Archive for October, 2007

TUESDAY NIGHT & the SJSU GALLERIES

Posted by erin on October 19th, 2007

AN OCTOBER TUESDAY NIGHT – THE GALLERIES AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Four outstanding student gallery shows and the intriguing exhibition Gabriel Wiese, Corkart, in the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery made the October 9th, Tuesday night ritual at San Jose State a big hit. Jo Farb Hernandez is an author, curator and the Director of the Thompson Gallery. Her exhibitions and publications often document the fascinating art of self-taught and “outsider” artists. Gabriel Wiese is one of them.

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A complete costume of bottle corks, by German artist Gabriel Wiese

Born in Magedeburg, Germany, and trained as a cabinet maker, Wiese has lived most of his life in Saalfeld. His furniture made of corks from wine bottles is quirky and actually quite functional in some cases. But his suit of clothes made of corks is hilarious. Weise actually wore the suit of clothes around his hometown in Germany, remaining mute and mysterious when citizens approached him to inquire about it. Nevertheless, he was happy to allow them to try it on. Curious, and remarkable work!

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SCU ART FACULTY SHOW @ THE DE SAISSET MUSEUM

Posted by erin on October 13th, 2007

Experience Teaches
By Tasia Endo

Visiting the de Saisset Museum this fall might be overwhelming with the vast array of media, subjects and styles in the works presented in the de Saisset Museum’s current fall exhibition. Experience Teaches: Santa Clara University Art Faculty Exhibition uses this fact to its advantage, as the abundant diversity of the art reflects both the scope of the academic offerings in the university‚Äôs art department and the breadth of these professors‚Äô artistic careers.

“I think more so than a traditional group show, there really is something for everyone,” said Karen Kienzle, de Saisset assistant director for exhibitions, education, and community outreach. “The only overarching theme is that these are all faculty. Different works are going to resonate with different people; that’s what’s so great about this show.”

 

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Kathy Aoki’s, Battle of Kawaii, mixed media on wood, 2005-07

While the anime characters within the expansive painted wood installation, Battle of Kawaii, hint at Kathy Aoki’s position as lecturer of computer art and graphic design, her work makes clear her creative prowess. Part of her “Construction of Modern Girlhood” series, Aoki brings a seductively fantastical world to life, where pseudo-feminist girl construction workers mandate innocent teddy bears to succumb to the all too familiar media messages of becoming slaves to beauty.

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1st Act: A BROAD VISION FOR CULTURAL EXPANSION

Posted by erin on October 13th, 2007

1st ACT Begins its Next Act
By Erika Justis, Program Director, 1st ACT Silicon Valley

In the past few months, there has been a great deal of news regarding 1stACT Silicon Valley, the network leadership organization working to make Silicon Valley look and feel as special as it is. The organization, whose mission is to inspire leadership, participation and investment at the intersection of art and technology, has made significant progress in recent months. In September, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a 3-year, $3.5 million investment in 1stACT, which will enable it to move from a volunteer to formal organization.

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1stAct’s new Managing Director, Connie Martinez

To that end, 1stACT assumed the 501(c)(3) shell of Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley and formed a board of directors with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen as the first chair. Other directors include former Agilent CEO, Ned Barnholt, entrepreneur Hsing Kung, and Rich Braugh, a senior vice president at UBS and very involved leader in local arts organizations. The board will continue to develop as 1stACT moves forward. 1stACT’s Leadership Advisory Council, which includes 13 CEOs and university presidents, will also remain active. Connie Martinez, one of the 1stACT Founders, announced that she is leaving her position as executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum to head up 1stACT as its Managing Director.

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AN URBAN DESIGN VISION: DOWNTOWN & SoFA

Posted by erin on October 13th, 2007

A Redesign of the South First Street Corridor
by Yasmine Farazian, Project Manager, KenKay Associates

THE DOWNTOWN VISION:

In 2006, 1stACT (Arts, Creativity, Technology), “a cross-sector collaborative whose mission is to inspire leadership, participation and investment at the intersection of art and technology,” spearheaded an energetic effort to create a vision for Downtown San Jose as Silicon Valley’s city center. This initiative was funded by Adobe, a leading software mogul and Downtown San Jose resident, and was led by Connie Martinez, Founding Managing Director of 1stACT, Dan Keegan, Executive Director of the San Jose Museum of Art, and Tamara Alvarado, Executive Director of MACLA, along with the support and involvement of several other local leaders. This leadership group commissioned the urban design firm of KenKay Associates to play a major role in conceptualizing the vision for Downtown.

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Envision a redesigned and renergized SoFA District

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1stACT BEGINS TO IMPACT THE VISUAL ARTS

Posted by erin on October 8th, 2007

WHAT DOES 1stACT MEAN FOR THE VISUAL ARTS?
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, October, 2007

On March 19, 2007, a stellar coalition of Silicon Valley leaders brought to the City of San Jose “A Vision” for a vital, revamped downtown San Jose. And the San Jose City Council embraced it.

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What says more about Silicon Valley than the Tech Museum, right accross Market Street from Cesar Chavez Park?

