The Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco Presents ‘Commonstrust: artists and the commons’

The exhibition featuring six artists is on display March 7 - April 10, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – The Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco (USF) presents ‘Commonstrust: artists and the commons’, on view from March 7 – April 10, 2022 in the Thacher Gallery and Kalmanovitz Hall Sculpture Terrace. Named by the artists and curators in collaboration with the Bureau of Linguistical Reality, Commonstrust presents six artists whose works call us into the commons to consider collective care of the environment and each other. Artists include Asya Abdrahman, the Bureau of Linguistical Reality, Alicia Escott, Orlando Smith, Redbird Willie, and Connie Zheng. 

These six artists introduce diverse elements of the commons–such as air, water, and land–through a range of art practices that integrate theater, speculation, community engagement, and Indigenous ecology. Together, these artists demonstrate the strong link between ecology and culture. Several of the projects on display were created in collaboration with USF classes.

Asya Abdrahman, founder of the Kindness Grocery Cooperative in Oakland, presents fog catchers, paintings, and storytelling focused on water. Alicia Escott uses native seeds and plastic packaging to create living sculptures intended not only for human visitors but also for “pollinator recreation.” Artist, fire ecologist, and basket weaver, Redbird Willie (Pomo/Wailaki/Paiute/Wintu), presents a series of illustrations from the book Adventures of Two Coast Miwok Children alongside several traditional baskets. Comic book artist Orlando Smith’s dense illustrations depict environmental problems and their links to industry and corporations. The Bureau of Linguistical Reality invites visitors to coin new words to describe our experiences with and feelings about the climate crisis. Finally, Connie Zheng’s mixed media map traces food origins, while her work around seeds–both real and speculative–offers a way to reimagine home.

About the Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco

The Thacher Gallery is a public art gallery in the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library where creativity, scholarship, and community converge. The exhibitions in the 2021-22 season will examine ecology and environmental justice. The gallery is free and open to the public 12-6pm daily. Appointments required for the sculpture terrace. USF pandemic protocols required.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit