Bioneers 2023 Conference

Bioneers 2024 Artists and Performers

For Bioneers’ 35th conference, we are excited for art to play a vital, celebratory, and transformational role at the conference. Check out this year’s contributing artists. 

2024 Bioneers Artwork

Laurent Formery

Though the beauty of a sea star’s nervous system was incidental to postdoctoral scholar Laurent Formery’s research on their development and evolution, its power is not lost on him. His microscopy image of a juvenile sea star’s nervous system is featured as a primary part of the composite image being used for the Bioneers 2024 Conference. The image won the 2022 Evident Global Scientific Light Microscopy Award and made the cover of “Nature” as part of his recently published study. In the image, each layer of the sea star’s nervous system is represented by a different color, resulting in an arresting rainbow-hued rendering of its internal workings. While the study that produced the image has its own compelling findings, Formery said that the attention-grabbing visuals produced by the microscopy process certainly benefit the research. 

“Microscopy is fantastic for this because if you look at the Nikon Small World or the Olympus Microscopy Awards, there are so many absolutely gorgeous pictures,” Formery said. “I just appreciate microscopy a lot. I think you can do really interesting things. And, while it’s not necessary, of course, it is good to be able to make insightful science that also happens to be nice looking.” 

Full interview with Laurent Formery, Scientist/Artist behind the 2024 Bioneers Artwork

Bioneers Artists on the Grounds

Veronica Ramirez

Veronica is first generation to Chilean/Mapuche ancestry, born on Ramaytush Territory (Redwood City, CA). Co-founder of PLACE (People Linking Art, Community & Ecology) on Ohlone Territory (Oakland, CA), an educational center and maker space since 2011, Veronica’s experience spans various domains, including organizational development, educational programming, placemaking projects, community partnerships, and neighbor relations. In 2021, she joined SNAG Mag/The Nest (Seventh Native American Generation) as a co-director, helping to facilitate this youth-inspired initiative that shares inspiring Native/Indigenous stories through rich articles and featured artists. As a founding member of Golden Gate Cohousing since 2012, she contributes to the co-living project dedicated to diversity and affordable housing for change makers, a project of Shared Living Resource Center where she serves as a board member. Additionally, Veronica’s commitment to food and criminal justice issues is evident through her board membership with Planting Justice, an organization dedicated to addressing these concerns. In 2017 Veronica was recognized for her community work by the City Council of District 1 in Oakland, CA on Legacy of Cesar Chavez Day. As a sacred activist she has led public earth altar making rituals and workshops with community since 1998. Earth Altarscapes (formerly Earth Peace Mandala Project) is the body of work that most brings to life her passions for the natural world, art, and the sacred while also celebrating community. Veronica’s passion for community and restorative justice is exemplified by her role in the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council, tackling community violence through a restorative lens; this is where her mutual aid/advocacy volunteer work with unhoused neighbors of Oakland began and from which lasting relationships in these communities continue. Veronica’s curious nature inspires her toward her deep love of the natural world, human connection, and the transformative healing that comes from the co-creative spirit we each possess.

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Erin McCluskey Wheeler

Erin McCluskey Wheeler (she/her) is a mixed media artist, writer, and teacher based in Richmond, CA. Erin is a studio facilitator at NIAD Art Center in Richmond and teaches online art classes with the 92nd Street Y in New York. Erin holds a BA in studio art and art history from Beloit College, and an MFA from California College of the Arts in writing.

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Roberta Trentin

Roberta Trentin is a multidisciplinary artist who works in collaboration with the materials and the unknown outcomes. Her work explores overlooked stories of fungi, microorganisms, and plants in the more-than-human world. A background in science and a love of the earth result in an interweaving of macro/micro observations and deeply personal stories in her work. Roberta splits her time between the forests of the Hudson Valley and Brooklyn.

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Kelly Richardson

Taking cues from 19th-century landscape painting, 20th-century cinema, and 21st-century planetary research, artist Kelly Richardson crafts digital artworks which offer imaginative glimpses of the future that prompt a careful consideration of the present. Her work has been featured in the Beijing, Busan, Canadian, and Gwangju biennales, as well as major moving image exhibitions including TIFF and Sundance Film Festival. Richardson’s artworks are represented in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (USA), Buffalo AKG Museum (USA), National Gallery of Canada, Arts Council Collection (England), among others.She is a founding member of the Awi’nakola Foundation—an Indigenous-led, cross-cultural group of knowledge keepers, scientists, and artists working together to find effective responses to the climate crisis and educate others through the process. By sharing cross-disciplinary research practices, the group develops ways to heal the planet, heal the people, and change culture.

