“A community without art or a space to be able to express yourself is not a community I want to be a part of.”
“We have to exist because we know how important this space can be and has been for so many hundreds of artists.”
CTRL+SHIFT Collective is an exhibition space and fifteen studios located in West Oakland. Members consist of a community of cis-women, trans-spectrum, gender non-conforming, queer, and PoC members. Through workshops, exhibitions, and other community engagements, the collective focuses on providing a platform for their ever-growing CTRL+SHFT family, which includes writers, artists, thinkers, performers, curators, allies, agitators, organizers, activists, and teachers. As an exhibition and organizing space, CTRL+SHIFT focuses on giving a platform (e.g. a space, people, someone to listen, take action, witness, transparency, resources) to artists of color, women, queer and gender non-conforming artists.
We sat down with members of CTRL+SHIFT to talk about how their space came to be and what it takes to continue holding space for artists and the community.