I care deeply about seeing you and being seen by you in our wholeness and multiplicities as well as acknowledging our interconnected interdependence regardless of our differences. Navigating contrasting values, ideas, and experiences is a skill I developed out of necessity because of my mixed multiracial, multicultural and immigrant experiences as I was learning to speak bilingually Arabic and English. Being comfortable in the in-between is my superpower.
Growing up with my Egyptian Muslim scientist father and my Basque-Italian-American Catholic do-it-yourself creative maker mother first in the megacity Cairo, Egypt then in the small college town Davis, California was a colorful adventure of multilayered moving and widely clashing parts - a living kaleidoscope. Contrasting approaches to life between my parents, extended families, and communities had me questioning where I belonged.
Understanding nuances of who I was and how I fit in as a seven year old newly arrived in the United States was often very confusing and painful. I dreaded the endless questioning “What are you?” or responding to my name at roll call. “Susu!” I’d shout out as I noticed the teacher struggling with my name Soad. Susu is a common nickname for Soad in Egypt and the name many friends and family from my early years still call me. In school the kids heard “Sue Sue” as a nickname for Susan and I let that impression slide. To make it true and to attempt to blend in, I asked my parents, “Can I change my name to Susan?” They said no.
My first name, Soad, was given to me in honor of my Egyptian paternal grandmother Soad as her first grandchild. Translated from Arabic, Soad means happiness or joy. My second name is my father's name Adel meaning fairness and justice, and my last name Kader means capable and powerful. My name reflects my mission - we are capable and powerful with justice & joy. Yes we are!
We are at a unique point in history when we are at once interconnected and alienated. My artwork and experience making affirm our connections and bridge our alienation by encouraging increased self-knowledge including what brings us joy and wholeness in our multiplicities knowing we don’t have to choose and live in dualistic boxes or by others ideas of where we fit in and by acknowledging our personal power and agency to make choices aligned with our truth.
Working in multiple ways beyond my formal painting education I use the mediums of collage, participation, printmaking and installation to explore connection, self-knowledge and joy from the inside out. Inner worlds create outer worlds. Integrity with oneself helps create the same in society. My work invites us to appreciate the beauty and wholeness of our inner treasures and tribulations to better align our pleasures, power and purpose. Our personal awareness and aligned actions empower us to be the change we want to see and to live in vibrant community.
Welcome to StudioSoad!Find your art crush at StudioSoad. Contact artist Soad by email [email protected] to schedule a live or video studio visit. See, connect, choose your next artwork to enliven your space.
Bachelor of Art, Art Studio, magna cum laude, University of California, Davis - Faculty: Squeak Carnwath, Roy De Forest, Mike Henderson, David Hollowell, Manuel Neri, Roland Peterson, Lucy Puls, Cornelia Schulz, Wayne Thiebaud
2023 Refusés of the Bay, Voss Gallery, San Francisco, CA
SquaredAlumni, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
You Belong Here (solo exhibit), Four Chicken Gallery, San Francisco, CA
About Face, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA
48 Pillars, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Knowing Ourselves (solo exhibit) - China Basin, Lobby 1, KFF & UCSF Primary Care, San Francisco, CA
2022 Inner Worlds - Knowing Ourselves (solo exhibit) - China Basin, Lobby 6, UCSF Radiology, San Francisco, CA
Pictures of People, digital exhibit with Alice Neel: People Come First, at de Young Museum
A Window Through, Bioneers at The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Women Rising, Seven Eighty Valencia, San Francisco, CA
Reassessing Values, City Hall, San Francisco, CA
2021 SPARCX, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
BASL, Voss Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2020 FourSquared, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Women Rising, The Drawing Room, San Francisco, CA
2019 Carnaval San Francisco, 10 years creating and performing in an award winning contingent Latin Dance Grooves, Mission District, SF, CA
Inner Worlds, China Basin, San Francisco, CA
Time, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Movers & Shakers, The Drawing Room, San Francisco, CA
2018 Art & Activism: Drawing the Line, Children's Museum of the Arts, New York, NY
Diptychs, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
The Excitement of Suggestion, China Basin, San Francisco, CA
ka'POW!, Heroic Women, Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda, CA
2017 With Liberty and Justice for Some, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
Resistance, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Sanctuary City: With Liberty and Justice for Some, San Francisco Arts Commission Main Gallery, San Francisco, CA
With Liberty and Justice for Some, Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
AWARDS - HONORS - PRESENTATIONS - PRESS - PROJECTS - RESIDENCIES
2023 de Young Museum guest educator, "Inside Out Self Portrait", San Francisco, CA
Kala Art Institute, Artist-in-Residence, Berkeley, CA
2022 Meaning and Purpose: The Projects That Mattered - Meet Soad Kader (written interview)
Licensed artwork to The C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
Certificate of Honor from the City & County of San Francisco in recognition of my commitment to enriching lives through art.
2021 ArtSpan "Campaign Collateral Competition:Top Winner" - "Inner Worlds" portraits promote SFOS on the guide cover, billboards, busses.
2017 Huffington Post Artists Mobilize: With Liberty and Justice for Some . . . An Exhibition Honoring Immigrants" Amy Pleasant, January 19, 2017
2017 KQED “Portraits of an Immigrant-Filled Nation at Walter Maciel Gallery” Sarah Hotchkiss & Kelly Whalen, 2/8/17 - Video here.
2015 Co-Chair & five years service to ArtSpan San Francisco Open Studios Committee
2014 ArtSpan Spotlight Artist for SFOS Guide - Theme: "Resilience"
2006 Fundación Valparaíso, Artist-in-Residence, Mojácar, Spain
In private and institutional collections nationally and internationally including in
Argentina, Egypt, France, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, United States, and Venezuela.
Artist, dancer, educator, traveler, lover of diverse world cultures and expression in adornment, arts, design, fashion, food, fútbol (soccer), language, music, and textiles. Forever working for social justice, personal freedom, cultural evolution and wellbeing for an egalitarian, inclusive and thriving society through personal growth, connection, and joy. Multiplicities, maximalism, wholeness welcome and encouraged here. Let's go!