Josefa Vaughan’s art education began in Houston, Texas at the age of eleven when she received several years of free private art instruction from a benefactor of her large working class family. Her self-directed studies, applied first as a homeless teenager, auditing art classes at University of Texas at Austin then as an unmarried mom, lead her to receive various scholarships including Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts Glassell School, plus The Art League and Community College there. Since then she has exhibited her art in numerous venues locally, nationally and in Europe and has received private and public commissions. She has curated and organized exhibitions of other artist’s work and has served as board member of numerous arts organizations.
Vaughan was a resident artist at Centrum, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the de Young Museum Artist Studio, and was affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. She has lectured at the San Francisco Art Institute, U.C. Davis, San Jose State, and Stanford Universities. She has taught art through Synergy School, Chinese American International School, Texas Institute for Arts in Education, SF Arts Education Project, Hills Project, SFMOMA, Studio One, and the Oakland Museum of California. She has received an Individual Artist Award for her “continuation work” through the Cultural Equity Grants Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission. Vaughan is founder of ArtSeed, a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization with a mission to bring diverse communities together to support the young or disadvantaged to reach their full potential. Annual fine arts exhibitions and festive events culminate year-round innovative classroom arts integration and long-term artist/youth apprenticeships. ArtSeed aims to foster a life-long love of learning, teaching and working.
Since 1987 my installations of paintings, prints, and drawings have been derived largely from an ongoing archive of thousands of doodles I have collected from people in all walks of life. My “radically inclusive” art making and teaching practices have developed into ArtSeed, an innovative nonprofit organization. My own artwork continues to include a collaborative or participatory component.
ArtSeed artists work with various individuals and organizations to develop interdisciplinary arts projects while providing long-term vocational guidance to the young or disadvantaged.
ArtSeed’s mission is to invite people of all ages and backgrounds to grasp, utilize and transform the arts through programs that include workshops, exhibitions, field trips, collaborative projects, and studio apprenticeships. Behind-the-scenes “HouseCalls” to homes, schools and work environments culminate in festive “Shebangs” and on-going “GrapeVines” internships and referrals through our website, www.artseed.org.
By fostering shared creativity, critical thinking and peaceful self-expression ArtSeed’s mission reflects my own aim as a teacher which is to expand the meaning of art, enrich families, and give individual participants skills and perspectives that will help them reach their full potential. I believe that the best art reflects the totality of human experience. I teach and practice time-tested techniques that relate to art history while exploring experimental processes and referencing current events. Above all I want my art to celebrate serious risk-taking, playfulness and an ever-expanding spirit of generosity.