rafa esparza (b. 1981, Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work reveals his interests in history, personal narratives, and kinship, his own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that it produces. Using live performance as his main form of inquiry, esparza employs site-specificity, materiality, memory, and what (non)documentation as primary tools to investigate and expose ideologies, power structures, and binary forms of identity that establish narratives, history, and social environments. esparza’s recent projects are grounded in laboring with land and adobe-making, a skill learned from his father, Ramón Esparza. In so doing, the artist invites Brown and Queer cultural producers to realize large-scale collective projects, gathering people together to build networks of support outside of traditional art spaces.
esparza is a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2015), California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts (2014), and Art Matters Foundation grant (2014). Solo exhibitions have been held at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2019); ArtPace, San Antonio, TX (2018); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA (2013). esparza initiated self organized large scale projects such as most recently In Plain Sight in collaboration with Cassils (2020), has performed at art institutions including Performance Space New York and the Ellipse, Washington, D.C. (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018). Selected group shows were held at San Diego Art Institute, CA (2019); Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2019); GAMMA Galeria, Guadalajara, Mexico (2019); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016).
CCS Bard Speaker Series
Each semester CCS Bard hosts a program of lectures by leading artists, curators, art historians, and critics, situating the school and museum’s concerns within the larger context of contemporary art production and discourse. Lectures are open to students and faculty, as well as to the general public, and will also be documented through video and/or audio recordings, which will reside in the CCS Bard Library and Archives. All talks are free and open to the public - registration is required in advance here.
Accessibility for Public Programs
Live captioning is available for public programs upon request with two weeks advance notice. To place a request, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Relay and voice calls welcome.
Verbal description is available for public programs upon request with two weeks advance notice. To place a request, please contact email@example.com. Relay and voice calls welcome.
American Sign Language Interpretation
ASL-English interpretation is available for public programs upon request with two weeks advance notice. To place a request, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Relay and voice calls welcome.