My interest in curatorial practice and exhibition design began in the late 1970’s when I was a student in the MA program at San Francisco State University. At that time there were no exhibition spaces available to students in the art department. I developed alternative spaces on and off campus and organized a cross-discipline group of art department graduates and under graduates called “The Exhibitionists” to implement the projects.
My first design commission came from SFSU Art Department Chair Margery Livingston who requested I design and install an exhibition of work by graduating master’s candidates.
The most important guidance and influence has come from Ted Cohen with whom I had the privilege of working while I was the executive director of the Baulines Craft Guild and administrator of the California Design exhibitions sponsored by that group. This association led to my inclusion in a group of volunteers who assisted Ted for installations at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco.
At the request of MOCFA director Weldon Smith, I curated five annual Craft Showcase exhibitions of furniture, functional and decorative objects for the museum. This project led to further exhibitions and design opportunities expanding my experience of contemporary studio furniture, functional and decorative objects to design, photography, painting and sculpture.
2012 - CURATOR: Focus on the Figure - April 27 – June 1, 2012; Reception: Apr. 27, 6-9 PM
Focus on the Figure examines work in ceramics and painting by eight California artists who work from the human form in a very personal manner. Pence Gallery, in Davis, Ca. http://www.pencegallery.org
Recent Projects - Exhibition Director
2009 - Firing a Legacy – retrospective exhibition for David Kuraoka and selected students from his 38 year teaching career in the Ceramics Department of SF State University, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
2009 - All Aboard – Artists and Historians Picture the Railroad – juried art and historical images and memorabilia in conjunction with the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society and Petaluma Arts Council
2008 & 2011 - New West Coast Design – 2008 project included five Bay Area venues
showing various aspects of contemporary design by West Coast artists from January through March 2008
California Design - four historical biannual juried exhibitions of work by eighty to one
hundred California designers and studio artists - all aspects of exhibition management from designing the call for entries and exhibition announcement through press relations and management of related events, direction of the installation and dismantling crews and documentation for archives of the Oakland Museum of California – exhibition space 600 Townsend Street, San Francisco
2011 - Curator New West Coast Design for San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design
2009 - Curator solo exhibition of work by furnituremaker Alison McLennan, Artworks Downtown, San Rafael
2008 - Co-curator with Ted Cohen for New West Coast Design – at the SF Museum of Craft + Design
2008 - Curator The State of the Art Quilt, Artworks Gallery, San Rafael
2005 - Material Matters– exhibition of work by Karen Hampton, Pamina Traylor and Philip Agee for the Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco
2000-04 - Craft Showcase - five annual exhibitions of furniture and objects by contemporary studio artists for the Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco -exhibitions typically included 50 artists - works were for sale, a portion of proceeds to support museum projects - historical narrative accompanied each exhibition
2010 - Shining Brightly, Tapestry Weavers West at Petaluma Art Center
2009 - Firing a Legacy, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
2009 - One of a Kind – the Furniture of Alison McLennan - one person exhibition,Artworks Downtown, San Rafael
2009 - All Aboard - Artists and Historians Picture the Railroad, Petaluma Arts Council’s Hardt Gallery, Petaluma, CA
2009 - Friends along the Journey - Baulines Craft Guild Master Member Exhibition, Artworks Downtown, San Rafael
2009 - Weather Report, mixed media juried exhibition G.K.Hardt Gallery, Petaluma, CA
2008 - Association of Clay and Glass Artists, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
2006 - Master Members of BCG at Gualala Art Center
2003 & 04 - Master/Apprentice Annual - work by members of the Baulines Craft Guild, 600 Townsend Street, SF
2002 - Seven Workers in Wood - for Mendocino Coast Furnituremakers at the Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA - project included extensive background text for each artist and all graphics.
2001 Art to Wear - exhibition of clothing, jewelry and accessories by thirteen artists forArtworks Downtown, San Rafael
Assistant to Ted Cohen for 10 California Design exhibitions as well as numerous exhibitions for Museum of Craft and Folk Art and various fine craft organizations
Historian Catalog Essay for exhibition Jade Snow Wong, a Retrospective at the Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco, July - December 2002
Introduction - Craft of Northern California, Alcove Books, Berkeley, CA
2002 Interview with furnituremaker Art Espenet Carpenter for the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art
Documentary Film - Woodsmith – The Life and Times of Arthur Espenet Carpenter documenting Carpenter and the contemporary furniture movement
Kathleen Hanna has many abilities essential to the contemporary California craft movement. She is one of the very few historians, is highly experienced in art administration, is a curator and a clay artist herself. Pretty fine credentials!
- Carole Austin, Retired Curator, Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco
I find that Kathleen Hanna is not only an astute arts and crafts historian but also a talented installation designer. She can take the concept and guide it to a satisfying conclusion. - Theodore Cohen, Exhibition Designer, Consultant for Private Collectors
“Kathleen Hanna is a visionary with the left brain of a corporate CEO.”
- Phyllis Thelen, Founder and Director, Artworks, San Rafael, CA
“The second big event for the Mendocino Coast Furnituremakers in 2002 was our Seven Workers in Wood at the Mendocino Art Center. Credit for the fabulous and professional look of this show goes to Kathleen Hanna.”
- Paul Reiber, President, Mendocino Coast Furnituremakers