News

Sep 30, 2020

Leila Weefur and Alejandro Chavetta Join Our Board of Directors

Letterform Archive will benefit from the fresh perspective and expertise of two creative innovators as we expand the board.

We are pleased and honored to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors. A familiar face to anyone who has seen our membership video, Leila Weefur was a visiting researcher in our early years, and their story about exploring Blackness in advertising and typography at the Archive can be seen in The Occasional. Alejandro Chavetta has partnered with us on many projects, including exhibitions at Astro Studios where he was creative director, and content-creation for Adobe’s Create platform (now Discover), where he serves as Editor in Chief. Leila and Alejandro join an expanding board which aims to represent and respond to our broad community.

Leila Weefur, still from Between Beauty & Horror, 2020.

Leila Weefur (she/they/he) is a trans-gender-noncomforming artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through video and installation, they examine the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging present in our lived experiences. The work brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hyper surveillance, and the erotic.

Leila is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. They have worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, The Wattis Institute, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition to their personal practice, Leila lectures at the University of California, Berkeley and California College of the Arts, and is a member of the curatorial collective, The Black Aesthetic. Leila’s upcoming curatorial project with McEvoy Arts, New Labor Movements, features a collection of short films that explore visions of America and concepts of transnational Blackness. This year, Leila also completed Between Beauty & Horror, a video installation and book that explore the duality of beauty and horror in the Black experience.

Leila describes their initial experiences at the Archive:

I felt comfortable taking my research many different directions. I was impressed by the staff’s willingness to explore with me. The thing that feels the most helpful is when a librarian takes a genuine interest and does the work (rather than just saying ‘no, we don’t have that’). What I found at the Archive is a community of curiosity. It has been a cornerstone of my research.

Alejandro Chavetta, untitled artwork.

Alejandro Chavetta (he/him) Alejandro Chavetta is as an Argentinian-born designer and artist who currently works as Editor in Chief at Adobe’s new creative culture platform, Discover, where he is responsible for content strategy. After moving to San Francisco in 1996, Alejandro earned a degree in Graphic Design & Visual Communications form San Francisco State University. Following his post as Creative Director of Dwell magazine, Alejandro worked as a designer and brand consultant for companies like PayPal, eBay, and Shyp. He cites the Design Playbook at eBay Inc. as one of most interesting projects of this period his career. Working alongside a small group of senior creatives, under the guidance of Jon Maeda, Alejandro helped lay the groundwork to define design culture across eBay.

Before joining Adobe, Alejandro worked as CD at Astro Studios in SF, where he helped build and solidify the brand-design, naming, and strategy practice, working with clients like HTC VIVE, Walmart, and Logitech. He spends some of his spare time making paper collages in his garage/studio or on his iPad, and his personal work has been exhibited in galleries in the US and Europe. He blends his personal and professional work with passion projects; one of them is a collaboration with German band The Hirsch Effekt for whom Alejandro has crafted every album cover and book for the past decade.

As we welcome these new faces to the board we thank Megan Prelinger for her service. Megan is stepping down as board secretary, after a term of over two years, to more deeply attend to her role as co-founder of the Prelinger Library. We are deeply grateful for her dedication to the Archive and look forward to collaborating again with her in the future.