Offerings Somatic — the body as substance of ritual

The body here becomes the apparatus, a somatic object offered in service to transformation: the heart that is mended through connection (Chris Evans), the eye that exchanges the “gaze” and the imbalance of power granted to certain bodies (Evelyn Leder), the ear that bares witness to the Black sounds that push against erasure (Tossie Long), and the limbs and torsos that transmute cultural memory (Midori).

About the Artworks and Artists

In the site-specific sound installation, “Transmuting Heartbreak,” Chris Evans explores the ways that our hearts are broken, and how through connection—with our community, with our ancestors, with our surroundings, with ourselves—we can heal that heartbreak. 

Evelyn Leder presents video and photographic works that feature male-identifying subjects from the San Francisco performance and queer scene who posed for the artist stripped of their performative trappings. These raw portrayals challenge power dynamics and work to reverse the “male gaze,” handing all agency to the artist by turning the subjects into objects.

Grammy-nominated, four-time Izzie award-winning sound, experience, and performance artist, Tossie Long presents a collaborative installation rooted in ceremony and ritual across multiple cultures, evoking ancestral traditions of oral storytelling, folk song and dance, and the everyday communications of Black and Brown communities and families. 

Midori is a trailblazing queer, Japanese-American artist, writer, and educator based in San Francisco. Midori's performance-based, durational art delves deeply into the realm of human experiences, intertwining memory, myth, and moments of tragedy and transforming spectators into active participants, making them “co-conspirators in the labor of art.”

About the Curators

This exhibition was created by USF’s MA in Museum Studies students in the 2023 Curatorial Practicum class led by guest curator/professor, Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen. Student curators include: Abby Ackerson, Mariam Biaye, Maggie Cheng, Yolanda Faye, Donovan Hernandez, Zaarin Mizan, Natalie Perlman, Collin Rocha, Brianna Schwerling, Jane Sheehan, Guilherme Veloso, and Sabina Vitale.

Founder of Black & White Projects, Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen is a curator, consultant, and project-based artist from San Francisco. With a long background in the performing and visual arts, Rhiannon is deeply influenced by her own — and her communities’ — intersectional identities, and encourages small, joyful, radical acts of creativity and anti-imperialism daily. 

The Thacher Gallery is open to the public from 12-6 p.m. daily, except during library closures. Please confirm the library schedule prior to visiting, especially during holidays.

All visitors are welcome. To request disability-related accommodations, please call (415) 422-5178 or email

Exhibition Object List