Collective Members, Invisibility Projects, News & Updates

Press: SF Chronicle

We must reinvent how we value and protect broad swaths of the labor market if we are to emerge from this pandemic—by Lily Janiak for San Francisco Chronicle, March 2021

Interview with collective member Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen and photographed at Radian Gallery on the last day of Seen x Unseen.

Invisibility Projects, News & Updates

News: Seen × Unseen Opens Dec 5th

Seen × Unseen
December 5–30, 2020 at Radian Gallery
Reception Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 12 PM PST

The Invisibility Collective and invited guest artists assemble an exhibition that is the culmination of months of virtual “COVID conversations” from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA. Looking at various ways that people express their feelings about the intersection of being seen and not seen. In Seen × Unseen, the Collective explore the many aspects of what it means to be invisible and present ways of becoming more aware of how this status affects us. Each of the collective’s members have asked questions about their experiences with invisibility and have invited a guest artist to broaden the conversation into our wider community. Together and individually we are exploring this intersection of being seen and unseen.


Collective Members:
Lonnie Graham
Susan R. Kirshenbaum
Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen
Samira Shaheen
Angela Tirrell

Invited Artists:
Mary Graham
Sophia Green
Rell Rushin
Sawyer Rose
John Stone
Christopher M. Tandy (Courtesy of Glass Rice Gallery, SF)
Nancy Willis

For more information, email Susan at

REGISTER on Eventbrite for a time to visit on Opening day, Saturday, Dec 5 from noon – 6pm. Visits to the gallery are by appointment. There will be art talks and additional events. Check back!


Recommended Reading

A list of articles to start your journey into the unseen…

The topic of invisibility is a vast and complex one—from hero superpower to weapon of racism. Today I’ve selected a few articles I’ve revisited and referenced to share with you some words of others I find more helpful when I’m at a loss of my own.

Fighting ‘Erasure’ by Parul Sehgal

The first article that gave me some clarity to that familiar foggy sinking feeling I couldn’t quite explain. The New York Times Book Review editor Parul Sehgal unpacks the invisibility weapon in the magazine’s long-running series where each week one writer explores a single, timely word.

“Efforts to force collective amnesia are as old as conquest. The Roman decree damnatio memoriae — ‘‘condemnation of memory’’ — punished individuals by destroying every trace of them from the city, down to chiseling faces off statues. It was considered a fate worse than execution. But there are subtler, everyday forms of banishing people from public life…” [read more]

“FIRST WORDS: Fighting ‘Erasure’” by Parul Sehgal, New York Times Magazine, a version of the article also appears in print on Feb. 7, 2016, Page 15 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Memory Lapse
Photograph of a torn piece of binder paper with pencil writing on a black background. The blue lines on the paper are blurred from a water stain in the bottom right. The writing in cursive reads "Try to take a bath (or shower) sometime Today." and on the next line "My keys are in my wallet tonight in the drawer with my green scarf."
Artist & Project Highlights

Kija Lucas: Collections from Sundown

[ Above: Image © Kija Lucas; photograph from the series Collections from Sundown ]

Aging is the the most universal form of invisibility. It transcends color, creed, and class and slowly transforms us all from here to slowly no here. If the memory of our lives starts to disappear as well, who are we? And were we ever here at all?

Artist Kija Lucas is a San Francisco-based artist exploring memory through photography. In the series Collections from Sundown, she archives the notes and reminders of her Grandmother as she perseveres through memory-loss from Alzheimer’s. Lucas’s quiet series of color photographs with deep black background and sharp focus honors the strength of person, the process of loss, and the tiny remnants we hold onto to fight against the inevitable invisibility of dying.

Collections from Sundown focuses on my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The term Sundown here refers to both Sundowner’s Syndrome, a symptom of Alzheimer’s, and the metaphor for the end of life. Sundowning includes increased confusion, collecting and packing of belongings, and often preparing for a perceived trip. These still lives include images of what she collected in a single day, as well as groupings of notes she wrote over a period of several years, and make evident the changes in reality that come with her disease. The notes reflect the repetition experienced by loved ones of a person with Alzheimer’s.

Project statement by Kija Lucas

Kija Lucas is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage, and inheritance. She is interested in how ideas are passed down and seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations.

Her work has been exhibited at Oakland Museum of California, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries, California Institute of Integral Studies, Palo Alto Arts Center, Intersection for the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, and Root Division, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lucas has been an Artist in Residence at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency. She is a member of 3.9 Art Collective and the Curatorial Council at Southern Exposure. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Mills College.

See this series and more of her work at

Artist & Project Highlights, Collective Members, Invisibility Projects, News & Updates, Research, Testimonies

Welcome to The Athenaeum

Named for the sanctuary of Athena frequented by poets and scholars, this virtual reading room (magazine, blog, etc.) is a repository for news, research, projects, artists, and testimonies on the wide topic of Invisibility.