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Arturo Méndez

Arturo Méndez is a cultural producer, curator, visual artist, musician, and community organizer advancing cultural equity in SF. Founder of community empowering projects, including Arts.Co.Lab, La Diáspora Festival, and Urban Prophets Illustrated and producer for the Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP) since 2016.

He has curated shows for the Exploratorium, Harvard and Cornell University, and the United Nations, recipient of the CALI Catalyst Grant from CCI, the Cultural Equity Initiatives Grant by the SFAC, and fellowships with the Intercultural Leadership Institute ‘22, and the Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA ‘19.

His work strives to create generative narratives to empower people through arts and culture for collective joy and liberation and to advocate for institutional policies and practices that center the voices of people from the most vulnerable communities.


WEAD (Women Eco Artists Dialog)

WEAD runs as a female identified volunteer collective. We organize monthly on-line presentations on Art + Activism, Art + Education and Art + Science, sponsor both virtual and physical exhibitions, and publish a yearly digital Magazine. Our mission is to encourage, support and mentor women identified artists to create eco art events and initiatives, in their own neighbourhoods, in regional collaborations and internationally.

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PARDICOLOR is a creative hub dedicated to saving Earth’s biodiversity. The PARDICOLOR Creative Arts Fund (est. 2020), supports artists across the world to make art on wildlife and environment, and the Our World Needs Wild desk collaborates with artists to raise funds and awareness for wildlife conservation through fine art prints with a fresh aesthetic. ‘We believe that by empowering artists and supporting creative expression we can help ourselves and the communities where we work to imagine an Earth that is sustainable and thriving with biodiversity.’ – PARDICOLOR

Photo of art: Ink drawing from the GERIMIS Art Project, a collaborative art project and archiving initiative the explores Orang Asli (Indigenous) narratives from the Malaysian Peninsula – a 2020 PARDICOLOR Creative Arts Fund grantee.


CV Peterson

CV Peterson (Eau Claire/Chicago) is a multidisciplinary artist who combines scientific exploration and art to examine human-caused environmental devastation. Their work takes a whimsically dark and playful view of what the planet would be like after humanity is extinct.

Peterson has exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute’s FolkLife Festival, the CICA Museum in South Korea, Shanghai Zhu Qizhan Art Museum in China, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Nobel Conference on Climate Change hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College and toured through Europe by Universal Sea. They have performed at international performance festivals such as, Out of Site Chicago, The Performance Arcade in New Zealand, and Detroit’s Forward Fringe Festival. They were in residency at Arteles Creative Center, Haukijärvi, Finland. Their current work of fungal sculptures is sponsored by Ecovative Design.

Peterson received their MFA and BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College where they graduated Magna Cum Laude and received Phi Beta Kappa. Peterson has curated Eco Art exhibitions in Chicago, IL and Eau Claire, WI. They currently teach at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and are the founder of Envisage Art Retreat.

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Minoosh Zomorodinia

Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian-born interdisciplinary artist who makes visible the emotional and psychological reflections of her mind’s eye inspired by nature and her environment. She employs walking as a catalyst to reference the power of technology as a colonial structure while negotiating boundaries of land. Her strollings sometimes reimagines our relationships between nature, land, and technology, while addressing transformation of memories into actual physical space absurdly. Zomorodinia has received several awards, residences, and grants including the Kala Media Fellowship Award, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, Djerassi Residency, Recology Artist Residency, the Alternative Exposure Award, and California Art Council Grants. She has exhibited locally and internationally at Asian Art Museum San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, Berkeley Art Center, Pori Art Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, ProARTS and many more. Her work has been featured in the SF Chronicle, Hyperallergic, SFWeekly, KQED and many other media outlets. She earned her MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute, and holds a Masters degree in Graphic Design and BA in Photography from Azad University in Tehran. She currently lives and works in the Bay Area.

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Lisa Zimmer-Chu

Lisa Zimmer-Chu is a painter (BFA, Michigan State University), inspired by the relationship to the materials she works with.  Considering resource use and the effects of consumption, she is committed to working with repurposed and found objects.  Using things in unintended ways creates a juxtaposition and invites others to consider source and materiality (which includes labor, extraction, production, transportation, and disposal).  While many items she uses are manufactured, Zimmer-Chus’ assembly of them is clearly handmade, conveying the sense that she is making due with what is at hand.

