Exhibiting Artists: Johanna Poethig and VPA (Visual and Public Art Dept.) CSU Monterey Bay, Eliza Barrios, Binh Danh, Lola Remedios Felias, Kija Lucas, Hector Dionicio Mendoza, Angelica Muro, Anne Perez, Delfina Piretti, Jadelynn Stahl, and Jenifer Wofford

Recent Press for Songs for Women Living with War: Read full Hyperallergic article.

Artist Johanna Poethig is the curator of a “Living Memorial” and anti-war monument to open at Pro Arts in the form of an installation and series of public workshops, presentations, performances and discussions, entitled “Songs for Women Living with War.” This is the second iteration of “Songs for Women Living with War.” Three academic departments at Cal State Monterey Bay joined forces in Spring 2016 to present “Songs for Women Living with War,” a series of public art installations, performances and discussions. Events at Cal State Monterey Bay included Claudia Bernardi who works in the fields of art, human rights and social justice, Gwyn Kirk (Women for Genuine Security), Deborah Pembrook (Coalition to End Human Trafficking) and Lila Ramos Shahani, former Assistant Secretary head of communications of the Human Development and Poverty Cabinet Cluster of the Republic of the Philippines and Spokesperson against Human Trafficking.

“I picked this theme because there are so many public memorials that commemorate wars, victors – primarily men. Though women suffer so much in conflict, there are hardly any public sites that acknowledge this,” said artist and curator Johanna Poethig.

“The inspiration was the work of writer M. Evelina Galang, who has documented the testimonies of the World War II comfort women in the Philippines,” Poethig added. “This issue is still relevant in that the comfort women in South Korea and the Philippines want an apology from the Japanese government, which they still have not received to their satisfaction.”

“Songs of Women Living with War” installation and anti-war memorial on view at Pro Arts consists of three walls forming an open house structure, which incorporates elements from the traditional architecture and materials used to build Philippine’s nipa huts.  The central wall spells out Songs for Women Living With War.  The woven textile wall, based on banig or mat designs is draped with the words of war accounts collected from multiples sources. The third wall comes alive with the sound of voices, stories and songs, collected from Lolas (Pilipino for Grandmother) and from past events that took place during the first iteration of “Songs with Women Living with War” at the Visual and Public Art Department, CSU, Monterey Bay in Spring 2016.

Read Dr. Kathryn Poethig’s essay on the project here: Songs For Women Living With War.

“Songs for Women Living with War” project is created in conjunction with the Visual and Public Art program at CSU, Monterey Bay. With special acknowledgment of VPA alumni John Elliott, Elgene Tumacder and Roxana Keland, and VPA faculty Angelica Muro, Dionicio Mendoza and Stephanie Johnson.

“Songs for Women Living with War” at Pro Arts is made possible in part with funds by the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, the Clorox Company Foundation, the W & F Hewlett Foundation,  the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Fleishhacker Foundation.


The consequences of poverty, conflict and sexual violence and how to organize against it and create works of art and creative actions will be explored at these events:

Opening Reception & Performance
Saturday, October 8, 2016 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm | Pro Arts Gallery

The opening reception for “Songs for Women Living With War” features a reading by Evelina Galang and performance by Jadelynn Stahl with Lydia Greer.

Women for Genuine Security Event & Workshop 
Saturday, October 15, 2016 | 2:00 – 4:30 pm | Pro Arts Gallery

In conjunction with the “Songs for Women Living With War”exhibition, this event features musical performances by Vân-Ánh Võ and Theresa Wong, and presentations by members of Women for Genuine Security on the subject of military violence against women.

Closing Reception & Special Program
Saturday, November 12, 2016 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm | Pro Arts Gallery

The exhibition “Songs for Women Living With War” closes with an evening of performances by Rhodessa Jones, Theresa Wong, WIGband, and Evelie Delfino Såles Posch.



Eliza Barrios
Eliza Barrios is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work ranges from installation, performative to new media art which draws from her background as a queer American Filipina. Barrios is inspired by her fervent curiosity of how ephemeral space is perceived in relation to systems of belief. Barrios’ work has been exhibited at museums, film festivals, and new media festivals internationally and domestically, including the Optica Festival (Gijón, Spain), New Forms Festival (Vancouver, Canada), International Turin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art (Oahu, Hawaii) and Mag:Net: Gallery – Katinpunan (Manila, Philippines). Barrios holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A. from Mills College. She has received an Honorary Fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Barrios is also a member of Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. have been scheming, entertaining and creating together for more than 10 years. Their work ranges from video, performative to public art. Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. have shown in various museums, galleries and film festivals including the DeYoung Museum (San Francisco, CA), the Mix Festival (New York, NY), SF International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (San Francisco CA) and the Luggage Store Gallery (San Francisco, CA).

Binh Danh
Binh Danh received his MFA from Stanford University in 2004 and has emerged as an artist of national importance with work that investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war, both in Viet Nam and Cambodia—work that, in his own words, deals with “mortality, memory, history, landscape, justice, evidence, and spirituality.” His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis. His newer body of work focuses on the daguerreotype process.

