Artist In Residence

Kimi Takesue - Fall 2023

headshot of Kimi TakesueKimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker working in documentary, narrative, and experimental genres. She is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Film. In 2018 she received a highly-competitive national “Breakthrough Award” and fellowship from Chicken and Egg Pictures for her contributions to the documentary field. Other honors include a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, two artist fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a Kodak Cinematography Fellowship, a CAAM Fellowship (Center for Asian American Media), and grants from Catapult, ITVS, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and The Arts Council of England. She is eleven-time artist fellow at Yaddo, Marblehouse, Wexner Center for the Arts, Bogliasco, and MacDowell.

Takesue’s films have screened at more than 250 film festivals and museums internationally including Sundance, Locarno, Toronto, New Directors/ New Films (MoMA & Lincoln Center), SXSW, Mar del Plata, Centre Pompidou, London’s ICA, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and have aired on PBS, IFC, Comcast, and the Sundance Channel.

About the Arts Alive Artist in Residence Program

The Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence program enlists a professional visual, literary, or performing artist to work with the entire university to celebrate our underrepresented communities. Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, the residency will contribute directly to one of the stated goals of the new Strategic Plan: “to foster and sustain an environment where all students, faculty, staff and alumni feel welcomed, supported, and valued by the university.” A key activity to fulfill this goal is to produce a broad assortment of compelling artworks that enrich our campuses and reinforce our institution’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Designed to invite everyone to participate in the creative process, the Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence program aims not merely to decorate physical sites, but to provide impactful experiences that transform our shared space and strengthen our community.

Working with Arts Alive SDSU, each Artist in Residence will engage the university and the community in the following ways: 1) deliver a public talk to introduce their work; 2) lead sessions with different academic units and student centers in critical dialogue about arts activism, identity, and diversity, especially as they relate to a specific underrepresented population; 3) participate in an interdisciplinary panel discussion with selected faculty, students, and community members; and 4) design and produce a communal event on campus (such as the unveiling of a public artwork, a performance, a film screening, a festival, etc.) that embodies themes of social justice.

If you are interested in scheduling a session with the Artist in Residence to work with your class, center, or department, please contact Arzu Ozkal, Chair of Arts Alive SDSU, at [email protected].

Dr. Herbert Siguenza

headshot of Herbert Siquenza

Herbert is a founding member of the performance group CULTURE CLASH. Along with Richard Montoya and Ric Salinas, Culture Clash is the most produced Latino theater troupe in the United States. Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Culture Clash has performed on the stages of America’s top regional theaters including the Mark Taper Forum, The Kennedy Center, The Arena Stage, The Alley Theater, The Berkeley Repertory, Yale Repertory, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, and Syracuse Stage, The Huntington Stage and countless universities and colleges. Mr. Siguenza has co-written, and or performed in the following Culture Clash plays: Bordertown Now, American Night (Commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival) ,Palestine New Mexico, Water and Power, Chavez Ravine (all three commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum) , Peace (Commissioned by The Getty Villa), Zorro in Hell! (Commissioned by the Berkeley Rep), The Birds (Commissioned by the Berkeley Rep and South Coast Rep), Bordertown (commissioned by the San Diego Rep), Radio Mambo, Nuyorican Stories, Anthems, S.O.S., A Bowl of Beings, The Mission and others.

As a solo writer and performer Mr. Siguenza has produced Cantinflas! , A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, Steal Heaven , El Henry (Best new play San Diego Critics Circle Award 2014), Manifest Destinitis, Beachtown and Bad Hombres/Good Wives.

Herbert is also an accomplished visual artist and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. He has a BFA in printmaking from the California College of Arts, Oakland, California. TV and Film credits: Ben Ten Alien Swarm for the Cartoon Network, Larry Crowne feature film directed by Tom Hanks. His voice was prominently featured in Pixar’s 2017 Oscar winning animation feature, Coco.

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Artist Talk

Herbert's Artist Talk took place on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at the Donald P. Shiley Bioscience Center. 

He discussed his 35 years of work in theatre, film, and television, focusing on how his unique perspective shaped his professional journey and how the pandemic forced him to think out of the box. Herbert also led an audience Q&A session and conversation about which critical social issues the SDSU community would like to see discussed on campus. This conversation will inform the development of a satirical television show to be created with SDSU students across the University.

A recording of the Artist Talk will be available online shortly.

Dr. Vincent Whipple

headshot of Vincent Whipple

Dr. Vincent Whipple is an American Indian performing artist and educator who has worked in Southern California tribal communities for over 30 years. He is an enrolled member of the Navajo Tribe of Arizona and is also descended from the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

Dr. Whipple has served as the Director of Tribal Relations for California State University, San Bernardino, and he has been the Artistic Director for the Wichozani Native American Dance & Theater Company, a Southern California based theater group focusing on cultural revitalization through Native music, dance, theater, and storytelling.

In September 2021, Whipple hosted an artist talk entitled Native American Arts and Advocacy: An Artist Talk to share his art and discuss the influences that shaped his work, including the intergenerational passage of Native American artistic traditions.

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Artist Talk

Native American Arts and Advocacy
Arts Alive SDSU was honored to invite the 2021-2022 Artist in Residence, Dr. Vincent Whipple, to present an Artist Talk to share his professional work as a performer and educator of Native American music and dance. With Professor Randy Reinholz, Dr. Whipple also discussed the influences that shaped his work and the culture of intergenerational passage of Native American artistic traditions. To request a session with Dr. Whipple for your class, office, or student organization, please email Dr. Eric Smigel at [email protected]. Intro Music Credit: Dr. Vincent Whipple

Zeal Harris

headshot of Zeal Harris

Visual Artist Zeal Harris was the Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence for the 2020-2021 academic year. Based in Los Angeles, she is known for creating what she calls “seductive, caricaturesque, political, urban-vernacular, story paintings” that explore new narratives and ancient mythologies of Black history and culture. Dedicated to art as social practice, Harris is looking forward to forming meaningful relationships with the SDSU community through stimulating dialogue and collaborative artmaking.

Over the course of her year at SDSU, Harris met with various academic units and student centers across campus to share her art, conduct workshops, and discuss the relationship between arts activism and social justice. In February 2021, Zealand delivered “Art, Storytelling, & Everyday Activism: An Artist Talk with Zeal Harris” to discuss her work and the intersection of art and social justice. The talk can be viewed here.

Zeal’s interactions with the SDSU community informed her creation of an original artwork that was recently installed in the foyer of the PSFA Building. Recipe for Acorn Grits depicts some of the first documented African American residents of San Diego County. After gaining freedom from slavery, many Black citizens made their way to San Diego seeking paths of survival, often intersecting with ex-confederates, former slave owners, and others who sought gold, land, opportunities, adventure, and beautiful weather. This artwork also acknowledges the land and the botanical practices of San Diego’s Indigenous Peoples, who formed a bond with African Americans through their shared struggles with manifestations of white supremacy. Although it could be classified as a “history painting,” Recipe for Acorn Grits represents the ongoing task of finding and maintaining peaceful places for the kindred spirits of Black and Indigenous Peoples to thrive together. Research for this project was collected from and inspired by conversations with San Diego State University faculty, staff, students, and local historians.