Archive for September, 2007

LOOKING AT PRINTMAKING: PART II

Posted by erin on September 30th, 2007

PANTEA KARIMI
Exploring a Personal, Political and Psychological
History through Printmaking

by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, October , 2007

An artist with boundless energy, Pantea Karimi is a graduate student at SJSU, working on her second master’s degree. Karimi began her life as an artist in adverse times in Iran. She says, “Growing up in Iran, during the tense time of revolution, then the Iran-Iraq War, with hardships and limitations, never made me think that I was not able to achieve my goals”

“My father is an architect coming from an art-loving family, where careers like traditional fabric and kilim design were practiced, and my mother is a retired history & geography teacher. Since my sister and I spent most of our time drawing and painting when we were kids, my parents encouraged us to practice art in a professional environment. In 1985 at age 13, I joined an art class in Tehran whose Iranian teacher was educated in Italy in classical European painting and sculpting. For four years, I copied classical masterpieces as well as creating my own images, being inspired by Kandinsky, Picasso and Matisse. Four years of training changed me as a young person and in the process of learning and practicing disciplined art, I came to conclusion that I wanted to pursue a professional career in art. My sister and I also had this privilege to learn classical guitar when we were teenagers despite the fact that it was difficult to find classical instruments in the market in the years of Iran-Iraq war.”

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Pantea Karimi inks the silk screen in the San Jose State screenprinting studio

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LOOKING AT PRINTMAKING

Posted by erin on September 29th, 2007

FIVE WOMEN IN PRINTMAKING
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Fall 2007

Having taught screenprinting for thirty-some years, at the Minneapolis College of art and Design, then, the San Francisco Art Institute and finally, at San Jose State University, I know a lot of printmakers. But screenprinting does not always run with the mainstream of printmaking, so my own mixed-media work has not necessarily kept me in touch with this scene. I was surprised (I am not sure why) that the San Jose ICA was including a printshop in its new digs. But, why not? Printmaking is versatile, useful to two and three-dimensional thinking and its processes seem to appeal to artists that work in every medium. I realized that, recently, I have had the pleasure to see a great number of women – both former students and teaching colleagues – who work in the varied printmaking processes, assuming important roles, generating provocative projects and doing extraordinary work.

FANNY RETSEK
A New Print Workshop at the San Jose ICA
Draws Attention to Printmaking and Printmakers

At the end of June, 2007, I met with Fanny Retsek, Director of and master printer in the new print workshop of the newly designed San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. Probably as a result of the annual Monotype Marathon, a print workshop was one element of the new facilities requested by many artists. Anticipation and planning for the new print center was Retsek’s incentive to commit to a long-term relationship with the ICA.

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Fanny Restsek with tools of her trade in the new ICA Print Center

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ART LECTURES IN SAN JOSE

Posted by erin on September 28th, 2007

By Julia Bradshaw, September 2007

Enjoy listening to artists talk about their motivations? Want to meet our cultural producers face-to-face? There are four forums in San Jose to hear artists, writers, theorists and critics talk about the arts.

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Sam Gould of Red76 speaks in San Jose City Council Chambers, and appears in Second Life as part of FUSE

New to the crop of lecture series is the FUSE: Conversation series hosted by the Montalvo Art Center and San Jose State University’s CADRE Laboratory for New Media. People attending these lectures are interested in the intersection of the arts and technology and also in the concept of artistic collaboration. For this lecture series the organizers have invited artists to talk about their approach to collaborative art-making involving artist groups and the community as a whole. The focus is on unorthodox cross-disciplinary projects involving the fine arts, technology and contemporary issues such as globalization censorship and sustainability. At the end of this series of lectures two of the artist-groups will then take part in a cross-disciplinary residency model involving Silicon Valley companies, students from CADRE and the Montalvo Art Center in a program titled FUSE: Collaboration. The talks are free and are also simulcast by Ars Virtua a Second Life Arts and Media Center. Location and details of upcoming lectures can be found by following this link. http://cadre.sjsu.edu/fuse/

The long running San Jose State University’s Tuesday night lecture program hosts artists, designers and theorists talking about their work from 5pm – 6pm in lecture room #133 of the Art Building during the academic semester. Coming up are discussions by ceramic sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter and in conjunction with an exhibition in the university’s Thompson gallery a lecture by German artist Gabriel Wiese who makes furniture and objects out of cork. Of interest to theorists and art historians is a lecture on October 16th by the art historian Whitney Chadwick. She will discuss the artist practices of Tracy Emin, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Mike Kelly among others as she addresses issues of identity and subjectivity in post-colonial art practices. Admission is free – at the time of writing the schedule was not available online.

