Creativity at Work

UCSB's Art Department hosts its annual MFA Open Studios event November 13

A dozen artists and their works, both completed and in process, will be available for viewing when UC Santa Barbara’s Art Department hosts its annual showcase for graduate students.

The MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Open Studios event will be held Friday, November 13, starting at 5 p.m. and going into the night, at Harder Stadium on the UCSB campus. The show is open to the public and admission is free.

Open Studios offers the opportunity to get an inside look into the creative process by experiencing finished pieces alongside works in progress, among the various tools, reference materials and ephemera of making.

“The purpose of Open Studios is to showcase the work of both our first- and second-year students outside of a conventional exhibition setting so that visitors can view both finished artworks as well as works in process in a studio setting,” said Colin Gardner, chair of the department and a professor of critical theory and integrative studies. “This way they can ask students direct questions about their conceptual ideas and use of materials and engage directly in their workaday process. It is also a chance to see the interdisciplinary nature of our program, insofar as most of the works utilize a variety of materials and draw upon a wide range of art historical and non-art sources.”

For example, Gardner noted, student George Sanders’ works “reference the modernist grid but are not reducible to either a strictly sculptural or painting vocabulary, while Peter Sowinski uses the techniques of structural film to combine digital processes with serial painting techniques.

Aspiring MFA candidate Emily Baker utilizes her career as a gymnast to “mark and measure a variety of surfaces as a means of assessing the inexactitude of specific gymnastics routines, while Marcos Christodoulou channels figurative painting into a critical commentary on the spectacle of modern politics and its shameless populism through the lampooning of figures such as Donald Trump and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.”

The participating student artists for Open Studios are:

Emily Baker

Rose Emanuela Briccetti

Marcos Christodoulou

Vanesa Gingold

Yumiko Glover

Morgan McAllister

Tom Pazderka

Sunny Samuel

George Sanders

Peter Sowinski

Scott Slade Wagner

Shannon Willis

Harder Stadium is located on Stadium Road, on the UCSB campus. To find the event, enter the stadium at ground level, through the side door just past the gates. Admission is free.


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