particular strengths in 20th- and 21st-century work, including Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, conceptual art, and African American quilts, along with focused historical collections of 19th-century American folk art and early American painting, Italian Baroque painting, Old Master works on paper, and East Asian paintings. BAMPFA’s collection also includes more than 18,000 films and videos, representing the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan and impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, and seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film.

Founded as the University Art Museum in 1970 and initially housed in a Brutalist structure designed by Mario Ciampi, BAMPFA relocated in 2016 to a new facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in the heart of downtown Berkeley, where it has become an anchor for the city’s flourishing arts district. The museum’s curatorial strategies reflect the rich diversity of the UC Berkeley campus and the greater Bay Area through programming that is interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and international in scope. A locally connected, globally relevant institution, BAMPFA is deeply dedicated to its role as an educational space for UC Berkeley scholars and the general public. It fulfills this mission with three distinguished study centers—the James Cahill Asian Art Study Center, the Film Library and Study Center, and the Florence Helzel Works on Paper Study Center—as well as a range of collaborations with the university’s academic departments and student organizations.

Image credits

  1. Lynn Hershman Leeson. Photography by Henny Garfunkle.
  2. Sky Hopinka. Courtesy of the artist.
Posted by afox on October 25, 2023