the four christians

Bayview Opera House Press Release
October 12, 2000

The Bayview Opera House presents…
The Human Family Tree/A Walk Through Paradise, an environmental installation

On December 19, 2000, as part of holiday and millennium festivities, and in celebration of cultural differences and the spirit of harmony and humanness that unite a cross-section of San Francisco residents, the Bayview Opera House will premiere, The Human Family Tree/A Walk Through Paradise, an environmental installation. The installation will center on seventy-eight paintings created by SF artist, Heidi Hardin, and thirty-six corresponding original musical works by Los Angeles composer, Jonathan Sacks. 

Visitors to the Opera House will find the theater transformed by an elaborate labyrinth of pillars and paths, based on the ancient tarot of the Egyptians, or Tree of Life. Each of the ten, four-sided pillars and the twenty-two triangulated paths will hold paintings created from family photographs—images that span the past one hundred years, and document each family’s history. Four families have been selected to represent major ethnic groups, standing as icons for Americans of African, Latin, Caucasian and Asian decent.

Each of these families has been associated with the Bayview Opera House and the Bayview Hunters Point community, either directly or indirectly, for the past eight years or more. Shelley Bradford Bell has served as a member of the Board of Directors and is currently the Executive Director of the Bayview Opera House. Leslie Aguilar has served annually as artist/instructor for the Children’s Mural Program, an in-school, visual arts program of the Bayview Opera House. Scott Madison served diligently for nine years as the Secretary of Board of Directors of the Bayview Opera House. Richard Uchida is the husband of the artist; in that capacity he has served to assist Ms. Hardin in the many Bayview Opera House project and programs created by her—including this project.

The photographs have been selected to represent archetypal evolutionary human experiences (for example, infancy, childhood, adolescence, motherhood, fatherhood, marriage, death, etc.), and will be installed on panels decorated with papers that evoke the dreams and aspirations of the times. The musical soundtrack is composed to match the emotional vibration of each of the shared human experiences depicted. The art and music are a celebration of the Great Work of American families. The experiences depicted recreate the circular nature of life, and the spiritual evolution of all peoples as members of the human family.

The Bayview Opera House is proud to present this exhibition in celebration of the holiday season and as a marker of the true beginning of the new millennium. It is a highlight of two years of on-going programming that has centered on ethnic diversity. The installation will run through January 14, 2001, and will be open Monday through Saturday from noon until five each evening. A reception for the subject families and the artists will be held December 19, 2000, from 3-6:00 p.m. , at the Bayview Opera House, at 4705 Third Street, between Newcomb and Oakdale, SF, CA 94124.   

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newspace press release

Newspace presents San Francisco artist Heidi Hardin and her installation of paintings documenting California family histories. The paintings are incorporated into an installation combining objects, music, and elaborate displays which take the viewer on a “walk through paradise” in which we are guided along a path and must come to a rest stop before each “station” of family history.

Hardin’s work examines the family photo album as a tool for evoking common human experiences linking four separate cultural experiences while allowing the viewer to see the inner culture within each family. Four different families stand as icons for Americans of African, European, Asian and Latin descent. Hardin’s paintings are expanded using cultural decorative arts, handmade papers, trimmings and flowers as well as an original musical score by composer Jonathan Sacks.

An accomplished figurative painter and muralist, Hardin has been working in San Francisco where “The Human Family Tree” first debuted at the Bayview Opera House. The installation visits Los Angeles courtesy of Home Depot and Newspace.

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The audio above is a phone interview with Karon Viggiano about what Think Round, Inc. does for the community. From our children's programs moving forward to working on this project: The Human Family Tree/A Walk Through Paradise. The interview was in November 2014.


the aguilar family


the BELL family

About the Artist:

Originally from Oklahoma, Heidi Hardin received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Bachelor of Arts in Biology from UC, San Diego, spending her last year of graduate study at the Whitney Museum of American Arts Independent Study Program for Painters and Sculptors in New York City. Her teachers included Manny Farber, Patricia Patterson and Eleanor Antin. She worked for a number of years as studio assistant to Newton and Helen Harrison. For the past eight years, she has served as the coordinator for the Bayview Opera House’s In-School Multi-Arts Programs.

Ms. Hardin has exhibited her paintings extensively in California galleries and museums (including the Long Beach Museum, the Triton Museum, the La Jolla Museum and the SF Art Commission Gallery.) Last year, in order to pursue her art career full-time, she retired as a Museum Artists at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Ms. Hardin has taught visual arts in San Francisco schools, at the college level at UCSD, National University and City College of San Francisco. Her most recent paintings, Christian Families From Countries Around the World, been widely accepted in national competitions. Newspace, Los Angeles, represents her artwork.

Since coming to the Bay Area in 1984, Ms. Hardin has been involved in the Bayview Hunters Point community as an artist, artist-activist, artist-instructor, and artist-administrator. Her studio for eight years was at Hunters Point Shipyard (HPS), where she exhibited annually in Open Studios and has been an advocate on behalf of the nation's largest community of artists there.

Three programs of the Bayview Opera House: The Children’s Mural Program, The Third Street Mural Project and “Our Part of Town II, and III” were conceived, funded, administered and taught by Ms. Hardin, and have provided hands-on arts experiences for over two thousand community children of all ages. These programs have also included scores of seniors, and hundreds of community residents, as well as provided on the job training and employed dozens of community and shipyard artists. As an artist/activist at HPS and through her involvement with the Mayor's Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the Bayview Opera House, Ms. Hardin has been endeavoring to build bridges between the shipyard’s artist community and residents of the Bayview Hunters Point. For these efforts, in 1998, she was appointed as a Commissioner by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to the Southeast Community Facility Commission, which oversees the needs of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.

About the Composer:

Originally from the Boston area, Mr. Sacks studied composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, with graduate studies completed at the University of California. His teachers included Kenneth Gaburo, Pauline Oliveros, and Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds. He was awarded an Artist in Residence from the California Arts Council, and an HEW grant for the composition of three touring musicals. Mr. Sacks has won numerous composition competitions, including the Independent Composers Association and the Pacific Composer's Forum.

Members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, XTET, and the California Ear Unit have performed his concert works in New York and Los Angeles. He is currently composer-in-residence for the Classical Theatre Lab. In addition, Mr. Sacks has composed incidental music for productions of "Hamlet", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Macbeth", and "Cymbeline", Chekhov's "The Three Sisters", Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Brecht's "Mother Courage", Euripides' "Elektra" and Mark Medoff's new play "Stumps". He is currently at work with internationally produced playwright Robert Auletta on a musical theater piece "Full Lunar Light". As a member of The Contemporary Arts, Music, and Performance Alliance, he co-produced multi-media productions at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater as part of the L.A. County"Summer Nights at the Ford" series, the Bachofner Gallery, and Mount Saint Mary's College.

Jonathan Sacks is active in film music as arranger and orchestrator. He has orchestrated film scores by Randy Newman, Michael Kamen, Mark Snow, Harry Gregson-Williams, Christopher Stone, and William Goldstein [including "Toy Story 2", "A Bug's Life", and "The X-Files (movie)"]. Additionally he has been an arranger for the rock group KISS, for David Foster and Barbara Streisand, and for commercials. Mr. Sacks is affiliated with BMI.

The presentation of The Human Family Tree… is a renewal of the collaboration between the artist and composer, which began in 1980 in San Diego where they shared a studio for several years.

installation views
newspace 2000

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