Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is an artist, arts educator, activist, storyteller & curator who lives and works in Oakland, California. Branfman-Verissimo’s work is informed by her commitment to craft and community, her engagement with society, and interests in storytelling and cultural geography. Through the processes of story collecting, printmaking, painting and sculpture building, she strives to re-create and re-tell her personal tales and those of the people that surround her. These tactile, process-based mediums reflect the multi-layered complexity of the voices echoed in her work. Through interacting with her art, viewers are prompted to recall and tell their own stories, offering power and weight to the creation of a larger dialogue.
Lukaza is fascinated by the relationship of the individual to society. With her mixed identity as a queer, Jewish-American, African-Brazilian woman, it places her in a midst of numerous communities nationally and abroad. Her stories are intertwined with those of many others. The engaging process of gathering the narratives of people and communities that surround her is on equal ground with the artistic craft of telling them.
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo received her BFA from California College of the Arts. She has had solo exhibitions at Lago Projects in Oakland, E.M. Wolfman in Oakland, and Bolivar Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work has been included in exhibitions and performances at Betti Ono Gallery, Root Division, Deli Gallery, Southern Exposure, SFMOMA, Kala Art Institute, Osaka Art University and the Berkeley Art Museum. Lukaza was a Yozo Hamaguchi fellow at Kala Art institute in 2015 and has been a visiting artist at the College of Design, Architecture, Art Practice at University of Cincinnati, at New York University, and at California College of the Arts. She is the co-founder and lead curator at Nook Gallery, a gallery she started in her home kitchen. As a curator, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo has curated both group and solo shows at Nook Gallery and the Mind Control Art Fair.