Care in the Time of COVID-19
Inside our pandemic response and portraits of resilient San Franciscans
San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries and CatchLight, in partnership with San Francisco Public Library, present a new two-part exhibition at San Francisco City Hall featuring photography and illustration documenting disaster service workers, COVID-19 response and prevention efforts, and life in some of San Francisco’s neighborhoods over the past two years. Care in the Time of COVID-19 also tells stories of care and mutual aid—neighbor to neighbor—and those that relied and continue to rely on organized and spontaneous acts of compassion to survive. This exhibitions celebrates those that served to heal our residents and communities while it also calls for everyone to participate in our collective recovery.
San Francisco’s COVID Command Center Artists in Residence
Artists: Mabel Jiménez, S. Renée Jones and Ajuan Mance
From November 2020 to March 2021, San Francisco’s COVID Command Center (CCC), in partnership with SFAC and Public Library, hosted the only artist in residence program in the US at a COVID-19 operational headquarters. The CCC, located in downtown San Francisco at Moscone Center, coordinated the efforts of over 12,000 City employee disaster service workers deployed to fight the pandemic and provide prevention information, housing, food, testing and vaccinations for San Francisco residents. The CCC Artists in Residence program engaged local photographers and illustrators in three-month residences that provided unprecedented access to the CCC operational effort in Moscone and in diverse neighborhoods. This exhibition features the work of three of the CCC Artists in Residence who documented how the City mobilized to fight the pandemic and where that expansive operation intersected with the efforts of community organizations, healthcare providers and local residents. Their resulting portfolios are now a permanent part of the City’s official record of this time and entered into the Public Library’s COVID-19 Community Time Capsule.
CatchLight’s Local Bay Area Fellows
Artists: Yesica Prado and Felix Uribe
CatchLight is a San Francisco-based media organization building a community-centered model for visual journalism. In 2019, it launched its CatchLight Local fellows program fostering the collaboration of locally-based emerging visual journalists with local newsrooms. The pilot program was initially supposed to last only four months from October 2019 to March 2020. As the pandemic hit, CatchLight felt it was crucial to continue supporting the work of its fellows both documenting the impact of COVID-19 on their communities and bringing critical information to the public. For this exhibition, CatchLight Local Fellow Yesica Prado shares a selection of images from an expansive body of work about her neighbors in San Francisco’s vehicular residential communities. Felix Uribe, another CatchLight Local Fellow, captures, with respect and joy, the daily lives of his fellow Tenderloin residents.
Image credit: (left) Felix Uribe. (right) Mabel Jiménez