2009 Ink and acrylic on paper from the MacArthur Nurses series
Jenifer K. Wofford
Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.
Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).
Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.
Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.
Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.
- Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
- Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
- Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Oakland, CA, USA