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Residency Projects: 2005-2006 Kala Fellowship Exhibition, Part II

Kala Fellowships are awarded annually to eight innovative artists working in printmaking, book arts, video and digital media. Fellowship artists are selected from a competitive field of applicants from the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Recipient artists receive a financial award and a six-month 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, Residency Projects, featuring work by our 2005-2006 Fellowship artists.

The work of Berkeley-based artist Miriam Dym explores a fictional landscape filled with vast and varied consumer products. Through a combination of hand-drawn works and digitally generated elements, Dym’s colorful prints imply an oddly humorous alternate universe, one filled with imaginary “products” that are strangely recognizable but have no genuine function. Dym’s meticulous landscapes depict elaborate systems, unlikely products and strange modes of transportation that closely parallels the world we inhabit. Yet everything seems absurdly impossible – or not.

Working with a 4×5 view camera, Oakland photographer Gary Nakamoto takes a single exposure for the length of a religious service. The series titled Durational Exposures captures the architecture of a church or temple in sharp focus, while the movement of the worshippers is recorded as a blur of ghostly images. Using a color negative to capture an hour-long religious service, the process attempts to compress a four-dimensional event into a two dimensional photographic print. His otherworldly images allude to the transience of human existence and the permanence of architecture. Each of the Durational Exposures projects concludes with Nakamoto presenting the congregation with a photograph of the event.

Sasha Petrenko’s latest architecturally inspired project is titled Pocket-house. This portable one-person shelter is built with a modified boat building technique consisting of laminated strips of plywood. Conveniently, the structure is perfectly scaled to fit on top of Petrenko’s 1989 Acura Legend. The structure is then transported to various locations in Northern California where the artist temporarily resides and photographically documents her experience inside Pocket-house. The minimal yet comfortable structure features light and sound systems, plus sleeping and storage areas that are powered by either a 12 volt power generated by the Acura Legend or 120 volt supplied by her friendly host.  Inspired by her experiences as an artist attempting to afford a home of her own, Petrenko’s photographs of her project comment on the basic needs of daily living through alternative means, exploring ideas about place, shelter and affordable housing.

Influenced by film, landscape, books, and architecture, Bay-Area based artist Tracey Snelling creates structures that reference both popular culture and history. Snelling’s work involves a wide range of technical processes and materials. Often working with a photograph of an actual building, this may lead to a sculpture of the same building, which in turn, is photographed once again. Scale continually grows and shrinks within Snelling’s universe mutating and distorting each reiteration of the image. Visually reminiscent of old film noir sets, these memorable photograph sculptural hybrids explore the psychological aspects of shelter and home, doors and windows.

The first part of Residency Projects presented the work of Keith Evans, Liz Hickok, Jeff Kao and Daniel Tierney from July 20 – September 2, 2006 at the Kala Gallery.

Exhibitions are free and open to the public.