Art of the State Symposium

Monterey Museum of Art’s annual Art of the State Symposium gathers artists, scholars, and relevant stakeholders to discuss important topics of California Art.

2022: Critical Issues in California’s AAPI Arts Communities

2022: Critical Issues in California’s AAPI Arts Communities

Leading artists, historians, and curators gathered online for the fourth annual Art of the State symposium on February 5, 2022 to share their experiences regarding critical issues that impact Asian-American/Pacific Islander communities.

Thank you to the speakers, presenters and sponsors for making the event possible. 


Nancy Hom (she/her) is an award-winning artist, writer, curator, and arts consultant. Born in Toisan, China and raised in New York City, she has been an influential leader in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene since 1974. Over the years, Nancy has created many iconic images for community cultural events and political and social causes. Through her posters, poetry, illustrations, installations, large-scale mandalas, and curatorial work, Nancy has used the arts to affirm the histories, struggles, and contributions of communities of color. She has also nurtured the creative and organizational growth of over a dozen Bay Area arts organizations. Nancy served as Executive Director for the Kearny Street Workshop, an Asian American arts organization, from 1995 to 2003.

Eryn Kimura (she, they) is a mixed media artist based in San Francisco. She considers her work visual symphonies, composed of collaged fragments from print media and found ephemera. Her work scrutinizes mechanisms of hegemony in visual culture and memory, adopting the process of collage to reimagine and archive her ancestral pasts and futures. Eryn Kimura was born and raised in San Francisco, on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone land. She is a fifth generation Japanese and Chinese American, via Hawai’i and California. She has lived and worked in Kyoto, Japan and Paris, France. When she is not collaging, she is writing in her notebook with a fine-tip pen, whale-watching, or baking French pastries.

Rachel Poonsiriwong (she/her) is an independent curator and product designer researching trauma, ritual, and shamanism in diasporic cultures. She has worked with galleries and organizations like Root Division, the Asian American Women Artists Association, SOMArts, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries. Through her curatorial practice, Rachel nurtures vulnerable, inquisitive, and accessible spaces for community healing. Rachel studied Interaction Design and the History of Art and Visual Culture at the California College of the Arts, where she graduated with High Distinction and All College Honors. 

Kim Kanatani (she/her) is an internationally renowned museum educator, scholar, and collaborative arts producer. Before joining the University of California, Irvine as the inaugural museum director of the UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum for California Art in September 2019, the native Californian was director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim. At the heart of her professional practice is collaborating with artists to develop new forms of public engagement programs that address important social values.

Nguyen Ly (he/him) is a multimedia artist and art educator with expertise in numerous printmaking techniques, as well as drawing, sculpture, and collage. He is a member of the multicultural printmaking group Lynk Collective. His work has been exhibited throughout California and in locales as diverse as Springfield, Missouri, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Nguyen was born in Saigon and raised in Los Angeles. He is especially attuned to the cultural mix that makes his adopted hometown of L.A. so rich – and to the pressures faced by so many first- and second-generation Americans.

Keynote Speaker

Susette Min (she/her) is a curator, writer, and Associate Professor at the University of California, Davis where she teaches Asian American Studies, art history, and cultural studies. She has curated for Asia Society, Whitney Museum of American Art, apexart, Berkeley Art Museum, Blaffer Art Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and Drawing Center in New York City where she served as Associate Curator before coming to UC Davis. Susette is also an accomplished author. Her first book, Unnamable Encounters: The Ends of Asian American Art (NYU, 2018), received critical acclaim, and she has published in numerous publications, including Panorama, Trans-Asia Photography Review, Art Journal, Amerasia Journal and the Journal of Asian American Studies. She is currently working on a book about art, immigration, and terrorism.

The advisory committee for this event included; Curator Lance Fung, SFSU Asian American Art History professor and Ph.D academic Santhi Kavuri-Bauer, MMA Collections and Exhibitions Assistant Noelani Castro, and Ph.D academic in visual art and anthropology, Lydia Nakashima Degarrod.

The symposium marked the culmination of MMA’s exhibition Shadows from the Past: Sansei Artists and American Concentration Camps. Curated by Gail Enns, the exhibition explored the work of Sansei artists (third-generation Japanese American artists) whose works confront the injustice of U.S. Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the forced relocation and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

Thank you to our program supporters!
This program was made possible by a grant from the Arts Council for Monterey County–thanks to support by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.
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This program was also made possible with the support of Hayashi Wayland, Central Coast Full Service Accounting Firm. 

2021: Change=Action/Time: Generational Activism in Chicanx and Latinx Art

2021: Change=Action/Time: Generational Activism in Chicanx and Latinx Art

Participants joined Latinx and Chicanx artists and scholars including MacArthur Fellow Amalia Mesa-Bains, Ph.D., renowned collector Armando Durón, and internationally recognized Chicana artist Dr. Judith F. Baca  for personal accounts, live Q & A, and a live panel discussion with presenters, moderated by Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D. MMA was also proud to welcome United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera as the invocation speaker for this year’s Art of the State Symposium. The Symposium coincided with the Califas exhibition opening January 8, in partnership with Museo Eduardo Carrillo. Califas artists hosted the morning discussion about generational experiences and activism in and around the Monterey Bay Crescent. 

Thank you to our sponsors House of 8 Media and Museo Eduardo Carrillo

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

Este proyecto fue posible con el apoyo de California Humanities, un asociado sin fines de lucro del National Endowment for the Humanities. Visite



View Full Symposium Program

Participating Speakers and Panelists

Land Acknowledgement 

DeLanna Studi, Artistic Director, Native Voices at the Autry Museum of the American West


Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate

Revisit MMA’s third annual Art of the State Symposium “Change = Action/Time: Generational Activism in Chicanx and Latinx Art”

Click here for all Symposium videos


Image: Califas Legacy Project, Victor Cervantes and Irene O’Connell

2020: California Community: Artist Colonies and Collectives Past, Present, and Future

2020: California Community: Artist Colonies and Collectives Past, Present, and Future

Participating Speakers and Panelists

Susan M. Andersen Independent Curator and Art Historian Borderline Collective
Jeff Gunderson Adjunct Faculty and Librarian San Francisco Art Institute 
Robert Pierce Independent Curator and Art Historian
Berit Potter, Ph.D.

2019: Women Who Changed California Clay

2019: Women Who Changed California Clay

Participating Speakers and Panelists

Martha Drexler Lynn Ph.D., Curator/Art Historian 
Cynthia de Bos Manager of Collections Artists’ Legacy Foundation 
Leslie Ferrin Director of Ferrin Contemporary Gallery