You're OK
22 in HIGH x 17 in WIDE
(55.88 cm HIGH x 43.18 cm WIDE)
Museum Purchase

"15/30" handwritten in graphite at bottom left. "Susan O'Malley / The Estate of Susan O'Malley" signature stamp on verso bottom right.

One digital print on archival rag paper titled "You're OK" from the series "Advice From My 80-Year-Old-Self," created by Susan O'Malley. The red text is set on a yellow background.

"Bay Area artist and curator Susan O’Malley had an important impact on our community during her lifetime...[the series] Advice From My 80-Year-Old Self is a continuation of O’Malley’s interest in people, language and optimism. The project asks a simple question: 'What advice would your 80-year-old self give you?' O’Malley gathered this information with her UC Berkeley student partner, Julie Chau, through interviews along San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley and Oakland with people of all ages. O’Malley also spent time developing relationships with senior communities in the area, such as Berkeley Adult Day Health Center, to engage in this conversation. Excerpts from the recorded interviews were transcribed into a series of graphic text murals that are displayed throughout the community – two large murals on storefronts and these smaller prints, which were shown in the Kala Gallery. (More information also available at http://advicefrommyeightyyearoldself.com/)

In the words of a close colleague, Christian Frock, of O’Malley’s writing about her practice in the wake of her recent passing: 'O’Malley’s artwork is deeply engaged in social practice, participatory exchanges, public art and positive messaging. Often drawn from conversations, the work is generally text-based and takes the form of prints, posters and buttons, large-scale vinyl signage and billboards, as well as interventions, among other media… As a curator she worked with hundreds of artists to organize exhibitions for numerous organizations — she is widely recognized as a champion of diversity across culture, gender and age. Her rare generosity of spirit provided a tremendous example for those around her… Hers was a kind of radical positivity not often recognized because it defies every stereotype of radicalism. In a world bogged down daily by trauma in the media, she was a covert revolutionary with her bright colors, inspirational messages, encouragement, enthusiasm, and genuine personality.'
The artist passed away on February 25, 2015 at the age of 38. She collapsed and never regained consciousness just days before the planned delivery of the twin babies she was carrying, who survived her only very briefly. O’Malley earned a BA in Urban Studies with a focus on Community Organizations from Stanford University and an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts. Her work, with collaborator Leah Rosenberg, was recently featured in 'Bay Area Now 7' at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has also exhibited at numerous alternative spaces and institutions, including Contemporary Art Museum (Houston, TX), the Parthenon Museum (Nashville, TN), and Montalvo Art Center. Her work has been exhibited as public projects in San Francisco, New York, and London, as well in other cities around the U.S., Poland and Denmark.' - Christina Linden, Associate Curator 8/6/15
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