GLAMFA: The Greater Los Angeles MFA Show 2017

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With an opening reception scheduled for January 29th from 6-8 p.m., the 2017 iteration of GLAMFA, the Greater Los Angeles MFA show, marks its 12th year presenting the best of graduate student art work. Organized and curated by California State University Long Beach students, the event is held at the CSULB art galleries on campus. This year’s exhibition will include twenty-eight MFA students from 12 California art schools: CSUN, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Claremont, Cal Arts, Cal State Fullerton, Art Center, Azusa Pacific, Laguna College of Art & Design, Otis, and UC Irvine.

While the program focuses on emerging trends in contemporary artworks, the Los Angeles area is also key in these works. Thought not every piece is California-centric, LA serves as the mirror that reflects the exhibition itself. Each piece speaks to a critical moment in time for the artists and for their art.

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Along with the evening opening of the exhibition, from 4 to 6 p.m., viewers will have the chance to see works on display at an open studio event, and a live performance by UCSB student and former gymnast Emily Baker, above, whose enigmatic work explores both the body itself and the transience of athleticism.

In yet another event, on January 31st, GLAMFA welcomes three alumni to discuss their art practice and its evolution since graduate school. Speaking will be Zackary Drucker (GLAMFA 2007), Patricia Fernandez (GLAMFA 2010), and Katie Shapiro (GLAMFA 2015).

The participating GLAMFA 2017 artists include Chelsea Avarez, Gal Amiram, Yair Agmon, Emily Baker, Lyndsay Bloom, Cara Chan, Ashley Jan Gardner, Tanner Gilliland-Swetland, Audrey Hope, Angie Jennings, Emily Blythe Jones, Jennifer King, David Lucien Matheke, Ariel Mazariegos, Andrea Patrie, Jackie Rines, Justin Robinson, Doraelia Ruiz, Sunny Samuel, Janet Solval, Peter Sowinski, Omid Orouji, Hazel Straight, Christina Tsui, Shannon Willis, Stormy Wu, Sichong Xie, Drea Zlanabitnig.

Glamfa 2017

The work is as varied as it is beautifully wrought. Ashley Jan Gardner’s “Fredric Augustus,” is a large oil on panel work featuring an evocative full body portrait of a man in his living room. From the cast of the light to his casual attire, the piece speaks of Southern California even as it depicts a contemplative, seemingly thoughtful and amused older man.

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The vibrantly colorful mixed media work of Doraelia Ruiz “Under-Achiever” is mounted on stretched and printed vinyl. The piece blossoms with a palette that reminds the viewer of bougainvillea, blue sky, and street art; the complex images seem almost religious in nature.

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Or take in the wonderfully humorous work of Jackie Rines with the sculpture “Wendiceratops,” a ceramic dragon with startling fuscia claws and a hairstyle reminiscent of Lisa Simpson. This is a creature born to roam California.

Glamfa Ida's Travels to the Holy land

Equally compelling and quintessentially Californian is Gal Amiram’s photo installation, “Ida’s Travels To The Holy Land,” with a pastel donkey and it’s female protagonist clad in white capris. Here the Holy Land may be based on California dreamin’.

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The embroidered work depicting a fragment of “IN-N-OUT BURGERS” signage by Ariel Mazariegos is another take on the California lifestyle; a fresh look at an iconic and highly recognizable eatery and a visual artifact of the region.

CSULB Open Studio Artists presenting include Rhiannon Aarons, Alice Andreini, Isabel Avila, Kelly Campanella, Stevan Dupus, Fred Eck, Joanie Ellen, Qingsheng Gao, Mimi Haddon, Shannon Leith, Katie Marshall, Patricia Martin, Narsiso C Martinez, Jesse Parrott, Justin Rightsell, Elena Roznovan, Cintia Segovia, Ashley Shumaker, Amy Williams, Patrick Williams, and Lena Wolek.

GLAMFA studio artist wolek

Viewers will see works that include Lena Wolek’s imaginative and stirring ceramic “Escape Route” luggage, and Elena Roznovan’s “Untitled” installation which includes a twinned, panoramic video depicting the raw desert, and a dirt sculpture.

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Don’t miss this exploration of exciting, bold art – that’s exciting, bold California-influenced art, at GLAMFA this month.

Opening Reception January 29th 6-8pm
CSULB Open Studios: January 29th 4-6pm
GLAMFA graduates talk: January 31st, evening presentation
On view January 23 – February 1, 2017
Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5p.m., Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information see: http://greaterlamfa.com/

GLAMFA – Graduate Student Curated Art

GLAMFA artists 2015 - all photos by Jack Burke
GLAMFA artists 2015 – all photos by Jack Burke

Once upon a time, eleven years ago, students at California State University Long Beach were left out of MFA student exhibitions – Long Beach itself being left by the wayside.  So, according to artist and coordinator Kimberly Morris, “We built our own sandbox and now everyone plays in it.” Today, the Greater Los Angeles MFA survey exhibition is a powerhouse of art curated by CSULB grad students, and drawing submissions from as far away as Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Combined with the opening panel, reception, and exhibition held this past Sunday afternoon, students’ open studios were offered for the art-browsing. Different this year, according to Morris, was that “members of our panel also have their own work on exhibit this year.” Art being a visual medium, let the pictures that follow tell the story – and do go see this exhibit, running through September 3rd on the CSULB campus at the Fine Arts building. What are you waiting for? Jump on the 405 or the 710! Parking, like the exhibit itself, is free.

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Artist Lan Duong

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The central courtyard between galleries showcases artist Lena Wolek’s “Big Pants”

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Works by Logan Bell; Christina Mesiti

 

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Artist Yael Nov

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Artist Stacy Wendt

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Lena Wolek is just commencing her second week in the MFA program. The artist moved here from Siberia fourteen years ago. These ceramic suitcases work as drums; Wolek demonstrates the music they make.

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Artist Manny Krakowski has a background in glass blowing. This project is called “Salt Ball,” and is a monument to performance art Krakowski performed on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The exhibit includes a three-channel video documenting the ball game on the flats.

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The bat’s silver bar is mirrored inside glass.

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Krakowski on “first.”

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Work at the MFA program’s Ceramic Labs

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  • Genie Davis; all photos: Jack Burke