Residency Projects I

Title: Residency Projects I
Location: Kala Gallery

Artists’ Reception: Thursday, July 15, 6-8pm

Exhibition Dates: July 15 – August 21, 2010
Film Screenings: Screenings of documentary films by Bassem Yousri on Wednesday August 11, 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 21, 2:00 pm

Residency Projects I New work by Val Britton, Chris Duncan, Katy Higgins, Laura Paulini and Bassem Yousri

Description: New work by Val Britton, Chris Duncan, Katy Higgins, Laura Paulini and Bassem Yousri

Kala Fellowships are awarded annually to nine innovative artists working in printmaking, photography, book arts, installation, video and digital media. Fellowship artists are selected from a competitive field of applicants from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Recipient artists receive a financial award and up to six-months residency at Kala’s studio facility followed by an exhibition of their new work. The Kala Gallery is proud to present the first of our two-part exhibition series, Residency Projects, featuring work by our 2009-2010 Fellowship artists. The Kala Directors in association with juror Larry Rinder, Director of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, selected the artists.

Residency Projects II will open on September 2, 2010 with new works by Kala Fellows Terry Berlier, Jeff Hantman, Sean McFarland and Ranu Mukherjee.

Residency Projects I New work by Val Britton, Chris Duncan, Katy Higgins, Laura Paulini and Bassem Yousri

Val Britton creates expansively collaged works on paper that draw on the language of maps as a personal metaphor for searching. In an effort to connect with her deceased father, a long-haul truck driver, Britton explores road maps of the United States as she imbues her abstract work with a sense of visually dynamic movement. Using hand-cut paper shapes, the printed and drawn works are assembled into a sculptural collage that hovers between two and three dimensions. Her work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally in addition to residencies at Ucross, Jentel, Oregon College of Art and Craft and Recology in San Francisco. Val is the recipient of a 2010 Pollock-Krasner Grant.

Chris Duncan presents a site-specific multi-media installation titled The Sun. During his residency at Kala, Duncan has expanded his studio practice to include a series of collaborative/improvisational music sessions, audio recordings, photographs and paintings. His installation will include elements of these new works in addition to a large-scale “sun burst” wall drawing assembled from string. Duncan is also the co-creator of the art based zine project, HOT AND COLD. His work has been widely exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and is represented by Baer-Ridgeway Exhibitions in San Francisco and Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York.

Katy Higgins presents photographs from her series titled Empty Exhibit, an examination of zoological exhibits designed to allow people to observe animals in a facsimile of their native habitats. In Higgins’ photographs, these educational exhibits are startlingly empty of animal life, drawing attention to the artifice of these fabricated environments. Based in New York, Higgins received her MFA from Rutgers University and has exhibited her works in both photography and video at numerous venues in New York and Chicago. In September, the Empty Exhibit series will be included in Hyperreal World: Landscape as Commodity, at Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee.

Laura Paulini’s residency at Kala provided an opportunity to focus on a drawing practice that continues to inform her labor-intensive geometric abstract paintings. Transforming her drawings to engravings on copper plates, Paulini’s print works link the physical, tactile qualities of the print media to the meticulous handcrafted qualities found in her abstract ink drawings and egg tempera paintings. Paulini received her MFA from Mills College and has been included in exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Her work is represented by Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco.

Bassem Yousri’s multi-media works explore his personal investigation into contemporary Egyptian identity that straddles religious fundamentalism and cultural Westernization with a relationship to the artistic grandeur of a culture rooted in history. Working with large-scale wall drawings, objects and video, Yousri’s installation at Kala is inspired by the story telling qualities of ancient Egyptian murals. Additionally, there will be screenings of two documentary videos by Bassem Yousri titled Keep Recording and Still Recording. Filmed in Cairo and Philadelphia, these complimentary works challenge cultural stereotypes by juxtaposing random footage of friends with street exchanges involving passing strangers. Yousri came to the United States from Cairo as the recipient of Fulbright Grant to continue his studies in painting, video and fabric arts.  In Philadelphia, he studied at Drexel University and received his MFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. This is his first exhibition on the West Coast.

In addition to exhibitions in the Kala Gallery, On View: New Work from Kala will continuously feature works on paper by artists affiliated with Kala Art Institute. A diverse selection of works available for purchase can be seen throughout our new facility including the Mercy & Roger Smullen Print and Media Study Center.

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