Unrolling Sanctuary

Jackie von Treskow, Program Director at the For-Site Foundation in San Francisco

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Coffee House Club

Unrolling Sanctuary: Thirty-six international artists consider the nature of sanctuary through an interactive installation of hand-woven rugs, offering a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic human need for refuge, protection, and sacred ground.

FOR-SITE Foundation program director Jackie von Treskow presents a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Sanctuary, FOR-SITE’s latest presentation of art about place for which 36 artists from 21 different countries were invited to design contemporary rugs reflecting on the notion of sanctuary. Representing diverse ideologies and backgrounds, the artists’ contributions to the exhibition were spectacularly varied in content and design, yet conformed to a single format, lending a unifying element that bridged racial, cultural, and religious differences. Installed on the floor of the historic Fort Mason Chapel in San Francisco, the four-by-six-foot wool rugs—woven by over fifty artisans in and around Lahore, Pakistan using traditional materials and hand-knotting techniques—called to mind traditional prayer rugs, but transcended religious connotations, encompassing thoughtful viewpoints on cultural identity, sense of place, and belonging.

Jackie von Treskow is the Program Director for the FOR-SITE Foundation, a San Francisco based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the creation, presentation, and understanding of art about place. In addition to managing FOR-SITE’s commissions, exhibitions, and public programs, von Treskow oversees the organization’s celebrated educational residency program, which provides graduate-level art students learning opportunities that extend beyond the traditional academic curriculum. She has contributed to publications that include Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA, 2008-2012, and curated projects such as Nathan Lynch’s Dead Reckoning for Bay Area Now 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Richard T. Walker’s between distance and a mountain for Radio Break: Two Weekends of Artists’ Low-Power Radio Transmissions & Live Performances. Von Treskow holds an M.A. in Public Art Studies from the University of Southern California.
Established in 2003 by Cheryl Haines, the FOR-SITE Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, understanding, and presentation of art about place. Recent projects encompass commissions, artist residencies, and educational programs, and include the acclaimed exhibitions Home Land Security (2016); @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz (2014); International Orange (2012); Presidio Habitats (2010); and a series of land-art installations by Andy Goldsworthy currently on view in the Presidio. https://www.for-site.org