Current EXHIBITION and EVENTS:
Sowing Seeds of Universal Language
November 9 – December 15, 2021
Reception: Friday, November 12, 3 – 7 p.m., Art Gallery FA 103
Free Parking in Lot # 1. Park in STUDENT spaces ONLY.
Participating Artists: Jenny Armer - Aurora Bewicke - Claudia Cano - Evan Chau - Cloud Club Collective - David Contreras - Ty and Sam Creighton - Bronle Crosby - Alex DeCosta - Dana Edwards - Francisco Eme - Gabrielle Espina - Scott Gengelbach - Rosario Glezmir - Sofia Gonzalez - Chitra Gopalakrishnan - Julia C R Gray - Steve Harlow - Doug Harvey - Vijay Hingorani - Terri Hughes-Oelrich - Amanda Kachadoorian - Sophie Kamdar - Desiree Lawrence - Elena Lomakin - Santiago Lopez - Isa Medina - Teresa Mill - Michelle Montjoy - Kathy Nida - Elizabeth Parr - Omar Pimienta - Wendy Ponomarenko - Kim Reasor - Josie Rodriguez - Taylour Rudzinski - Elizabeth Salaam - Julia San Román - Sage Serrano - Jennifer Spencer - Elizabeth Tobias - Litzy Torres - Thuyduyen Jenny - Jennifer Vargas.
In times of isolation, division and hopelessness, art has played a significant role in reminding us of the power of What Can Be. This exhibit brings together 44 remarkable visual, sound and performance artists to address issues of disharmony in our present lives—in our relationship with the land, with each other and with ourselves—to seek solutions for a more sustainable and hopeful future. The collection incorporates a diverse variety of media, from oil on canvas and assemblages to encaustic works and installations with living fungi. It represents artists of all ages and from all backgrounds. Together, they invoke the power of art as a universal language and as a catalyst for change and healing.
Omar Pimienta, Jenny Armer and Julia C R Gray examine the ecology of our region and the decisions we make as a society to protect or plunder the natural resources of our land and sea. Omar Pimienta is an interdisciplinary artist whose Sediment/o series delves into transborder waterways and questions the “decisions we make as societies to modify or preserve our environments.” Thick concrete text is overlayed on landscape photographs, poetically defacing them just as our modern urbanscapes alter our natural environs. Jenny Armer’s delicately crafted miniature watercolor prints resemble wildlife fieldnotes and bring attention to water conservation as we face record-breaking droughts and extreme heat in Southern California. The series of prints illustrate the hydration needs of select native plants and encourage a reduction of our lawn-driven dependency on water. The female torsos of Julia C R Gray’s sculptural series, SHE-Shell Sea Wisdom, merge gold luster and pearlescent aqua glazes with colorful texturized bases resembling coral. Like a porcelain figure lost at sea and decorated with aquatic growth, her pieces seem fragile yet tempered by time. When given proper protection, our delicate coastal seas can rebound into healthy and vibrant ecosystems.
Bronle Crosby and Sofia Gonzalez reveal the vital interconnectedness of our relationship with the natural world. Bronle Crosby is a realist painter whose self-described “focused natural histories” seem sharp and photographic from afar, but soften upon closer inspection. They awaken a deep, Zen-like awareness of the profound and fundamental relationships that exist in the space between breaths. “We need to nurture, not interfere with the magical interconnectivity of life,” Crosby states. Sofia Gonzalez employs regional plants to dye pieces of raw silk and cotton. She then layers the fabric into a soft-sculpture series, documenting and reflecting on the chronological history of the land and the possibilities of a synergistic and reciprocal relationship with it. Through cataloging the migration and interaction of native and non-native plants in the region, she also excavates and acknowledges the history of the Kumeyaay.
Julia San Román and Vijay Hingorani ponder concepts of nurturing and renewal in our society. Julia San Román’s 250 Hours/The Seeds pays homage to foreign-born agricultural workers with a powerful reminder that the seeds we plant speak of more than the fruit we bear, but of the social and legal systems that can serve as fertile grounds or unyielding wastelands to those looking for a better future. Her canvas explodes with bright colors and a woman’s floral headpiece blooms into beautiful abstraction. She is focusing not on the dark plight of these workers, but on their steadfast contributions as “the seeds, the fasteners, the wheels, the gears of our society.” Vijay Hingorani’s Renewal, a woodcut handprinted on Unryu paper, captures an intimate moment full of hope—of a child making a wish and blowing on a dandelion, scattering the seeds to root into new beginnings.
Join us at the reception on Nov.12, where visitors can create and take home “Seed Pops,” small seed bundles designed to stick in the ground and grow, as part of a participatory installation performance by artist Elizabeth Tobias. Together, let’s sow the seeds for a brighter tomorrow.
Image design credit: Juan Carlos Araiza