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Seven Valleys Exhibition by Artists-In-Residence Lauren Marie Taylor and Keyvan Shovir

In this season of political, financial, and social polarization on a national and territorial scale, artists can incite real correspondence, compassion, and understanding required for an agreeable future. Artists can empower coordinated effort and a feeling of shared knowledge between individuals in spite of our clear contrasts. It might offer new methods for critical thinking that sidestep conventional methodologies. While art might be an essential key to the strength of our general public, the Bay Area's present land atmosphere postures noteworthy difficulties to the supportability of art venues. Peripheral Visions gives a place in Oakland to artistic voices to be heard at this primary time.

About the Artists in Residence Keyvan Shovir is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary artist. He was born in 1985 in Tehran, Iran and moved to San Francisco in 2011. He has widely exhibited and presented his work in the United States, Iran, Turkey, England, Italy, Sweden and Dubai. Shovir was a pioneer of street art in Tehran, focusing on social issues and Persian calligraphy. He is primarily known for his work in installation and public art which explores history and Persian myth, language and today’s pop culture. Shovir is a 2018 MFA graduated at California College of the Arts.

Lauren Marie Taylor is a Bay Area artist and educator. Recent work includes residencies at the Arecibo Observatory and the Vatican Observatory, projects at the California Academy of Sciences and the Walt Disney Family Museum, and solo presentations at Southern Exposure and YBCA. Taylor has presented at the Octavia Butler Conference, Science in the Studio Symposium for AICAD, the Bay Area Science Festival, Nerd Nite, Stairwells and more. She was a 2016-17 Equity Fellow at YBCA. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, an MEd from Portland State and an MFA from the California College of the Arts.

The Conference of the Birds is a masterpiece of Sufi poetry describing an inner journey to become one with god. Written in 1177, the poem tells the story of a community of birds who travel through seven valleys in order to reach transcendence and ultimately, death. While the birds undergo a metaphoric journey through seven stages, in the Catholic tradition, the faithful receive seven sacraments- a physical manifestation of the stages one must undergo to reach god, likewise ending in death. In this collaboration by Shovir and Taylor, a community of birds is represented by ships- jets, missiles, rockets and shuttles, traveling through seven stages in order to become one with the universe. In the gallery, the spacecrafts traverse Shia and Catholic communities represented by traditional architecture, both standing in for and referencing a history of war. The exhibition uses painting, sculpture, and video to tell the stories of Shia and Catholic communities and their experiences with colonization and imperialism.


Peripheral Visions is an artist- or curator-in-residence program at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, a contemporary art gallery in Oakland’s primary art and maker district. Its mission is to provide an Oakland-based platform for artists and curators of wide-ranging backgrounds and outlooks to present projects that: 1) create bridges–encourage connection and communication among diverse groups, or 2) expand the view–broaden perspectives on art and the human experience. Peripheral Visions aims to present meaningful and compelling creative works incorporating visual art that utilize the gallery’s physical space and engage its community.

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