1stAct’s Vision includes a list of Big Deals and Small Wonders that are intended to make San Jose a “cool” place to live. Emphasis is placed on “Priority Public Spaces”: the Circle of Palms Plaza, San Antonio Plaza, Cesar Chavez Park and the First Street Corridor, including SoFA. Offering a list of “design principles” that include narrowing the streets for a more walk-able, pedestrian-oriented city, creating a sense of arrival and destination, showcasing Silicon Valley innovation and diversity, embracing families, students, young professionals and empty nesters – one could say it sounds pretty general and that San Jose has been trying to achieve all this (with little success) for a long time. However, in advocating for greater connectivity with San Jose State and other cultural districts, and for world-class architecture and iconic public art — we begin to get an inkling of how this might impact the visual arts community.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF FIRST FRIDAY IN OCTOBER

Posted by erin on October 6th, 2007

STROLLING UP SAN JOSE’S SOUTH FIRST STREET
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero
October, 2007

Now a popular event that draws crowds, First Fridays can keep the gallery visitor busy for hours. Here are some highlights of my gallery hopping on October 5, through the six institutions that run from First and Reed Street up to San Carlos.

At the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the annual Fall fundraising invitational auction drew a large audience including Mayor Chuck Reed, who said a few words to the crowd, and District 3 Councilman, Sam Liccardo. Sam is a regular at First Fridays.

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Darren Waterston’s Night-in-Gal, 2001, at the ICA

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LOOKING AT PRINTMAKING: PART V

Posted by erin on October 6th, 2007

(ref: Part-4)

VIRGINIA WESTPHAL UHL
Books, Political Passions and the Meditative Processes of Printmaking
By Erin Goodwin, October 2007

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Ginney Uhl was a screenprinting student in my class as an undergraduate, then a few years later, as a graduate student. On both occasions she elected to make a book in which her images and would interface with poetry. Uhl began as a self-taught book artist, but got hooked in Patrick Surgalski’s book making class, offered in the context of SJSU’s printmaking program.Her first screenprinted book, Between the Crown and the Throne, is the story of her journey in and out of the corporate world to her life as an artist. Layers of symbols, screenshots of computer solitaire, an ornate and ancient key inherited from her father, and sections of maps are the terrain that she and her protagonists march across. Her skinny enigmatic figures are actually forms she molded in clay and then photographed digitally to be further developed in the computer programs she uses extensively. Her poetry is screened onto the images.

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LOOKING AT PRINTMAKING: PART IV

Posted by erin on October 4th, 2007

(Ref: Part-3)

KATHRYN KAIN
Master Printer at Smith Andersen Editions and Teacher in Bay Area College Printmaking Programs
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, October 2007

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Kathryn Kain is an artist who began her career in photography and sculpture, at Arizona State. Her interest in printmaking began with classes at De Anza College under the direction of Sal Pecoraro. Studying for her BFA in Printmaking at San Jose State, she worked with Steve French, Ken Auvil and Geoff Bowman. Then, in the early 80’s, with an interest in lithography, she went to Hayward State to work with Kenji Nanao who studied lithography at Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Misch Kohn, a legendary printmaker, known for his etchings and wood engravings. There she reunited with old friends from De Anza College — Mike Fletcher, Rick Dula and Steve Campbell, who would, like Kain herself, become integral parts of a rich printmaking network which began in the Bay Area and stretches beyond.

I first met Kathryn Kain when she entered the MFA program in printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985. At SFAI she continued to develop her particular interest in the monotype, studying also with Gordon Kluge, Dick Graf, and Larry Thomas. Her work at that time was figurative, images derived from models and slides of herself and her sister. Eventually, working with the female image generated an interest in traditions of the goddess, feminist literature and myths. These references became prominent in her art.

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Kain examines the contemporary virgin/whore dichotomy in her 2006, screen printed fold-out book, the Silver Virgin Series

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OUR GROWING PAINS

Posted by erin on October 4th, 2007

“(Sawed-off)” Shotgun Review:
by Ann Elliott Sherman
SPACED OUT
Some Parts of a Whole by Jim Tantum @ Space 47

 

 

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Judging from the outside, newly-arrived SoFA gallery Space 47 (on William Street near S. Second) looks like a win in a slightly dicey game. Wedged between the corner Laundromat and a seedy storefront where tattered miniblinds do little to hide haphazard stacks of soda and other junk inside, Space 47’s coolly glazed white façade gives nothing away about what awaits the viewer.

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LOOKING AT PRINTMAKING: PART III

Posted by erin on October 1st, 2007

ROBYNN SMITH
“I almost became a horse painter.”
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, October 2007

Poking fun at herself, and portraying her education as a series of false starts and mismatches with her faculty, Robynn Smith tells how she, too, came to be an artist/educator.

At the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Smith was a BFA student enrolled in the sculpture program. But she wanted to learn photography and to paint, as well. A few years ago, such a Renaissance ambition was discouraged, especially in the very territorial private art colleges. “I was feisty.” She reports. “I alienated most of the faculty. I didn’t feel like I fit in. I was wary of ending up in New York. I was afraid I was going to be swallowed up. I was California Dreamin.”

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Robynn Smith examines an acrylic plate in Mendocino print workshop

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