The Multi-Families Project
The Multi-Families Project is a participatory visual arts and photography project showcasing the diversity of unique family cultures in our community. I started this project for deeply personal reasons: my own family is bi-racial and cross-cultural. I wanted to offer families like mine the opportunity to share the symbols, objects, and rituals that represent their household’s unique culture, to make that culture visible and to have it be celebrated by the broader community. The Multi-Families Project is part of the #WhereDoYouBelong Project, a series of artist-led experiments rooted in belonging.
I worked with eight families across the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, and Castro Valley) to curate personally meaningful objects and images that will become the contents of mixed-media pieces, made from drawers, cabinets and other furniture pieces used for storage. These box-like constructions were assembled into a larger installation and exhibited alongside photographic portraits of the families taken by collaborator Elizabeth Strong, at the Flight Deck gallery in downtown Oakland from August 5-September 11, 2016. The installation references the idea that each family has their own collection of memories and experiences that they “store” and cherish, and that, when taken in collectively, they tell a larger story about the diversity of families in the East Bay.