Ep 72: Kija Lucas on using art to challenge what we think to be true
Kija Lucas is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area using photography to explore ideas of home, heritage, and inheritance. She’s interested in how ideas are passed down and how seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations.
Her work has been exhibited at Oakland Museum of California, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francico Arts Commission Galleries, California Institute of Integral Studies, Palo Alto Arts Center, Intersection for the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, and Root Division, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Kija has been an Artist in Residence at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency. She’s a member of 3.9 Art Collective and the Curatorial Council at Southern Exposure. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Mills College.
Kija is also the program manager at The Growlery, an SF-based artist residency where I had the pleasure of meeting, living, and becoming friends with her. In this conversation, Kija and I talk about her current bodies of work, her creative process in photography and scans, her unique journey to identifying as an artist, how what we’re taught about history is bullshit, knowing when to end a project, and more.
In this episode, we talk about:
- in search of home – work about how different branches of her family have experienced the country in very different ways
- how scanning is a call back to cyanotypes and other traditional art forms
- starting with serious rules for herself she then soon breaks
- mixing in long-term projects into her every day
- the collections from sundown project and how it helped her process her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s
- the ethics of photographing people
- how her work speaks to the invention of race and categorization
- different ways to conceptualize work base on perspective
- how everybody is a part of history
- knowing when to end a project, pause it, or pick it back up
- creativity as a form of figuring out how to communicate with people
- the details of her job as a program manager for The Growlery
- advice for young and emerging artists
- Kija’s website
- Kija on Instagram
- The Growlery
- Anna Atkins
- SF Arts Commission Gallery
- Southern Exposure
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