Rebecca Haseltine

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My work is an experiment in translation:  from the somatic experience of being in a body into something that we can see.  So my work isn’t image-based, nor is it idea-driven exactly, but it leaves marks that make an image, and it causes me, and hopefully others, to think.  So it’s kind of backwards-conceptual.  The work is inquiry-based, which means that I really don’t know what I’m going to end up with.

Our brains and our hands are designed for communication, and art is a direct, if not linear, form of communication.  My questions are existential:  what is it to be human?  And my source is concrete:  the stuff of the body.  Where this leads is out into nature, which is the larger body.  And it also leads back into our species history, our anthropological development.  It also leads into the spaces between the structures, which leads back out into the universe.

Building: 101 - Studio: 2118
Phone: 415-385-2233
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Artist Bio

I was a hyperactive kid running around climbing trees, swinging on monkey bars and tumbling over the couch.  I drew pretty much constantly, designing clothes and shoes until 6th grade.  In high school I swam competitively and made my own clothes. In college I studied everything I could get my hands on and settled on a special major including dance, art, science and education.  That is still my focus.  My art career has always been paralleled by my work in Somatics, which is the study of the body as a living phenomenon.  I was a professional dancer for years before I began moving on huge pieces of paper, drawing with both hands, creating what I called kinetic drawings.  My studies in Body-Mind Centering began around the same time I got my first art studio on the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco, so the dance between embodied physiology and drawing began in earnest. 

From 2004 – 2007 I worked on an extended series of projects inspired by estuaries.  I explored by boat and on foot, worked with salt water, mud, and sand in my pieces, and began to develop my long term fascination with water as an art material.  I did a series of estuary installations and began creating kinetic sculpture, returning to my movement roots.

The ‘pourings’ – using water and ink on mylar -- have continued to dominate my work in the last 15 years.  The nature of water is the crucial element in our cellular biology, and in all other living forms.  Water can change into 4 distinct structures:  ice, fluid, vapor, and a gel state – the latter is what makes cellular-based physiology possible.  Nothing in the body happens without fluid in its liquid or gel forms.

In my work, water creates uncontrollable shapes, and my control over the material is immaterial.  This is what I am after:  some raw remnant of the nature of being.  The drawn marks in my work are often either with both hands and/ or eyes closed, or I’m following movement.  The question of language – the language of life, the language of movement – is a subtext in the work. 

I’ve been on the Shipyard for 30 years, where the water in the Bay and the light over the water have seeped into my work and into my brain, changing both.



Solo Shows

2020-21    Nido Living,  San Francisco, CA

2019    MiXX Atelier,  Shift,  solo show, Telluride, CO

2017    Think Round, Inc, The Body is Not a Figure,  solo show, SF, CA

2015    San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art  solo show,  San Jose, CA

2014    Hardin Studios  Ground Water,  Solo show, SF,  CA

            Radio Africa   Estuary Phase II and IV,  Solo show,  SF,  CA

            Spirit  Unfolding,  solo show,  Santa Fe, NM

1996    Sight and Insight Gallery  Curated solo show; Mill Valley, CA

            1870 Art Center solo show; Belmont, CA

1994    Hampshire College Main Gallery Solo show; Amherst, MA

1992    Footwork Gallery   Bone Work  Solo show; San Francisco, CA


Collaborative Installations

2019    MiXX Atelier;  Art and Achitecture Expo, Telluride, CO

2018    Adobe Books Gallery   Storybody; Mixed Media installation with Belle Beuti and Claire         Frost, San Francisco, CA

2007    Hunters Point Shipyard  Mud and Tides: Estuary / Phase V;  Mixed media installation, collaboration with Cheryl E. Leonard, composer; San Francisco, CA

2006    Gallery Route One   Estuary / Phase III;  Collaborative installation with composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and filmmaker Barbara Klutinis; Point Reyes, CA

2005    Crissy Field Center  Estuary / Phase II;  Collaborative installation, with filmmaker Barbara Klutinis; San Francisco, CA

2004    Hunters Point Shipyard  Estuary / Phase I  Collaborative installation with composer Joan Jeanrenaud and filmmaker Barbara Klutinis; San Francisco, CA


