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, Light/Dark: Selections by Enrique Chagoya from the California Society of Printmakers, Lava Thomas: Looking Back and Seeing Now, and Yelling Clinic: Art War & Disability.
The Berkeley Art Center exhibited work by over 50 artists.
Below are selected exhibitions from the 2010s at the Berkeley Art Center.
Selections by Enrique Chagoya from the California Society of Printmakers
April – May, 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 featured 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.
Art, War & Disability
April – June, 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 included Huỳnh 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 – August, 2015
West Coast artist Lava Thomas created a site-specific installation that transformed the gallery into a unique site of reflection. The kinetic installation was comprised of over 100 tambourines suspended dramatically from the gallery's ceiling. The large-scale drawings around the room were based on photographs from Thomas' grandmother's photo album.
Looking Back and Seeing Now challenged 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 served to connect past and present, artist and audience, in an ongoing revelation of shared histories, struggles and aspirations.
Bay Area Photography
March - May, 2014
Berkeley Art Center’s Local Treasures exhibition series featured 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. The exhibit showcased 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 – May, 2016
As part of BAC’s Agility Projects, Rodney Ewing and Jamil Hellu presented new work from distinct projects that explore how we determine our relationships to cultural histories and personal experiences.
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 Present Tense, Jamil Hellu was 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.