YWCA Art Exhibits

Art Exhibits

We invite artists to exhibit their work in our lobby and two lounges/meeting rooms. There are approximately 100,000 visits to our building each year, by people in our programs. Two artists are exhibited at a time, one in each lounge; the lobby area is shared. Exhibits usually hang for two months. All artists with suitable wall hanging-type art are invited. Women and people of diverse ethnic backgrounds are particularly encouraged to submit.

The Art Committee periodically reviews all submissions and selects artists for scheduling. The Committee calls the artists to discuss dates and availability.

Artists are encouraged to visit the building in advance of an exhibit for a better understanding of the rooms and hanging conditions. Artists may also offer their work for sale. Price lists will be made available in lounges and at the front desk. The YWCA charges a 20% commission.


Featured Artist:

Mary Curtis Ratcliff

Mary Curtis Ratcliff majored in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960’s, then moved to New York, where she was a founding member of the avant garde collective Videofreex. By the 1970’s she had migrated to the more forgiving climate and open atmosphere of San Francisco.

In California, Ratcliff’s wind sculptures and ceremonial pieces were used in the early eco-feminist movement; later works continued to unite fabric and craft with a sculptural sense of design. Since 1999, Ratcliff has concentrated increasingly on 2-dimensional work, integrating photography, drawing, painting, and image transfer techniques in multi-layered, intricate explorations of nature, pattern and perception.

Over the last two years, Ratcliff has come full circle, integrating her photographic imagery into kinetic suspended sculptures. These works create new relationships of perception through a randomly revolving juxtaposition of natural patterns and forms.

Ratcliff’s artwork has been shown in well over a hundred exhibitions around the world. It is represented locally in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She has participated in residencies in the United States, France, Japan, and New Zealand. She lives and works in Berkeley, CA and is a member of Oakland’s Mercury 20 Gallery and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery.