Solo Exhibition at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, February 2018

#VenusOnMars, Bernadette Cay 2018, SFMOMA Artists Gallery. Photo by  Stef Etow .

#VenusOnMars, Bernadette Cay 2018, SFMOMA Artists Gallery. Photo by Stef Etow.

Artist Statement

Space exploration has captured our imaginations as a beacon of hope for the future. A blank canvas for a better world. #VenusOnMars seeks to add an additional perspective to this dialogue around the future. 

The world is made up of opposite forces that balance one another. Light and dark. Night and day. Work and rest. Yin and yang. Venus and Mars.

#VenusOnMars is a metaphor for restoring a sense of personal, collective, and environmental balance. Without it, we risk bringing into the future the same ways of thinking that have brought our planet to the very state we’re longing to escape, of which climate change and movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter are symptoms. These physical, political, and spiritual wounds, spanning centuries, are broad and deep.

Venus is a metaphor for the feminine within each of us, including our bodies, emotions, creativity, spirituality, sexuality, rest, play, collaboration, and our relationship to nature. Mars is a metaphor for our inner masculine. Productivity, logical thinking, assertiveness, hierarchy, and protection. There’s both Venus and Mars within each of us. We need a balance of both within each of us and with the world.


In her first solo exhibition, Bernadette Cay launches the first phase of the #VenusOnMars project. Through abstract painting, she explores the foundational question: “How do you want the future to feel?” 

Blending her experiences as an artist, a product manager in Silicon Valley, and her own inner journey, Bernadette’s art and writing invites the audience to consider the lives that we’re creating for ourselves and for one another. This body of work follows her 2017 book, Something More: A Working Professional’s Search for Creativity, Purpose, and Peace.

#VenusOnMars offers an approach towards a softer and stronger future. Follow along on Instagram at @bernadettecay. Share your own visions for the future at #VenusOnMars.