Ann Schnake (b./based Oakland CA, MFA CCA SF 2012)is a visual artist who employs organic materiality, including wood, cloth, clay, dirt, hair, and baby socks to build installations and sculptural work as activation of objects, space, ideas, and people. She always hopes to express the glimmering strangeness of the world and to invite new flows of possibility for failing economic and ecologic systems. Her current work is to carve new bodily parts as wooden chimeras, tools of questionable utility and poetic prosthetics. Before this she worked as a nurse for many years; the very practical labor of examining, palpating and stitching the body is her phantom limb. In addition to gallery works, she is often a ringleader of collective endeavors, creating art venues, performances and projects in public sites, tents and storefronts. In 2018 Schnake was one of the founders of Dream Farm Commons in Oakland; she holds that space as artist, curator, cook and leader of collective projects. She and the Dream Farm community a daily exploration of arts ability to foreshadow possibility and poetics and just what a commons might be.
Ann Schnake is a social practice and visual artist who builds installations and sculptural works, investigating the physical activation of objects and mobility of spaces, in the context of failing economic and ecologic systems. She is also a nurse and often collaborates with other body workers, including performance artists, cooks, and hairdressers. Her visual and performative works are exhibited locally nationally and internationally in art venues and in unexpected locations, from gallery to hospital to dinner table to tent.
Ann Schnake received BA and MS in Nursing from University of California at San Francisco, and a Masters in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in 2012. In 2018 Schnake was one of the founders of Dream Farm Commons in Oakland; she holds that space as artist, curator, and ringleader of collective projects and had led over 50 exhibitions and projects there. MobileInTent is another ongoing creative production of Ann Schnake and other artists who push boundaries between art and ideas. The Mexican, German and American group of artists have traveled the US Mexico Border creating installations, performances, meals and discourse in Oakland, Los Angeles, Tijuana. Guadalajara, and Germany
She was also the founder of ArtsChange, directing exhibitions, performances and social dialogue in public sites in Richmond, CA, one of the most violent cities in the U.S. (1996-2011). She was director of the Bosnian Youth Art Workshop in East Oakland (2005-8), a founder of Mudwomen Ceramics (1994-1997); Director Odd Sunday Dinners, a series of curated meals and conversations (2010-14). Works include Limb Stories in Oakland CA &Salon Acme 11 Mexico City ( 2024) a Traveling Medicine Show and Empanada Stand at dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel Germany; Wooden Possibility Belgrade, Serbia, (2014-15); Poetics of Potatoes Berkeley Art Center (2014); Domesticity UnHinged at Play Space and Million Fishes San Francisco, and solo exhibitions at Aggregate Space, MacArthur B Arthur, Dream Farm Commons and Sacred Wheel Galleries in Oakland. She has been a guest to residencies in the US, Argentina, Slovenia and Mexico.