Back to All Events

Social Practice Panel

  • San Diego Art Institute 1439 El Prado San Diego, CA, 92101 United States (map)

The San Diego Art Institute is pleased to present a panel discussion on Social Practice on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 6pm-8pm. The event will take place at San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. Admission is $5.

What is Social Practice? A term of increasing popularity, Social Practice has become a new level of engagement for artists looking to bridge the art world and the public sphere. The notion of artists creating work outside the studio, away from institutions, and in collaboration with “community,” social practice provides opportunity to create experiences that engage the viewer as participant. Often bringing to light issues of socio-economics, culture, politics, and ecology, social practice aims to draw a connection between the artist and communities directly impacted by the modes in which these issues present themselves.

Join San Diego Art Institute as we welcome Sue Bell Yank, Noni Brynjolson, Michelada Think Tank, Betty Marin, and Michelle Montjoy.

About the Presenters:

Sue Bell Yank is a writer, producer, and arts educator. She is Director of Communications and Outreach at 18th Street Arts Center, and was formerly head of Academic Programs at the UCLA Hammer Museum. In between, e worked in online digital education for Oprah Winfrey and is dedicated to working for access to arts education for all. She has a deep­-seated investment in socially and politically-­engaged art that can be traced to her years as a public school teacher in Lynwood and South Fairfax. She is currently an advisor for the Asian Arts Initiative's Social Practice Lab and the granting organization SPArt, and is on the board of Clockshop. Her writing has been featured in exhibition catalogues, UCSD’s Social Practice journal Field, the Liverpool Biennial journal Stages, n.paradoxa feminist journal, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, the Huffington Post, KCET Artbound, and various arts blogs including her ongoing essay blog entitled Social Practice: Writings about the social in contemporary art ( She has been a lecturer at California College of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, and USC.

Michelada Think Tank (MTT) is bringing its micheladas to San Diego as part of the San Diego Art Institute residency program. Initiated in Los Angeles, a hub for People of Color (PoC) artists, activists, and educators, MTT grew out of a need for artists of color in an MFA program to support one another. We quickly realized that the issues we faced in graduate school were similar, if not the same, to issues artists of color face outside the context of the education institution. Where does “social practice” fit into our interest in activism and creative ways of change? As a group of artists of color we encourage, seek, and facilitate open forums while taking note of the way local context affects the manifestation of these issues.

Betty Marín is an artist, educator, and social justice worker from Wilmington, CA. Her work centers on creating educational spaces that encourage dialogue and solidarity between different communities. She is currently based in her home city of Los Angeles, where she’s exploring the theory and practice of popular education through puppet theatre, community oral history projects, by organizing tenants, and a participatory screening series of telenovelas.

Noni Brynjolson is a writer and curator originally from Winnipeg, Canada. Her research examines social change and use value in contemporary socially engaged art and focuses on long-term, neighborhood-based projects that claim to encourage civic participation and resist gentrification. She is a member of the editorial collective of FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism, founded by Grant Kester at UCSD, and a member of the Winnipeg Arcades Project, an art and research collective that examines local cultural histories and institutional exhibition practices. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Art History, Theory and Criticism at UCSD.

Michelle Montjoy is a multi-disciplinary artist whose recent work encompasses social practice and textile based art. A 2016 recipient of San Diego Foundation’s Creative Catalyst grant, Michelle’s project, River, brought oversized table top looms to 32 communities, engaging almost 1000 people in knitting material made from used Tshirts into yards-long forms.  The knitted work will become part of an exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art in March 2017 and all participants are credited as contributing artists. Michelle lives and works in Oceanside.  Her work has been shown at Ship in the Woods, The Athenaeum, Cannon Gallery, LinkSoul Lab, Art Produce and others.  In late spring of 2017 Michelle will be an Artist in Residence at Art Produce engaging the community in a project with funding from a California Arts Council grant.