← Exhibitions

Emma Spertus and Carlota Rodriguez from NIAD

Kala Art Institute is excited to collaborate with NIAD to present new work by Carlota Rodriguez and Kala Fellowship alumni Emma Spertus, on view at Milvia/ Addison Windows located at 2100 Milvia Street, Berkeley.

This exhibition is organized by guest curator Jun Igarashi from Japan. Jun stayed at Kala for a year working on exhibitions & public programs and doing his own research on parent artist opportunities and community engagement programs in the Bay Area. He was fascinated by Emma Spertus’ installation artwork and her community work as a studio facilitator at NIAD.

During a studio visit with Emma, Jun looked at the photos from the exhibition Through My Eyes, 2020 at NIAD Art Center which featured works by Emma and Carlota responding to each other.  Expanding from this exhibition, new installations at Milvia Windows create further conversation between Emma and Carlota about their creative art making approaches, colorful and playful abstractions, and rhythmic compositions and construction.

Carlota Rodriguez has been an artist at NIAD since 2016. Carlota is a lifelong Richmond resident with a large family from El Salvador. While embracing a strong sense of the handmade, her work draws on the history of geometric abstraction as well as recent formalism. Carlota says, “when I paint I like to focus my mind on it. I like to focus on my favorite shapes… When I’m working, the colors come to me naturally and I just go with the flow.”

Emma Spertus’ piece Sentence model is a new installation conceived for the Milvia/Addison Windows. Emma is excited to embed her work in the public realm, full of chance encounters. Made of painted wood, fabric, and paper, Sentence model appears at first glance to be a storefront displaying impractical objects, upon further reflection the piece reveals its enigmatic nature. Continuing her ongoing investigation into commercial architecture, signage, advertising, language, and absurdity, Sentence model questions the relationship between humor, legibility, consumerism, and overlooked urban spaces.

Images: top – Carlota Rodriguez, left – Emma Spertus

Kala is excited to collaborate with NIAD. Since 1982, NIAD Art Center has promoted creative expression, independence, dignity, and community integration for adult artists with disabilities. Through its Richmond-based and Virtual Studio and Gallery programming, designed by and with NIAD artists, NIAD redefines contemporary art as an inclusive, accessible place for all.

Kala is a non-profit arts organization and a vital community hub for artistic experimentation.  Heading into its 50th year (1974-2024), Kala Art Institute’s mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its Artist-in-Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.