We are pleased to share that two artist members of Mercury 20 Gallery are included in this online exhibition.
Crossing the Digital Divide #8, 2013
Archival ink on canvas with acrylic
Mary Curtis Ratcliff
Building Bridges: Breaking Barriers is an attempt to tackle the issue of rampant ageism plaguing
our society by highlighting a group of Bay Area artists who demonstrate a continuous evolution
of artistic output with unpredicted shifts in style and medium that span several decades. As
revealed by artist statements, some of the shifts might have been instigated by the COVID-19
pandemic, imposed barriers of the art market, the intersections with science and digital
technology, that have contributed to new exciting vistas of a very crowded creative field.
What do we learn about breaking barriers and building bridges? How do we keep relevant and
reinvent ourselves through a lifetime? Can a prolific output and active presence in the art world
change minds and perceptions of growing older? Can we break barriers and build bridges that go
beyond the art community? Is technology the ultimate barrier-breaker that transcends diverse
communities, be it race, culture or economic difference? What is the role of memory? Are
breaking of barriers, or walls, physical or metaphorical, can help pave the way to building bridges
for the sake of common good? These are some of the issues that we pursue during the course of
Once we understand that breaking barriers are possible, we can envision the building of bridges
that are multidisciplinary, intergenerational and multicultural, that unite us in a common cause.
Recognizing the existence of prejudice against the older adults can be made by confronting
visual and representational ageism usually seen in the media. This exhibition provides a
framework that promotes positive attitudes and appreciation leading us to building a more
sustainable bridge, when dealing with ageism and beyond. The questions I raise: Can art change
our mind and perception? This elusive question will continue to guide us throughout this series
and will continue to allude long after the memories of this show fade.
– Curator Hanna Regev
Elizabeth Sher and Mary Curtis Ratcliff will be participating in an artist talk Session Two: April 29 4:30 – 5:30
3160 21st Street
San Francisco, CA 94110