The University of San Francisco’s Thacher Gallery Presents ‘Pulled Apart’

The online exhibition and conversation series will run from March 1 to April 25, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (March 1, 2021) – The Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco (USF) explores the intersection of art and engineering in Pulled Apart, an online exhibition and conversation series from March 1 to April 25, 2021. The exhibit is a collaboration with USF’s Engineering program and artists Terry Berlier, Adam Chin, Cynthia Hooper, Carrie Hott, and Gail Wight. Using the mechanisms of gadgets, scientific instruments, and computer technologies, these artists’ practices bring our awareness to the seen and unseen systems that help shape society.

Each of the artists approaches engineering in a unique way. Interdisciplinary artist Terry Berlier adapts mechanical systems, microcontrollers, and software to build kinetic sculptures and installations that explore the precarity of human relationships. Using machine learning neural networks trained on databases of actual photographs, Adam Chin, San Francisco fine art photographer and former graphic artist for TV and film, creates portraits that exist between the real and the imitation. The detailed paintings and videos by painter, writer, and documentarian Cynthia Hooper show landfills, waterways, and dams intersecting with the natural environment. Videos by interdisciplinary artist Carrie Hott document an evolving miniature room to explore how constant connectivity and hidden networks inform our decisions. Finally, through experimental media artist Gail Wight’s anatomical studies of mechanical toys we see the uncanny ways that nature and the human-made reflect each other.

Together, these five artists’ works illuminate a subjectivity that we do not always associate with the STEM disciplines. Whether it be the use of the 16th century Cardan Gear or 21st century computer algorithms, each artist’s approach reminds viewers of the possibilities of engineering as well as our complex relationship with the systems we’ve created.

A series of online events will accompany the exhibit, and will include the artists and USF Engineering professors. All events are free and open to the public.

Monday, March 1, 5:00-6:30 p.m. PST
Pulled Apart opening celebration with the artists followed by a conversation with engineer Lou Sassoubre and artist Cynthia Hooper

Monday, March 22, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PST
Engineer Genna Smith in conversation with artists Terry Berlier and Gail Wight

Monday, April 5, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Engineer Chris Brooks in conversation with artists Adam Chin and Carrie Hott

About Thacher Gallery

Located in USF’s Gleeson Library, the Thacher Gallery is a public art gallery where creativity, scholarship, and community converge. Each year the Thacher Gallery presents a series of diverse, high-caliber art exhibitions that probe aesthetics, stimulate dialogue, and reflect the urban Jesuit university’s commitment to social justice.

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