The Institute of Contemporary Art continues its Talking Art series by inviting panels of artists and theorists to discuss a theme around making, appreciating and collecting art. This monthly series continues in October with a discussion on the topic of artists’ ideas and inspirations. The ICA has invited a critic, an artist, a writer and an art theorist to discuss this subject in a salon-type setting. On a more topical note, on Veterans Day in November the writer Rebecca Solnit will lead a panel discussion which includes Salam Hassan, former Pacifica radio correspondent in Baghdad, Kenneth Helphand, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon and exhibiting artists on the subject of the Landscape of War. Admission is free for members or $5 for non-members. Information on the program can be found by following this link: http://www.sjica.org/talkingart07-08.htm

Finally, the San Jose Museum of Art has just announced its Creative Minds Speaker series. Over a period of a year, the series will bring in five well-regarded writers from around the country. The series begins in October with a talk by Alice Sebold whose book “the Lovely Bones” was a nationwide hit. In November, Michael Kimmelman the chief art critic of The New York Times will visit for one of his last appearances in this country before he moves to take up an appointment in Berlin, Germany. And in November, humorist and writer David Rakoff will visit. Rakoff has worked on This American Life and appeared on stage with David and Amy Sedaris. Tickets cost $14 for members and $18 for non-members. Information about the program can be found here: http://www.sanjosemuseumofart.org/content/events/event_info.phtml?itemID=356

JOE CLAUS IN GALLERY 5 AT SAN JOSE STATE

Posted by erin on September 23rd, 2007

A BFA Photography Exhibition that Helps Us Cherish our Neighborhood
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

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In the same week that CNN noted professional photographers still prefer film over digital processes for their most important work, I strolled over to San Jose State’s School of Art and Design to enjoy the Tuesday night openings of student exhibitions. The first show I encountered was Joe Claus’s My Neighborhood, an exhibition of photographic portraits all shot on Fuji film. Yes, you can see the difference. The subtle beauty of the grays and mid values, the softness and richness of the images, perhaps even the thoughtfulness of composition in full frame and the careful darkroom work, all seem to be attributes of working slowly and meticulously in a now old fashioned way, with film.

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Part II: SAN JOSE’S “ALTERNATIVE” GALLERIES

Posted by erin on September 19th, 2007

THE DIVERSE ALTERNATIVE GALLERY SCENE IN SAN JOSE:

THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE UPSTARTS

MACLA

San Jose, with its enormous Latino population, adores MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana on South First Street. Founded by the incomparable force of Maribel Alvarez and Eva Terrazas, and now under the direction of another high-energy duo, Tamara Alvarado and Anjee Helstrup Alvarez, MACLA is an art and theatre space that has set the pace for community involvement in the downtown neighborhoods.

Like Works, MACLA began as an alternative space, giving Latino artists more opportunity to show and a site where their culture and point of view could be celebrated. Yet, like Works and many other San Jose exhibition sites, it straddles the extremes between completely unconventional alternatives and museum standards. It incorporates all the professional traditions such as insurance, transportation and careful installation of the art, thoughtfully painted walls, advance publicity, an extensive curator’s statement, a public reception and even pays an honorarium to its artists. The art can cater to both highbrow and lowbrow tastes. Chicano resistance, protest art, youth and self-taught artists from the community are shown along with artists educated in academe and mainstream Latino artists that touch on all the broad issues that contemporary artists engage.

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MACLA artists work in theatre, spoken word and music

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Part III: SAN JOSE’S “ALTERNATIVE” GALLERIES

Posted by erin on September 19th, 2007

BILL GOULD DESIGN

Bill Gould, the architect, is a beloved and charismatic figure in the San Jose art scene. Outspoken, with an outrageous sense of humor, Gould cannot be missed in the crowd. On the serious side, Gould served for eight years on the Board of Directors of the San Jose ICA, and his contribution of pro bono architectural design to the emerging gallery district on San Jose’s South First Street has had an immense and indelible impact.

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A painting by Jason Adkins and wine served at the opening at Bill Gould Design

When Bill Gould Design – Art and Architecture moved from Los Gatos to Umbarger Road in San Jose in 2003, another venue for sophisticated shows in an unusual space joined the San Jose mix. Gould maintains his own workshop as a public artist (Lizard Skins Studios) in the large warehouse where his architects’ offices are situated and rotating exhibitions are seen. Such is Gould’s passion for art that, rather than display self-congratulatory photos of the firm’s projects, every square inch of possible exhibition space is devoted to art. He strongly believes that architecture is inspired by art. Marketing Director Heather Cresap says, “You cannot visit Bill Gould Design without a guided tour. Bill is so enthusiastic about the art, he always insists on it.” With a laugh, she adds, “Sometimes it seems like architecture is the stepchild to art here.”

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