Board & Staff

AAWAA Staff & Volunteers during Refresh Fundraiser at The Sequoias, 2014. (Left to right: Laura Paule, Cynthia Tom, Rachel Endoso, Melanie Elvena, Mido Lee, Shari Arai DeBoer, & Michelle Lee).

AAWAA Staff & Volunteers during Refresh Fundraiser at The Sequoias, 2014. (Left to right: Laura Paule, Cynthia Tom, Rachel Endoso, Melanie Elvena, Mido Lee, Shari Arai DeBoer, & Michelle Lee). Photo courtesy of Cris Matos.

BOARD MEMBERS

Cynthia Tom, Board President | cynthia@aawaa.net

CYNTHIA TOM is a visual artist, community activist, arts organizer, and current Board President. Cynthia is also founder and director of A PLACE OF HER OWN, an arts healing residency providing trauma-informed transformation for women. Cultural surrealism, intuitive, and powerful are often used to describe her paintings and mixed media installations. She lectures on women’s issues, feminism, Asian American women in the arts, and her work. Cynthia has won numerous awards for her art and leadership.

 

Shari DeBoer, Board Secretary/Treasurer | shari@aawaa.net

SHARI DEBOER is a printmaker, painter, book artist and private art instructor. Before turning her focus to community arts and her own artwork, Shari worked as an architect in San Francisco and continues to do creative projects with her husband, architect Darrel DeBoer.

 

Sigi Arnejo

SIGI ARNEJO is a Filipino American graphic artist whose work reflects her history and culture. She is the founder of Transistor Radio Theatre, and a Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Alumni. She lives in Oakland, California.

 

Linda Inson Choy

LINDA INSON CHOY received her BA from Mills College in Oakland, California and an MA in Contemporary Korean Art from San Jose State University, San Jose, California. She has worked as Curatorial Assistant at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, for the Korean Art Department from 1996 to 2004 where she has held a major role in organizing several major exhibitions culminating in “The Age of Enlightenment: Art of Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty” in 2003.  Since 2005 she has worked as an independent curator specializing in contemporary Korean art  and has curated many exhibitions.

Michelle Lee

MICHELLE A. LEE is an interdisciplinary artist and curator from San Francisco, California. A 3rd generation San Franciscan, Lee is a graduate of the Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has worked in arts organizations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Eating Cultures, her most recent curatorial project, featured 36 emerging and established artists and over 50 artworks inspired by Asian Pacific American food and foodways.

 

Vinay Patel

VINAY PATEL has spent over a decade as an arts administrator and has been a critical factor in the growth of Asian Improv aRts’ as an arts advocate (as a co-founder and a coordinator of the California Asian American and Pacific Islander Arts Network), producer (from local to international concerts, festivals, tours, recordings) and organizational development consultant as well. Patel has been the Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center since 2009.

 

Pallavi Sharma

PALLAVI SHARMA was born in India and immigrated to the US in 1997. She received her BFA and MFA from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India and her Ph.D. in Art History from India’s National Museum Institute of History of Art and Conservation.  She is a multidisciplinary artist and her research interest concerns Asian American women’s cultural production, feminist pedagogy and activism. She has exhibited her work nationally at various venues including the Queens Museum of Art, Aicon Gallery, NY, Bishop Museum, HI. She is the director and founder of Inner Eye Art, a nonprofit art organization in San Francisco.

ADVISORY BOARD

Susan Almazol

Lenore  Chinn

Lydia Nakashima-Degarrod

Natalie Gore

Nancy Hom

Margaret Rhee

Shizue Seigel

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud

Sue Tom

STAFF

Suzanne TanExecutive Director | suzanne@aawaa.net

SUZANNE TAN has over 25 years of experience in museums and cultural organizations in both Northern and Southern California, with past appointments including Executive Director of both Berkeley Art Center and Richmond Art Center; Development Director at Kala Art Institute, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Armory Center for the Arts; and Project Manager at the Japanese American National Museum and SFMOMA. She has taught graduate level classes at JFK University’s Museum Studies Program, her alma mater, and has served as an American Alliance for Museums Peer Reviewer for the past ten years. Suzanne has also delivered a number of public presentations at national museum conferences and regional venues, and has served on many grant and public art review panels in and around the Bay Area.

Melanie Elvena, Programs Manager | melanie@aawaa.net

MELANIE ELVENA is an arts organizer, activist, and independent curator living and working in the SF Bay Area. A self-prescribed arts dabbler, she received her B.A. in Art History from UC Irvine with an emphasis in Modern and Contemporary Art She currently serves as Programs Manager at Asian American Women Artists Association and Artistic Director at Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center. Melanie was also the APAture Coordinator for Kearny Street Workshop in 2013 and co-curator for its Visual Arts and Performing Arts showcases from 2013-2014.

Michelle Lee, Exhibitions Manager | michelle.lee@aawaa.net

MICHELLE A. LEE is an interdisciplinary artist and curator from San Francisco, California. A 3rd generation San Franciscan, Lee is a graduate of the Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has worked in arts organizations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Eating Cultures, her most recent curatorial project, featured 36 emerging and established artists and over 50 artworks inspired by Asian Pacific American food and foodways.

 

INTERNS & VOLUNTEERS

Mariela Montero, Intern