A+P+I Current



Mills College Art Museum and the Mills College Art Department are thrilled to welcome our sixth round of artists, Craig Calderwood and Christy Chan to the 2020 Art+Process+Ideas artist-in-residence program. Each artist embraces creative risk and complexity around issues of identity. The A+P+I program was established to support Bay Area artists making socially relevant work that challenges and inspires Mills students and MCAM audiences.

Craig Calderwood uses commercial craft materials—fabric paint, polymer clay, and found fabrics—to create intricate decorative works that speak to queer and trans communities through a shared language of symbols and patterns. An interdisciplinary artist, Christy Chan uses video, performance, and installation to tell stories about race, power, and national identity.

In addition to public events and an exhibition in Summer 2020, A+P+I artists will open-up their practice to students on campus through presentations, workshops, studio visits and installation walkthroughs, throughout the residency term. For these student artists, the residency exposes students to an expanded company of artists from diverse practices, media, and backgrounds.

Launched in 2015, the Art+Process+Ideas (A+P+I) artist-in-residence program at Mills College seeks to expand the dialog around art and art-making on campus and throughout the Bay Area. A partnership between the Mills College Art Department and Mills College Art Museum (MCAM), the A+P+I residency fosters interdisciplinary collaboration across departments and provides opportunities for the students, faculty, and staff of Mills College as well as the larger Bay Area arts community to interact, learn, and work with the visiting artists.


Craig Calderwood, Locker Room Clairvoyance, 2019
Craig Calderwood, Locker Room Clairvoyance, 2019

Locker Room Clairvoyance, Pen on cotton paper. 11" x 14.".

Craig Calderwood

A self-taught artist, Craig Calderwood’s intricate and decorative works are rendered through a personal vernacular of symbols and patterns. Recalling the private languages that underground communities of queer and trans people used for safety for decades, Calderwood develops these patterns and symbols though research into history, personal narratives, and pop cultural moments. They then arrange them into constellations to tell stories both personal and fantasized.

Utilizing low-end materials like fabric paint, polymer clay, found fabrics and fiber tip pens, Calderwood explores ideas around desire, biodiversity, and otherness. They also looks at how material practice forms its own language for safe and coded communication within hostile environments.

Flexing the intended use of their mediums, Calderwood’s work moves through the material ideologies of painting, drawing, and textile, to form images whose lines and textures teeter between thread and paint, blurring not just the binaries of their materials, but of their subjects.

How to Read (documentation), 2015 performance at Adobe Books
How to Read (documentation), 2015 performance at Adobe Books

How to Read (documentation)

Christy Chan
2015 performance at Adobe Books

Christy Chan is an interdisciplinary artist based in Oakland and working primarily in video, installation, performance and oral storytelling. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Kala Art Institute, Southern Exposure, Root Division, SOMarts, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and in storytelling venues such as NPR. She has been awarded residencies and support from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, Project 387, Kala Art Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts and Real Time and Space in Oakland. Chan holds an MA in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is working on the multimedia storytelling and film project Pen Pals which has been featured on NPR’s Snap Judgement and The New York Times and tells the story of Shelly, an 8-year-old girl who writes idealistic letters to the Ku Klux Klan after the Klan targets her family. Based on real-life events, Pen Pals draws on Chan's experience growing up in a Southern town with a white nativism movement, an experience that continues to inform her ongoing explorations of race, power, and what it means to be an American.

The 2020 Art+Process+Ideas Artist Residency is supported through the generosity of the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibitions.