—“There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in black women. It’s as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet”

– Maya Angelou, November 21, 1973

Betti Ono Gallery, an experimentally minded space for art, culture, and community is pleased to present a group show in celebration of their 7 year anniversary in collaboration with Black Women Over Breathing.

Black Women over Breathing is more than a phrase. It is a movement that pays tribute to all who are Black women-identified. Though Black women are often degraded, underpaid, and overlooked Black Women over Breathing celebrates Black women and all they have done to better the lives of those around them. Imagine a world without Black women: from Edmonia Lewis and Audre Lorde, to Nina Simone and Michelle Obama, these women and those like them—our mothers, aunts, sisters, partners, and friends—are courageous, bold, ambitious, and intelligent. They fought for our lives and for our right to express as we may, to love as we do, and to exist as we are. Simply put, without Black women, we wouldn’t be breathing.” states co-curator Adrian O. Walker.

The exhibition focuses on the work of emerging Black Women in the Bay Area and highlights Betti Ono’s ongoing commitment to amplifying the voices of underrepresented artists through brave curatorial vision and bold programming. Featuring works by Lukaza Branfman, Jade Fair, Kierra Johnson, Jay Katelansky, Sasha Kelley, Yetunde Olagbaju, Danielle McCoy, Lelia Weefur, and Zakiya Zazzaboi, each artist provides a unique narrative and artistic position on the possibilities of how Black Women positively impact and change our lives and communities. As part of the opening month  there will be film screenings by The Black Aesthetic on October 12, 2017 and October 19, 2017. Additional programs and opportunities to engage with the work and artists will be announced throughout the 2017-2018 Fall/Winter season.