Scratch Space:

How Can We Keep Our Hearts Open?

Thursday, November 19, 2020, 12PM - 1PM

VENUE: Online

Christine Wong Yap, "Thank You for Your Courage"
Christine Wong Yap, "Thank You for Your Courage" (2020). Photo: Maria Baranova for Times Square Arts

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Visual artists Leah Rosenberg and Christine Wong Yap discuss their shared interest in psychological wellbeing at a time of great social anxiety and discord. How can we keep our hearts open when we are so divided? How can we do the work of restorative care? We’ll explore Wong Yap’s latest work, including her public art portraits of real New York City medical workers as messages of gratitude during the COVID-19 crisis. Rosenberg will discuss her recent installation, Like a Multivitamin, in the Women & Children’s Center of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and examine how color can support wellness and resiliency.

Hosted by: Donna Conwell, Curator, Lucas Artists Residency Program and Kelly Sicat, Director, Lucas Artists Residency Program.


(Click to expand bios.)


Based in San Francisco, Leah Rosenberg’s art practice spans painting, installation, sculpture, printmaking and food, with a focus on the role of color in our lives and its emotional or psychological impact. Her work has been presented in solo and two-person exhibitions nationally and internationally. In the Bay Area, she was a recipient of the Irvine Fellowship through the Lucas Artists Residency Program at Montalvo Arts Center, the Kala Fellowship at Kala Art Institute, and most recently completed a residency at Recology where she made new work using paint salvaged from the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. She has been awarded residencies at multiple other venues including Vermont Studio Center, Project 387, Facebook, Inc., Google, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and McColl Center for Art & Innovation in Charlotte, NC, where she inaugurated their gallery with Color for the People, a site-specific installation exploring color and flavor. Her commissioned mural, Everywhere A Color, which is permanently installed in the International Terminal of SFO, and her book, The Color Collector’s Handbook, published by Chronicle Books (2018), invite everyone from everywhere to connect through color. Leah’s passion for color led to her appointment as the Creative Director for Color Factory in San Francisco (2017) and New York City (2018), for which she orchestrated installations and collaborated with dozens of internationally recognized artists. In addition to her work’s inclusion in the SFMOMA’s permanent collection, Rosenberg worked as the lead pastry chef for their Blue Bottle Rooftop Café (2009-2013), where she created desserts based on the museum’s rotating collection. Leah received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, BC (2003) and an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA (2008). 


Christine Wong Yap is a project-based artist who often uses printmaking, drawing, and social practice to explore psychological wellbeing. She holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art (Queens, NY), Bronx Museum of Art (Bronx), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco), and Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester U.K.), as well as in Los Angeles; Portland, OR; Manila; and Poland. Her work has been supported by the Queens Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. She is currently a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2019-2020 Workspace artist-in-residence. In 2018–2019, she was the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Othering & Belonging Institute (formerly the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society) at U.C. Berkeley. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester U.K.), the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), Woodstock Byrdcliffe (Woodstock, NY), Tides Institute and Museum of Art (Eastport, ME), Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA), Harvester Arts (Wichita, KS), c3:initiative (Portland, OR), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (Governor’s Island, NY), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, CA), Center for Book Arts (NYC), Sanitary Tortilla Factory (Albuquerque, NM), and Little Paper Planes (San Francisco, CA).  Reviews of her work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Art Practical. Her work has also appeared on,,,, KQED Arts, The Guardian (UK), Oakland Tribune, the East Bay Express, and SFMOMA’s Open Space blog. She has contributed to books published by Montez Press, INCA Press, Workman Publishing, New Press, Routledge, and New York University Press. Born in California, she was a longtime resident of Oakland, CA before relocating to Queens, NY in 2010.