Berkeley Art Center 2010 - 2016

Berkeley Art Center had a series of striking shows during the 2010’s. Each show featured a variety of mediums and explorations. Among them were abstract art exhibitions such as Terrain: Language of landscapes, to the Light/Dark by Enrique Chagoya featuring works from the California Society of Printmakers to Lava Thomas’s Looking Back and the Yelling Clinic: Art War & Disability. 

The Berkeley Art Center exhibited work by over 50 artists. 
Below are selected exhibitions from the 1960s at the Berkeley Art Center.

Selections by Enrique Chagoya from the Califnornia Society of Printmakers
April 2 – May 29, 2011

Chosen from a submission pool of nearly 100 members of the California Society of Printmakers and selected by renowned Bay Area printmaker Enrique Chagoya, this exhibition features 53 works from 53 artists encompassing a range of styles and approaches based in the print medium.

Within the broad exhibition concept of Light/Dark, the selected works address existential themes, graphic imagery, and social commentary with insight and humor. Berkeley Art Center is honored to play a part in recognizing this longstanding organization of California printmakers as it approaches its 100th anniversary.

Yelling Clinic:
Art, War & Disability
April 14 – June 2, 2012

Yelling Clinic is a disability arts collective comprised of artists that explore the intersections of art, war, and disability through intensely personal and compelling work in a variety of media. Artists includeHuỳnh Thủy Châu, Emma McElroy, Nguyễn Văn Đường, Nguyễn Quốc Trị, Katherine Sherwood, Sunaura Taylor, Ehren Tool, and David Wallace, with writer Susan Schweik. Through the lens of wartime experience, YELLING CLINIC addresses the effect of military pollution on people with disabilities through extraordinary work that is hauntingly evocative. This exhibition will include work inspired by a recent trip to Vietnam.

Looking Back and Seeing Now, New Work by Lava Thomas
July 11 – August 23, 2015

West Coast artist Lava Thomas has created a site-specific installation that transforms the gallery into a unique site of reflection. The exhibition centers on a kinetic installation comprised of over one hundred tambourines suspended dramatically from the gallery's ceiling. The tambourines are affixed with eyes that are depicted in large-scale drawings based on photographs from Thomas' grandmother's photo album. Mirrors incorporated into the space and relative position is continually subject to the mirrors' gentle rotations.

Looking Back and Seeing Now challenges the viewer to consider the tambourine not only as a simple instrument used in folk and gospel music, but also as a tool of protest and a repository for resistance and hope. The tambourine provided the rhythm for protest songs ad marches during the civil rights movement. It also recalls the complicated role that the church has played as a locust of community. Together, the drawings and the installation serve to connect past and present, artist and audience, in an ongoing revelation of shared histories, struggles and aspirations.

The exhibition is generously supported by the City of Berkeley and Rena Bransten Projects.


Local Treasures:
Bay Area Photography

March 15 - May 11, 2014

Berkeley Art Center’s Local Treasures exhibition series features artists who have made a significant impact on the development of artistic practice in the Bay Area. The work included in the exhibition served as a quiet reflection on the environments we navigate, from grand sites of inspired spiritualism, to vast and solitary landscapes to even the appearance of the smallest drop of rainwater.  “Local Treasures: Bay Area Photography” showcases the vast breadth or process and interpretation thriving in the medium today.

Curator Anne Veh was drawn to artists who engage from a place of curiosity, wonder, silent inquiry and experimentation including: Linda Connor, Klea Mckenna, Hiroyo Kaneka, J. John Priola, Unai San Martin and Richard Whittaker.

The Agility Projects present Rodney Ewing and Jamil Hellu
March 19 – May 8, 2016

This exhibition is generously supported by the City of Berkeley and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

As part of BAC’s Agility Projects, Rodney Ewing and Jamil Hellu will present new work from distinct projects that explore how we determine our relationships to cultural histories and personal experiences. How do we reconcile who we really are with how we have been perceived? How do we articulate our own identity within generations of histories?

In Fact & Fiction, Ewing begins with a background of rushing paint and color, using fiction-based literature to expand on the narratives of actual individuals whose stories have been overlooked or taken for granted. These classic tales of the imagination are tools that frame these individuals as human beings who may have been forced into events that we would all find challenging. In his second series Cloud JarEwing makes reference to the role of water as an agent of change in the African diaspora and calls attention to recent events in Flint, Michigan.

In Present Tense, Jamil Hellu is looking for ways to voice his despair over violence in the Middle East. He started to produce works claiming his Arab roots. Hellu’s father’s family is from Syria. This body of work was first conceived after Hellu saw news footage of blindfolded Syrian men being thrown from high buildings by ISIS because of their perceived sexual orientation. The project explores the artist’s identity in relation to his Syrian heritage and Arab ethnicity. It is a conceptual investigation of the frictions that emerge at the intersection of Middle-Eastern lineage and queerness. Through performance, the work juxtaposes moving and still images creating a contemporary discourse about the implications of cultural background.Through painting, photography, installation and video, both Ewing and Hellu have created visually arresting bodies of work that serve as both intimate portraits of their individual experiences and their relationships to the cultural identities from which they emerged.