Profile: Ramekon O’Arwisters

Ramekon O’Arwisters, a native of Kernersville, North Carolina, is a curator of exhibitions at SFO Museum (SFOM). O’Arwisters started at SFOM in 1996 and joined the curatorial staff in 2007. O’Arwisters earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.Div. from Duke University. He has published artwork, poetry, and short stories in Zyzzyva, James White Review, and in the anthologyPaper Thin/Soul-Deep: A Collection of Personal Letters and Journal Entries of African-American Men. Prior to joining SFOM, O’Arwisters was the curator and gallery director for the Richmond Art Center (RAC), in Richmond, California, where he organized numerous exhibitions including Alternating Currents: An Exploration in Technology and Spirituality (1994) an exhibition that addressed the continuum between the two, as opposed to the polarity, demonstrating how artists continue to take advantage of current technology to increase their ability to express themselves. In 1995, California sculptor Robert Ortbal’s exhibition, As Above, So Below, was an artistic investigation on concepts of spirituality using natural materials. Preceding his tenure at the RAC, O’Arwisters was gallery director at the San Francisco African American Historical Society. He has served on the curatorial committee at Root Division and SOMArts, and was a panelist for the San Francisco Arts Commission, Murphy and Cadigan Fellowship Awards, and Visions from the New California, an initiative of the Alliance of Artists Communities. In addition to his work as a curator, he is also an award-winning artist, and has earn grants from the San Francisco Foundation, the San Francisco Art Commission Cultural Equity Program, and Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue, New York, New York. He is a 2014 Eureka Fellow, awarded by the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco.

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