Oakland artist named Harker Artist-in-Residence at SF State

Author: Matt Itelson
March 6, 2024
Liz Hernández standing in front her mural at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Photo Credit: Katherine Du Tiel/Courtesy SFMOMA

In residency made possible by the San Francisco Foundation, Liz Hernández will create fictional research office on campus 

San Francisco State University’s School of Art has named Liz Hernández as the Harker Artist-in-Residence, a 12-month appointment in which she will create a “fictional research organization” on campus, The Office for the Study of the Ordinary. 

The residency is made possible by the Harker Fund at the San Francisco Foundation. Established by Ann Chamberlain in 2005, the fund awards grants to nonprofit organizations underwriting residency and project support for artists working in public practice and environmental interdisciplinary studies. 

For Hernández’s residency, she will serve as lead researcher for The Office for the Study of the Ordinary. Her office will focus on investigating the everyday, documenting hidden narratives through the creation of objects, images and writing.⁣ It fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration, vulnerability, curiosity and experimentation. Her residency concludes in February 2025 with a culminating exhibition on the San Francisco State campus featuring documentation of the physical office, processes, artifacts and printed material.  

Hernández is a Mexican artist based in Oakland since 2011. Her work spans a variety of techniques — painting, sculpture, embroidery and writing — which she uses to blur the space between the real and the imaginary. 
Deeply influenced by the craft traditions of Mexico, her practice investigates the language of materials and the different stories they tell. She draws inspiration from literature, anthropology, syncretism, oral traditions and the landscape of Mexico City, always looking for an element that breaks the normalcy of everyday life.  
Her partially autobiographical work has led to collaboration with her family in the shape of very personal research. Hernández has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 

SF State School of Art Director and Professor Victor De La Rosa says that Hernández’s work with students supports institutional initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates and eliminate equity gaps. 

“One central way that the School of Art is contributing to this effort is by increasing presence and engagement with role models of success,” De La Rosa said. “We are bringing in guest artists, lecturer faculty, graduate teaching assistants — and now Liz Hernández as the Harker Artist-in-Residence — who more reflect the diversity and varied experiences of our student body.” 

Learn more about SF State’s School of Art

The San Francisco State University logo modified with the goddess of wisdom holding a magnifying glass over her right eye in her right hand and holding a sunflower in her left hand surrounded by the text The Office for the Study of the Ordinary

Courtesy of Liz Hernández