Angela Hennessy

Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based artist and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where she teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and contemporary art. Through writing, studio work, and performance, her practice questions assumptions about Death and the Dead themselves. She uses a spectrum of color and other phenomena of light to expose mythologies of identity. In 2019, she won the San Francisco Artadia Award.

In 2015, she survived a gunshot wound while interrupting a violent assault on the street in front of her house. Her manifesto, The School of the Dead, was written in the following months of recovery. Alternating between poem, prayer, and call to action, The School of the Dead is in development as an educational program for aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead. She lectures and teaches workshops nationally.

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On The Artwork

Angela Hennessy’s ‘Black Rainbow’, an installation of crocheted synthetic hair, reminds us that to insist upon being seen and heard is a beautiful act of resistance—and a declaration of one’s freedom. A photograph of Hennessy’s ‘Black Rainbow’ was on view in 2020 on a billboard in San Francisco at 24th and Valencia in the Mission district as part of Art+Action’s ‘Come To Your Census’ campaign.

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