Collaborative Performances

2018    BodyCartography at SFMOMA, Action Movie,  San Francisco, CA

2015    Re:Sound Sun, collaboration with Cheryl Leonard, Mare Island, Vallejo

2015    Shapeshifters Cinema,  collaboration with Cheryl Leonard,  Temescal Art Center, Oakland

2014    Erasure,  KJ Holmes and Co.,  Governor’s Island, NY, NY

2009    Illuminated Corridor  Shallow TideCommissioned piece for outdoor public art event; in collaboration with composer Cheryl E. Leonard; Oakland, CA


Curated Shows

2020    Nido Living Curated group show, San Francisco, CA

2020    Abrams Claghorn: Northern California Women’s Caucus for the Arts; The Ground Upon Which We Stand,  Curated group show, Albany, CA

2017    Barba Contemporary Art  Inaugural Group Show; Palm Springs, CA

            New Museum of Los Gatos:  Waterlines,  video with Cheryl Leonard’s music; Los Gatos, CA

2015    American Steel  Bay Area Abstract  Curated group show, Oakland, CA

2014     Dogpatch Gallery  Curated group show,  SF,  CA

             Mountain Sage  Standing with the Watershed  Curated group show  Groveland, CA

             Sherwood Gallery  Standing with the Watershed  Curated group show  SF, CA

2013    Wire Monkey Dance Theater Knew Werk  Curated set for performance piece,

Hadley, MA

            Three Girls Theater Peeling Back the Layers  Curated group show; SF, CA

2011    Thick House Gallery  Compost;  Curated group show;  San Francisco, CA

2009    Art at the Cheese Factory  Shaping Matter;  Curated work for outdoor space;  Petaluma

            Metropolitan Transportation Commission  Fluid Transport;  Curated show; Oakland

2008    Thoreau Center Gallery   The Water ProjectCurated group show; SF, CA

            a.Muse Gallery Water, the Essence of Life;;  Curated group show; SF, CA

2005    UN World Environment Day/ Natural World Museum  Estuary Excerpts; Curated show; San Francisco, CA

2003    Michael Martin Gallery  Curated show; San Francisco, CA

            Rogue Gallery  Curated three-person show; Medford, OR

2002    Michael Martin Gallery  Curated show; San Francisco, CA

            Shibume  Curated show; San Francisco, CA

            Theater Artaud  Curated two-person show; San Francisco, CA

2001    Build  Curated Curated three-person show; San Francisco; CA

2000    Somarts Gallery  Curated show; San Francisco, CA

1999    Pence Gallery  Curated two-person show; Davis, CA

            University of the Pacific  Curated three-person show; Stockton, CA

1990    Art Store Gallery  Curated two-person show; Oakland, CA


Juried Shows

2004    Artiade, the Olympics of Visual Art  Juried international exhibition; Athens, Greece

2001    SFSU Gallery   Juried show;  San Francisco, CA

1998    ArtSpan Selections  Juried Show, Academy of Art College Gallery; San Francisco, CA

1995    ArtReach  Juried show; San Francisco, CA

            Gallery Route One  Juried Show; Pt. Reyes Station, CA

            Caged Camelian  Juried show; Los Angeles, CA

1994    Gallery Route One  Juried show; Pt. Reyes Station, CA










Awards, Publications and Documentation

2020    Bay Area Women Artists’ Legacy Project Book of 29 local women artsts.

2018    KH Messen, Art Residency with collaborator Cheryl Leonard in Alvik, Norway

2017    Center for Cultural Innovation, Quick Grant for Individual Artists

2007 – 2010   Drawing Center Online Viewing Program

2009    Shipyard Artists,  Honored Artist by peer review

2008    East Bay Community Fund, Artist grant for Illuminated Corridor project

            Illuminated Corridor,  Commission for Oakland Inner Harbor Park project

2007    Robert M. MacNamara Foundation, Art Residency

2001 – 2007  Drawing Center Slide Registry

2005    Standing with Trees, by Karin Spitfire; illustrations for book of poetry

2002    Pollack-Krasner Foundation, Grant to Individual Artist

2001    Ashes to Ashes... the Art of Rebecca Haseltine, Documentary video by Barbara Klutinis

            Currents, a Journal of the Body-Mind Centering Association, Cover Art

2000    Currents, a Journal of the Body-Mind Centering Association, Cover Art

1999    Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Grant to Individual Artist

1995    ACCI Gallery, Best of Show

1992    Cummington Community of the Arts, Art Residency

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