Friday, April 13, 2012

Stephanie Syjuco, Open Studios, and Jill Marie Mason

We had a wonderful visit and workshop with visiting artist Stephanie Syjuco last weekend. Her artist talk was full of interesting approaches to creating art that deals consumer culture. I participated in the silkscreening process for making some posters to be displayed in her exhibition. This printmaking process was fun for me to see – its strangely easy and difficult all at once. I also set the lights in the gallery space to make her exhibition glow with vitality.

Tuesday was Open Studios day where the Art Department essentially closes down to display the work of all the BFA and MFA students. Students, faculty, and the public are invited to mill about the buildings all day to engage with our art and socialize with the artists. Although exhausting in some ways, the event left me feeling energized by all the feedback I received.

Yesterday another visiting artist, Jill Marie Mason, was here presenting a lecture of her work. She was quite entertaining in a nerdy sort of way. She often made me laugh. Much of her work is fun and silly and some of it bears more profounder aspects as well, particularly False Walls, dealing with memories, nostalgia, personal experiences that, although so specific to her own history, are relatable to the personal histories of others.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Toledano, Gutierrez, and Uelsmann...

Yes! I survived the week (two critiques regarding my work, teaching classes, the usual MFA student mayhem). But somehow I made time to visit 1078 Gallery's current shows, Colleen Toledano's Thin Red Line and Rogelio Gutierrez's El Chico de California/The California Boy. Good stuff. I especially admired Gutierrez's halftone screenprints of old photographic imagery as well as Toledano's Half Full.

I had planned months ago to present the work of Jerry Uelsmann this week to my beginning photo class along with some reading from Chris Orwig's Visual Poetry. And so I was wonderfully delighted to discover that the CSUC University Art Gallery was showing some of the Ira Latour collection this week which just so happened to feature Uelsmann prints accompanied with poems. It was great to take my class out of the room and to the gallery where they could engage with actual prints.

Friday, March 9, 2012

San Francisco Field Trip

Nearly an entire month has passed since my last post. Egads. Being a grad student is a time-consuming endeavor. The coolest thing I experienced recently was a field trip to San Francisco last weekend to see the work of Mark Bradford and Rineke Dijkstra and others at the SF MOMA. I saw several artists at 49 Geary Street Galleries (I especially remember the work of Tom Chambers). Hoofing about the city to some other sites, such as the Tenderloin National Forest, we saw Manifest Destiny as well as a couple of rooms in the Hotel des Arts. And finally we visited the studio of Stephanie Syjucko, who will be visiting CSU Chico in April for a special workshop and exhibition. So much amazing and inspiring good stuff!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jeffrey Thurston at the Laxson Gallery

I attended the closing reception for Jeffrey Thurston's show, Subdural Spectors, last night at the Laxson Gallery, CSUC. It was one of the better shows that I have seen there... such interesting work. I especially liked the ceramic arms that were hanging on the wall by leather belts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

MFA Group Exhibition Announcement

I discovered a lovely surprise this morning when checking my mail in the art office. An image of my art was used on the MFA Group Exhibition announcement cards and posters. The exhibition is taking place in the BMU 3rd Floor Gallery, CSUC, from January 30 to February 24, 2012, with a reception happening on Thursday, February 16 at 5:00 PM. I hope to see you there!

Here's the image.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Russell Crotty – Hopper Visiting Artist Series

Russell Crotty was here at CSUC yesterday and today as a visiting artist. He presented an entertaining and engaging lecture last night, staying an extra half-hour as the audience asked him various questions. During the day, he took time to meet with grad students for one-on-one chats about our artwork. For me, he was supportive, saying I had good ideas, suggesting some things to research and consider, and prompting me to be in action with my ideas. He was awesome to be around, having a manly presence (loving the outdoors, surfing, hiking, astronomy, etc.) combined with intelligence and artistic insight, and he was easy to converse with. His art is unique and interesting, particularly his drawings that fill gigantic books and cover large global structures. Having much success in the art world (exhibitions in New York, Spain, Paris, etc.), I was encouraged to hear his bent towards Romanticism for some aspects of the art world can be too theoretical, too much in the head – the world needs thoughtfulness, but it also needs heart, action, beauty, and a little humor doesn't hurt either. 

Thank you, Russell!