A mutual interest in installation art brought photographer Evelena Ruether and painter William Kaminski together as friends and sometime collaborators in Art Center’s Fine Art program. After graduating in 2009, and sharing a desire to maintain the strong community of fellow artists they had bonded with at Art Center, the pair co-founded Control Room, an independent artist-run space that facilitated artist projects and group exhibitions in industrial downtown Los Angeles. Ruether and Kaminski went on to graduate school while pursuing their own work and curating Control Room shows. The space was active for four years, attracting mid-career artists and ushering in a nascent arts district in the area.
Archive for the ‘Graduate Art’ Category
Fine Art alumni Evelena Ruether and William Kaminski on curating, creating and releasing Control RoomMonday, July 28th, 2014
Of all the ways Mike Kelley has been celebrated for his pivotal contributions to contemporary art, since his death on January 31, 2012, his impact as an educator may be the most significant aspect of his legacy to go relatively unexamined, if not unsung. Kelley was a faculty member of Art Center’s Graduate Art Department from 1992 to 2007. And during his time teaching at Art Center, Kelley mentored such monumental talents as video artist Diana Thater (who now chairs the department from which she graduated), multimedia artist Pae White, installation artist Jennifer Steinkamp and Fine Art faculty member Jean Rasenberger.
In the above video, inspired by Kelley’s MOCA retrospective, these artists examine the ways in which Kelley influenced the kind of artists they’ve become, the work they create and, perhaps most importantly, how they go about crafting and sustaining a life as an exhibiting artist. Kelley has often been credited with helping raise the clout and visibility of LA’s art scene when his career took off and he declined to follow the well-worn path previous west coast supernova artists had followed to New York. As one of the first internationally acclaimed artists to root himself in Los Angeles, Kelley was, in essence, laying the groundwork for his students and their contemporaries to do the same.
If these artists’ upwardly-tilting career paths are any indication, Kelley’s impact on his students, his city and his creative discipline only gets deeper as time goes on.
After logging 11 years as Chair of Art Center’s Graduate Art department, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe handed over the reigns to incoming co-chairs Diana Thater and Jason Smith. Gilbert-Rolfe has spent a total of 28 years on Art Center’s faculty, and will migrate into a full-time teaching position in 2015 after a sabbatical during which he’ll dedicate himself to one of the many writing projects vying for his attention (see Q & A below for details).
Throughout his tenure with the college, Gilbert-Rolfe has had a hand in educating an impressive array of art world luminaries, including Lynn Aldrich, Lisa Anne Auerbach, David Bailey, Olivia Booth, Mason Cooley, Aaron Curry, Kevin Hanley, Nate Hylden, Melissa Kretschmer, Sharon Lockhart, T. Kelly Mason, Rebecca Norton, Steve Roden, Sterling Ruby, Frances Stark, Jennifer Steinkamp, Alexis Marguerite Teplin, Diana Thater, Pae White, Jennifer West and T.J. Wilcox. At the same time, he has distinguished himself as a formidable writer and critical thinker, best known for probing philosophical and aesthetic ideas around beauty and other issues informing the way we interact with art.
Gilbert-Rolfe makes clear in his candid and enlightening responses to our questions below that he will continue to build upon this legacy as an educator and critic.
Art Center alumnus and acquisitions librarian George Porcari (MFA 87 Art) was one among 30 recipients of the 17th biennial Tiffany Foundation Awards, which may or may not have arrived wrapped in a little robin’s-egg blue box with a white bow.
Officially announced last week, a series of monetary grants are issued every two years to unsung American artists and craftspeople by The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. What separates the award from other prestigious grants is that artists aren’t able to apply, and funds are unrestricted. The 2013 winners were selected from a pool of 137 nominees proposed by the Foundation’s trustees, artists, critics, and museum professionals throughout the United States. A seven-member jury then reviewed the submissions. The 2013 jury included art world luminaries Phong Bui, Chrissie Iles, Kathryn Kanjo, Charles LeDray, John Perreault, Cindy Sherman and Robert Storr.
Warsaw-born video artist Filip Kwiatkowski (Grad Art, MFA 2013), who earned his BFA in film and television at the Tisch School of the Arts, came to Art Center after a successful career as a freelance photographer in New York. Shortly after completing his MFA in Art Center’s Graduate Art program, Kwiatkowski was awarded a fellowship at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany, where he had studied as a participant in an Art Center exchange program. In his work today, Kwiatkowski continues to explore issues that fueled his graduate film project: how media interfaces transform personal narratives, shape behavior and create “a circumstance in which the relation between private, public, work and personal time are increasingly hard to separate.”
Spring fever: Grad Art alum Alexis Marguerite Teplin melds performance, painting and a passion for ballet in Stravinsky-themed Zürich exhibitionThursday, April 17th, 2014
Graduate Art alumna Alexis Marguerite Teplin’s practice is noted for a theatricality based in seduction, artificiality and cultural signification–themes that harken back to Igor Stravinsky’s scandalous 1913 ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), culminating in the “sacrificial dance” of a young girl.
Fitting, then, that California-born, London-based Teplin is among the artists invited by the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, housed in a former brewery in Zürich, to create new work that addresses the ballet, its context and its history for Sacre 101—An Exhibition Based on The Rite of Spring.
In Teplin’s live performance piece P and C, taking place at the museum next Thursday, April 24, features the sound and movement of two actors (and of Teplin herself) performing in a burlesque manner in front of one of her large-scale paintings, wearing brightly colored costumes she designed. The artist was inspired by Natalia Goncharova, an avant-garde costume and set designer for Ballets Russes, the company that originally performed The Rite of Spring a century ago. P and C is Teplin’s second performance work; her first, The Party, was commissioned by London’s Serpentine Gallery.
On view through May 11, the Sacre 101 exhibition presents contemporary works alongside a selection of Sacre documentation, much of which is being shown in a museum context for the first time.
After years of all-nighters fueled by coffee, critiques, cramming for finals and collaboration, 192 Art Center students will graduate on Saturday. This ceremony includes the very first graduating class for the Graduate Environmental Design and Graduate Transportation Design Programs. In fact, we have a record number, 36, students accepting graduate level degrees on Saturday. Also notable, 25% of this graduating class attended one or more of Art Center’s Public Programs (Art Center at Night or Saturday High).