Zamin Project: Panel 2: SWANA in the Bay Area: Art leaders and Institutions

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Date(s) - 08/21
2:00pm - 4:00pm

Aggregate Space Gallery (ASG) presents Zamin Project, a virtual multi-faceted art project aiming to create a space for dialogue and connection between SWANA (South West Asia and North African) artists, curators, and art educators in the Bay Area and beyond. This series is initiated by Iranian-American artist Shaghayegh Cyrous, aiming to focus on the question of How can we create our own resources? by gathering SWANA artists, educators, and art leaders to develop a solution for enriching the community in the Bay area and beyond.

Panel 2: SWANA in the BAY AREA: Art leaders and Institutions

Saturday, August 21, 2021, 2:00PM, Moderated by Roula Seikaly


  • Root Division: Michelle Mansour
  • /Slash: Ana Saygi
  • Incline: Shirin Makaremi
  • Arab Amp: Leyya Mona Tawil


This is an online only event.

Zoom webinar registration


Michelle Mansour is an artist, educator, and curator as well as the current Executive Director of Root Division, a visual arts non-profit in San Francisco. Her work has been shown in a variety of non-profit and commercial venues such as The deYoung Museum, Morris Graves Museum, and Minnesota Street Project and SFMOMA Artists Gallery. She has also curated and co-curated several exhibitions including 2×2’s at ProArts and Metaphysical Abstraction: Contemporary Approaches to Spiritual Content. Mansour received her MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received a BA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University and a Post Baccalaureate degree in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mansour has given lectures and been on panels with the San Francisco Arts Commission, Grants for the Arts, The Lab, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, University of San Francisco, and Sonoma State University.

Ana Saygi was born in Turkey. She now lives and works in San Francisco. She earned her MFA in Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts and her BFA from the Ohio State University. Utilizing photography, painting, and custom-ordered objects, her work explores representational erasure and the inaccessibility of imagery within anonymous forums of the internet. Ana is the founding director of / (slash), a nonprofit visual art space founded in 2018 to advance and promote the expanding field of contemporary art in San Francisco through exhibitions, publications, and public programming.

Leyya Mona Tawil is an artist working with sound, performance, and hybrid transmissions. Tawil is a Syrian, Palestinian, American engaged in the world as such. Her 25-year record of performances have been presented in the US, Europe, Russia, and the Arab world. She was the 2020 ISSUE Project Room Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow (NYC), 2018 Saari Fellow (FI), and currently resident artist with the Wysing Art Centre/British Council (UK). She is the director of TAC Temescal Art Center in Oakland-CA, and founder of Arab.AMP – a platform supporting futurist art and ideas from the SWANA diaspora, our region, and our allied BIPOC communities.

Shirin Makaremi is an Iranian-American artist and curator based in San Francisco, California. Makaremi is the co-director at Incline Gallery in San Francisco and a member of San Francisco Camerawork’s programming committee. In 2018, Makaremi was part of a curatorial collective in residence at SOMArts Cultural Center. Makaremi, received her BA from San Francisco State University in Studio Art and Art History.

Roula Seikaly is an independent curator and writer, and Senior Editor + Co-Curatorial Director at Humble Arts Foundation. Roula has curated exhibitions at SF Camerawork and SOMArts (San Francisco), Axis Gallery (Sacramento), Filter Photo Festival (Chicago), CPAC (Denver), Blue Sky Gallery (Portland), and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Her writing is published virtually and in print at Hyperallergic, Photograph, BOMB, Afterimage, Aperture, Strange Fire Collective, and KQED Arts. She is the co-recipient of the 2019 Blue Sky curatorial prize for the exhibition “An Inward Gaze.”

Aggregate Space Gallery programs are generously supported by the Zellerbach family foundation, and have been previously supported by Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment of the Arts, Creative Work Fund, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and others.