His work has been included in important exhibitions at museums across the country, as well as in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Corcoran Art Gallery, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the M.H. de Young Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the George Eastman House, and the National Gallery of Art. In 2012, he was a featured artist at the 18th Biennale of Sydney in Australia. He is represented by Haines Gallery in San Francisco, CA and Lisa Sette Gallery in Phoenix, AZ.

Lola Remedios Felias
Remedios Felias was born in 1928, Espermanza, Burauen Village of Leyte, in the Philippines.  When she was fourteen, Japanese Military invaded her village and she was taken to become a Comfort Woman to give sexual service the Japanese soldiers.  She was rescued at the end of the war; and married at the age of nineteen.

However, when her husband learned of her experience as a sex slave their marriage fell apart. Leaving her hometown, she went to Manila where she married once more and had four children by her second husband who died after a brief marriage. Struggling to make ends meet she raised the children herself until she met her third husband.  In response to an appeal by LILA Pilipina in 1993, Lola Remedios openly gave witness to her experience as a Comfort Woman.  She joined those struggling for an official apology and individual compensation from the Japanese Government. She passed away without this ever becoming a reality.  She was an artist who created these quilts telling her story by her own hand.

Kija Lucas
Kija Lucas is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage and inheritance. She is interested in how ideas are passed down and seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006 and her MFA from Mills College in 2010. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area at The Headlands Center for the Arts, The California Institute of Integral Studies, Altar Space, Intersection for the Arts, Luggage Store, Mission Cultural Center, Root Division, The Bedford Gallery, Pro Arts, The Asian Resource Center Gallery, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lucas Has been an Artist in Residence at The Lucas Artists Residency at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Bunker Projects, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency.

Dionicio Mendoza
Dionicio Mendoza was born in Uruapan, Michoacan, México in 1969. As a young child, Mendoza spent a great deal of time after school playing with his friends and selling Chiclets in the town’s plaza. There amongst the musicians, merolicos (street venders), fortunetellers and beggars, Mendoza developed a deep sense of awareness and observation, which he believes, influenced his artistic career. At the age of twelve Mendoza, along with his family, immigrated to the small town of King City in California. After graduating from High School with honors he was awarded a scholarship to attend California Polytechnical University where he studied graphic design. His interest in graphic design led him to study fine arts at California College of the Arts where he graduated magna cum laude with a BFA degree. Following his studies, he was awarded a six-month residency in Switzerland. In 2003, Mendoza was one of four artists awarded the highly competitive Eureka Fellowship by the Fleishhacker Foundation. The Di Rosa Art Preserve of Napa, The Swagger Group of New York, and La Corporation Jimenez of Mexico hold Mendoza’s work in their permanent collections. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico.

Dionicio Mendoza takes an ethno-botanist approach to art making, his most recent body of work, “White Wilderness”, explores the intersection of photography, drawing, digital printing, landscape, race, privilege and belonging.

His works offer a counter narrative to the view of “wilderness” as a pristine sanctuary, separate from human civilization. Embedded in many of his haunting images are spiders’ webs- symbols of danger and threat- as well elements associated with urban street life like fire-arms and car tires. Descriptions of “wilderness” often overlook the complex historical relationship between landscape and people of color. Mendoza’s “wilderness” are unsafe spaces, were historically, people of color have been murdered, kidnapped, hung and raped.

Angelica Muro
Angelica Muro received a MFA degree from Mills College in 2005, and a BA in Photography from San Jose State University in 1998. Recent exhibitions include Photo ID, Santa Cruz Museum of Art, Chico & Chang: A Look at the Impact of Latino and Asian Cultures on California’s Visual Landscape, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, Chica\Chic: La Nueva Onda/The New Wave of Chicana Art, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, You’re Breathing in It: Exploring the Studio and Alternative Art Strategies, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA, Domestic Disobedience, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, CA, and Better to Die on My Feet, Self-Help Graphics, Los Angeles, CA.  She is the recipient of the Herringer Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Art and the Trefethen Merit Award. Muro’s curatorial projects have been awarded grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation through the Creative Capacity Fund, the James Irvine Foundation for Intersections, and Adobe Youth Voices.  She is co-founder, principal, and curator of Space 47 projects, and is an assistant professor of Integrated Media and Photography at California State University, Monterey Bay and Chair of the department of Visual and Public Art.

