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Pieces of blue ceramic in concrete rectangle

Existing as a record of time, Anne Hicks Siberell’s 100 concrete journals capture over four decades of the artist’s life.

April 15–September 10, 2023

San Francisco (February 28, 2023): The Museum of Craft and Design presents Concrete Journals: Anne Hicks Siberell, on view April 15–September 10, 2023, showcasing the artwork of Bay Area artist Anne Hicks Siberell. Among many other projects parallel to bookmaking and writing, Siberell has been a visual diarist since the 1970s. Her Concrete Journals series exist as a record of time, collaging elements of the artist’s life and encasing them in concrete. Curated by Ariel Zaccheo, this exhibition features a collection of approximately 100 of Siberell’s concrete journals.

During a trip to the British Museum in London, Siberell found inspiration in examples of the earliest known form of writing, cuneiform, and how once dry, the clay cuneiform tablets became a permanent record. Small enough to be handheld, these record keepers survived for centuries where paper had not. Drawing from this inspiration, Siberell committed her diaristic collages to concrete–a literal and figurative manner of preserving the past. By deliberately shifting away from the clay tablets used to preserve cuneiform, her use of concrete allows materials and objects to be embedded within it as it hardens, painting and carving the concrete “pages” after they have dried.

Concrete rectangle with newspaper clippings embedded in it placed in wooden box with black ribbon Anne Hicks Siberell, The Walking Photo Albums in Buenos Aires, 1984. Photo courtesy Ola Hopper.

Zaccheo notes “Building on her practice of artist’s books, Siberell’s Concrete Journals are a unique extension and a modern take on the practice of journaling. Siberell has kept journals all her life. She began with more traditional diaries, experimented with accordion book narratives employing more traditional collage, then discovered this form. The Concrete Journals bring her life as an artist and maker full circle, in distilling the essence of an experience.”

A large part of Siberell’s creative process involves collecting and storing objects for future use within the journals. Over the last four decades, Siberell has created several hundred entries, each one serving as a mnemonic device for a specific experience. The diaristic records shift from the immensely personal to broader themes of travel, culture, current events, and social justice.

Anne Hicks Siberell, Cup Foods, 2021. Photos courtesy Ola Hopper.

Within this exhibition, the journals are arranged chronologically to show the breadth of the project, punctuated with the shared, recognizable moments of our collective memory. Hurricane Katrina is commemorated in a 2006 entry wherein Monopoly house game pieces appear drowning in the flow of concrete. Another concrete journal, titled Cup Foods, reflects on the murder of George Floyd. The title references the storefront that served as the site of his murder; embedded within the concrete are fragmented images of the storefront, a small toy of a Black child, and a ceramic bird flying overhead. The back of the journal includes a newspaper article reporting the guilty verdict of the officers involved in his death. In another recent tablet, Siberell displays a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine and a symbol of resistance against the country’s invasion by Russian forces. Each concrete journal Siberell creates is treated with the same care, fitting snugly in a custom-built wooden box. Separately, each piece serves as a chronicle of an event or a memory. Together, they paint an intimate portrait of the artist’s life.

The Museum of Craft and Design’s exhibitions and programs are generously supported by Anonymous, the Windgate Foundation, and Grants for the Arts.

Top Image: Anne Hicks Siberell, Archaeology, 1980s. Photo courtesy of the artist.


For more information and interview requests, contact Sarah Beth Rosales, Marketing and Communications Director, Museum of Craft and Design at or 415.773.0303.

About Anne Hicks Siberell
Anne Hicks Siberell was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended the University of California, the Chouinard Art Institute, the Silvermine College of Fine Arts, and the College of San Mateo. In addition to writing and illustrating books, Ms. Siberell worked for Victor Gruen Architects and Walt Disney Productions as an assistant art editor. She illustrated nine published books from the 1960s to 1980s. From 1985 to 2009, she authored and illustrated an additional four children’s books, two of which were translated into Arabic for international audiences. She is most noted for her woodcuts, etchings, and artist’s books made with her handmade paper. She has been awarded residencies at the American Academy in Rome in 2005, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt in 2002. She has had numerous permanent and traveling exhibits throughout California, New York, and Washington, D.C.

About Ariel Zaccheo
Ariel Zaccheo has been proud to call San Francisco home since 2011. She has worked with MCD since 2013, assisting with 40+ exhibitions and is MCD’s curator. Zaccheo is also co-curator of the Artists’ Television Access (ATA) Window Gallery since 2013, and now serves on the ATA Board of Directors. Her research focuses on contemporary craft applied to queer and feminist studies. Recent curatorial projects include Mode Brut (2021, Museum of Craft and Design) and Interior/Exterior (2019, Museum of Craft and Design). Zaccheo served as juror for Craft Nouveau (2022, Blue Line Arts), and Bridging the Gap: Contemporary Craft Practices (2019, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts). Her writing has appeared in Surface Design Journal, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Art Practical, Fiber Art Network, and American Craft Magazine.

About the Museum of Craft and Design
The Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) is San Francisco’s only museum devoted to craft and design. Founded in 2004, MCD explores the creative process and current perspectives in craft and design through inspired exhibitions and experiential programs. Learn more at

Visitor Information
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The Museum of Craft and Design is located at 2569 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd), in the historic American Industrial Center in San Francisco’s vibrant Dogpatch neighborhood. MCD is a North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) member, a Blue Star Museum, and participates in Museums for All and ROAM. MCD offers free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel, essential workers, first responders, and their families.


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