As a Creative Arts Therapist (MPS, Pratt Institute) and educator, Zimmer-Chu is passionate about art that creates connection to the maker – their perspective, feelings, ideas, culture, experiences, and shared humanity.  Her work is full of relationship, metaphor, symbolism and purpose as she strives to connect in some way with those who share it.

As an activist and the mother of two, Zimmer-Chu is profoundly concerned about climate injustice and the future of the next seven generations.  She believes art can be transformative for both the artist and the public, and because the arts are part of culture, they can (and do!) affect cultural change.

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Rossella Scapini

Rossella Scapini is an Italian sculptor and painter whose artistic experience spans from fine art restoration to monumental sculpture. She studied at Libera Accademia di Belle Arti LABA in Brescia (Italy) followed by a professional career in Spain as a set decorator and prop maker for cinema, advertisement and museums. In 2007 she relocated to the Bay Area and begun working with the internationally renowned Artworks Foundry, using the ancient technique of lost wax to cast her own sculptures in bronze.

In 2021 her first public sculpture “Calimar” founded by Alameda Pubic Art, was installed along the Alameda Point shoreline in Alameda, California.

As a sculptor she works extensively with clay and plaster, bronze, resin, wax and anything than can be modeled. Her painting skills include acrylics, oils, various techniques for faux finishes and mosaics.

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Simiya Sudduth

Simiya is a Black + Indigenous mother, multidisciplinary artist and art educator. She maintains a fluid creative practice that primarily manifests in the realm of public art, and social practice. Her work explores the intersections of healing, ecology, social justice, and spirituality. Simiya’s expansive creative practice ranges from digital illustration, designing and painting murals to experimental sound healing performances.

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Yvonne C. Espinoza

Yvonne C. Espinoza is a visual artist and designer of peruvian ancestry. Her formal education in Fine Arts at Bard College and subsequent career as an artist, along with her ongoing studies in the many fields integrated with environmental studies, combine to form her signature style of mixed media artwork. After many years in marketing and project management, she is focusing on art and design work at the crossroads of art, ecological design, and resilience planning. She currently works at her fine art and design studio in Connecticut.

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Los Subterráneos

Los Subterráneos is an art collective based in Oaxaca, Mexico. This collective formed in August 2021 developing a proposal so that young artists could have access to knowledge and tools that allow them to thrive and through this be agents of change to transform their society. At the same time, the collective seeks to make visible issues of social content to sensitise the public through art and the intervention of public space.

Casa Subterránea was created as a school, studio space, and gallery, which offers drawing, engraving and mural painting workshops to anyone who wishes to explore these subjects. We are especially open to all young people who need such a place to develop their creative, spiritual and aesthetic potential. For Subterráneos, art is and will be a space through which we connect as both artists and spectators. Casa Subterránea aims to provide a living that can cover the basic needs of our members.

The body of work presented at this year’s Bioneers conference 2023 is called Los Nadies or The Nobodies. Collective’s statement: “We look to the past to resuscitate images of those who have arrived in the present almost wrapped in oblivion. We resignify them to remove the nobodies from the nothingness, in which everyone who does not share the logic of this is buried- the system that segregates, kills and forgets even the hands, voices and bodies that gave the world shape.”

This exhibition is curated by Patsy Craig, director and founder of AWA, a cultural project based in Cusco, Peru focusing on art at the intersection of ecology, Indigeneity, ancestral knowledge, and decolonisation.

David Solnit

David Solnit, a longtime mass arts organizer and street muralist and with the Climate Justice Arts Project. David uses the arts as a tool with movements and campaigns to help tell stories and win positive change. He has supported movements with art and direct action on 4 continents, using giant street murals, street theater and pageants, street art poster newspapers and art builds (people making art together).  He has co-created numerous art kits (Ceasefire in Gaza, To End Fossil Fuels) and editor/author of GlobalizeLiberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World


Ruth Tabancay

Ruth Tabancay was born in Watsonville, California, the child of Filipino immigrant parents. She developed a love of various needlework techniques, such as crochet, embroidery, and sewing clothes, following the crafts she observed her mother making. With an innate love of science, she majored in Bacteriology in college and after a stint working in hospital laboratories, she went on to medical school. After 11 years in private practice, she left medicine to go to art school. Her earlier work was largely based on microbiology, microscopy, and geometry. Her more recent works address environmental disruption and ecological systems executed in a variety of textile techniques such as crochet, stitching, embroidery, and felting.

She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley; University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco; and California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, including The Textile Museum, Washington, D. C.; Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; World Financial Center, New York City; and San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. She is a member of Mercury 20 Gallery in Oakland, California, and lives in Berkeley.

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