Delfina Piretti
Delfina Piretti MA, LMFT, REAT is a body mind healing practitioner who is an all time believer in the power of the arts. She has been licensed since 1986. In her private practice she blends somatically oriented psychotherapy with the expressive arts, dream analysis, generative hypnotherapy, energy work, Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices. In her work in the community over the years Delfina has pioneered innovative programs such as Project Sanctuary (one of the first battered women’s shelter in Northern California), SAGE (an agency designed for women traumatized from prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation) where she was the first Clinical Director. Delfina created and implemented expressive arts therapy groups in jails for seven years and integrated expressive arts into an elementary school violence prevention program. She has done two public art projects with The Sage Project and incarcerated women through the S.F. Arts Commission in collaboration with artist Johanna Poethig. Delfina is adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, S.F. for 12 years where she teaches expressive arts therapy and group supervision.  As a studio artist she does oil painting and interactive installations such as: Dream Repository Tent,The Sin Eater Cafe and Tabula Rasa Confessional. Delfina’s art directly relates to her work as a psychotherapist, her interest in the creative process, human emotions, shamanism and Zen Buddhism. Most recently her Sin Eater Interactive sculpture was the exhibit Left Coast at The Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco.

Anne Perez
Anne Perez is a composer of new music that bears primitive and modern elements. She has a background in music composition, computer engineering and electronic music from the University of the Philippines, Dartmouth College and Mills College. Anne Perez is a sound artist, composer and technologist.

As a sound artist, she weaves and sculpts sounds to create sonic environments and soundscapes that engage and expand audience imagination, memory and emotions. As a composer of new music, her current writing uses modular technique and other new ways to create an open interactive structure. Her works seek to provide ways to engage performers and audience, invite them to contribute by adding sounds, manipulating interactive elements, etc. to affect the soundscape or music and enhance their musical experience. As a technologist, she works as a developer of business tools that creates better experience and efficiency at work. She has also developed pro-audio hardware and software products for music making in the 21st century.

Johanna Poethig
Johanna Poethig’s work crosses public and private realms. She has exhibited her paintings, sculpture, public art works, murals, installations and video internationally.  Poethig works with other artists, architects, planners, curators and specific communities on social and artistic interventions in our shared spaces. She produces and participates in performance events that mix feminism, global politics, cabaret, experimental music and video. Poethig’s recent exhibits include Transi(en)t Manila, a site specific project that brought artists from all over Southeast Asia, EARTH residency at Krowswork in Oakland, “Glamorgeddon: The Spectacle” at SOMArts Gallery and Artisterium, the annual international contemporary art exhibition in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. She has exhibited at the Luggage Store Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Togonon Gallery, New Langton Arts, Manilatown Art Center Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, the SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery, Mills Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum, Berkeley Art Center, SF Galeria de la Raza, Headlands Center for the Arts and Mag:net Gallery in Manila. She is currently Lead Artist for a new 9-mile transit corridor of integrated public art work for AC Transit in the East Bay. She produced the Cab Top Art Ads that were seen throughout the Bay Area on taxis with The Sage Project (an agency designed for women traumatized from prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation) and a series of posters for Art on Market Street program with incarcerated women in the San Francisco Jail through the San Francisco Arts Commission in collaboration with Delfina Piretti. Poethig received her MFA at Mills College and is a professor at the Visual and Public Art department at California State University, Monterey Bay. She grew up in the Philippines and lives in Oakland, California.

Jadelynn Stahl
Stahl is an interdisciplinary performance artist, activist and organizer. Fusing elements of durational art, video, ritual and burlesque, her work seeks to centralize and complicate socially prevalent narratives concerning systemic cultures of violence, in particular gender-based violence and forced assimilation. Stahl offers her body as a site of artistic investigation, exploring somatic and psychological expression in relation to legacies of trauma as well as cultural, racial and sexual identities.

Stahl’s artistic work has been shown both domestically and internationally in museums, festivals and performance venues including Fort Mason Center (San Francisco, CA), Galería de la Raza (San Francisco, CA), Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco, CA), the Camden People’s Theater (London, England), Kaliedeskop PsK2 Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark) and as part of the 2016 Hemispheric Institute Encuentro in Santiago, Chile. As a artist and community organizer, Stahl works collaboratively to incite dialogues which contribute to the movement to end sexual assault. In the Bay Area, she has organized with Slutwalk SF, Women Organized to Resist and Defend, La Casa de las Madres and the Berkeley Coalition Against Sexual Violence, among others. Nationally, she is working with the art-activist effort FORCE, helping to organize the 2018 culminating display of the Monument Quilt, a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. In addition, she is the founder and lead coordinator of DISCLOSE, an Oakland-based collective of artists and educators committed to organizing arts-based community engagement in the eradication of sexual violence.

Jenifer Wofford
Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in San Francisco. Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. Wofford received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her MFA from UC Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited locally at the Berkeley Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, and Frey Norris Gallery, nationally at New Image Art (LA), Thirtyninehotel (Honolulu), De Paul Museum (Chicago), Wing Luke Museum (Seattle), and internationally at Manila Contemporary (Philippines), Valentine Willie Fine Art (Kuala Lumpur), and Osage Gallery (Hong Kong).

Wofford has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room (Philippines), Solyst AIR (Denmark), Liguria Study Center (Italy) and Chateau de la Napoule (France). Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship, the Murphy Fellowship, the SFBG Goldie Award, and grants from CCI, the Art Matters Foundation and UCIRA. Wofford is senior adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco and UC Berkeley. She is also 1/3 of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B.


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