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COLORISM: The spectrum of internalized bias

  • Root Division 1131 Mission Street San Francisco, CA, 94103 United States (map)

Curated by: 

D.E. Stenvoll-Wells / Programs Coordinator: Julia Zeuli 

Opening Reception: 

Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 7-10pm

Exhibition Dates: 

Jul 11, 2019 to Aug 10, 2019

Panel Discussion: 

Thursday, July 18, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Film Screening: 

Wednesday, July 24, 7-9pm

Closing Reception & Catalog Release: 

Saturday, August 10, 7-9pm

Gallery Hours (or by appointment): 

Wednesday-Saturday, 2-6pm

Colorism: The Spectrum of Internalized Bias analyzes the phenomenon of appearance based discrimination within the same racial or ethnic groups through contemporary media including photography, installation, animation, video and performance art. This ambitious 6-week exhibition will include a wide range of programming including the opening reception, panel discussion (panelists to be announced shortly), a film screening, as well as closing reception and catalog release.

Influenced by her continued research on the impact of colorism, curator D.E. Stenvoll-Wells explores how colorism contributes to tensions among members of the same identity group, which prevents the unity required to combat divisive rhetoric. Colorism: The Spectrum of Internalized Bias aims to unpack the consequences of racial constructs to envision a future free of bias and cultural hierarchies and move towards a hybrid future. This exhibition compiles artists' responses to this form of implicit bias as an educational tool towards combating intra-racial prejudice. Questioning the very basis of modern-day racial categorizations, this exhibition reveals how colorism can be a component of inherited self-hatred and pursuit of unattainable beauty standards, as well as prejudice against those of non-white and hybrid ancestries.


Root Division is a visual arts non-profit in San Francisco that connects creativity and community through a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and studios. Root Division's mission is to empower artists, foster community service, inspire youth, and enrich the Bay Area through engagement in the visual arts. The organization is a launching pad for artists, a stepping-stone for educators and students, and a bridge for the general public to become involved in the arts.

Root Division is supported in part by a plethora of individual donors and by grants from National Endowment for the Arts/ Art Works, San Francisco Arts Commission: Community Investments, Grants for the Arts, Drusie Davis Family Fund, Violet World Foundation, Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, The Morton Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Bill Graham Memorial Fund, and Art4Moore.

Earlier Event: October 25
The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi