HERE, Part I
2015 BAC Artists Annual Exhibition

December 5 - January 17, 2016
Closing Reception: Sunday, January 17, 5 - 7 pm

Artwork Pick Up Dates:  Thursday – Saturday, January 21 – 23, 2016, 11 am – 5 pm

BAC's Artists Annual is a celebration of our members who form the deep and rich art community that makes Berkeley Art Center such a unique organization. This salon-style exhibition features small works in a variety of media. Independent Curator Natasha Boas will curate a selection of artists from this exhibition to be featured in HERE, Part II opening January 30, 2016.

Click here for participating artists. 

Untitled (Mitchell Lumber)  by Susan Lynn Smith

Untitled (Mitchell Lumber) by Susan Lynn Smith

New Photography inspired by the Paul Sack Collection

Featured Artists: Filza Ahmad, Ingeborg Gerdes, Toby Kahn, Nick Lawrence, Maggie Preston and Susan Lynn Smith

Opening Reception: Friday, October 9, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
October 9- November 22, 2015

About the Exhibition

The Berkeley Art Center is proud to present the next installment of Agility Projects – New Photography inspired by the Paul Sack Collection. BAC is proud to be entering into this partnership with Paul Sack and to give an opportunity for entirely new audiences to experience the rich photography community in the Bay Area. Jurors, Janet Delaney, Aimee Le Duc and Kira Lyons, selected six photographers: Filza Ahmad, Ingeborg Gerdes, Toby Kahn, Nick Lawrence, Maggie Preston and Susan Lynn Smith. These exhibiting artists represent of range of subject matter, approaches to practice and relationships to the built environment. 

About the Paul Sack Collection

The Paul Sack Collection of Photography seeks to show the history of photography from its beginnings to about 1975 in photographs each of which contains somewhere within it an ownable or leasable building.  That does not mean that it is a collection of architectural photography or of images of buildings.  The structure in the picture could be a small dot on a large landscape or could be the wall behind a portrait.  This theme flows from Sack’s career as an investor in real estate.

The collection contains approximately 2,800 prints, all of which are black and white.  In 1998, Sack gave the approximately 1,000 prints he then owned to the Sack Trust for SFMOMA, a supporting trust which allows the museum to do everything it could do if it owned the prints—exhibit, lend, conserve them; but when the museum is not so using them, they remain with the collection in Sack’s office.

Approximately one third of the collection are prints from the 19th century, including both salt prints and albumen prints.  At least 90% of the collection is from before 1975, as photography then became largely color and art became largely conceptual.  Nothing in the collection is longer than 24 inches on its longest side except for panoramas.

A selection of photographers are represented in the collection:

From the 19th century, for instance, there is a good representation of work by such eminences as the inventor of photography William Henry Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, Gustave Le Gray, Edouard-Denis Baldus, George Barnard, Samuel Bourne, Francis Frith, J. B. Greene, Hill & Adamson, Charles Marville, Carlton Watkins, Louis De Clercq, Alexander Gardner, John Hillers, and William Henry Jackson.

From the 20th century, there are numbers of works by Eugene Atget, Man Ray, Diane Arbus, Robert Adams, Ilse Bing, Brassai, Bill Brandt, Manuel Alvarez Bravo,  Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Eikoh Hosoe, Ande Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Daido Moriyama,  Alexander Rodchenko, Edward Steichen, Shomei Tomatsu, and Garry Winogrand. 

About the jurors:

Janet Delaney is a fine art photographer who focuses her attention on the urban-scape. Most recently she has been documenting the changes taking place in the SoMa district of San Francisco.

Delaney has received three National Endowment for the Arts Grants and the Phelan Award. Her photographs are in collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Art, the de Young Museum and the Pilara Foundation. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally. In late 2013 She published South of Market with Mack of London. This work is now exhibited in a one-person show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, January to July of 2015.

For the past fifteen years she has held the position of adjunct lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and this year she was on the faculty for both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Kira Lyons has worked in the San Francisco arts community for more than 15 years. Lyons worked at Stephen Wirtz Gallery and John Berggruen Gallery prior to landing her current role as Director at Gallery Wendi Norris, where a diverse mix of local and international artists are represented. Lyons works with a variety of international collectors and institutional collections. Kira has an Art History degree from San Francisco State University and has special expertise in the field of fine art photography as well as a growing interest in the global arts market. Kira was one of three art professionals chosen to serve as a juror for the 2013 Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards. Kira enjoys being a participant in the San Francisco Arts Community as an active member of Artadia’s San Francisco Council, as well as Headlands Center for the Arts and Southern Exposure.

The Agility Projects is a series of exhibitions and public programs that seeks to engage diverse audiences with new and commissioned art by outstanding emerging artists from the Bay Area. The program provides artists with time and support to create new bodies of work that will push their own artistic practices in new directions.

Collect! Exhibition and Art Auction

Exhibition: September 12 - 26, 2015

Preview Reception: Saturday, September 12, 5 - 8 pm
Free and open to the public

Stop by BAC before the auction to preview donated artwork:
Wednesday - Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm

Art Auction Fundraiser
Saturday, September 26, 5 - 9 pm

VIP Reception 5 - 6 pm

Early admission includes marvelous small bites from Comal and wines
from Narsai David EstatesChinaco Blanco cocktails sponsored by
Anchor Distilling Company, and the chance to mix and mingle with
donor artists and the honorary host committee, while developing your
strategy to bring home your favorite artwork. Take advantage of “Buy
It Now” pricing!

Auction Main Event: 6-9 pm

Join us in celebrating our largest annual event featuring a stunning
exhibition and silent auction with work from some of the most exciting
Bay Area artists. Raise a glass, enjoy delicious food provided by Hugh
Groman Catering, Poulet
, and TCHO, and support Berkeley Art Center
by taking home some art of your own.

Music provided by DJ Sam Swig

Funds from this event directly support year-round
programming, including our Programs for Young Artists at
BAC as well as our exhibitions, lectures, workshops, public
events, and donor artists.

Collect! Honorary Host Committee 

Berkeley Art Center is extremely grateful to the incredible support
provided by the members of the 2015 Collect! Honorary Host Committee. 

Renee Bott
Squeak Carnwath
Enrique Chagoya
Catharine Clark
Kim Johansson
Kara Maria
Heather Marx
Steve Zavattero

Looking Back and Seeing Now
New Work by Lava Thomas

July 11 – August 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 11, 5 pm - 7 pm

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.

View the catalog online, click here

You can purchase the Looking Back and Seeing Now catalog online ($5). Click to purchase

We also have a limited number of catalog the from BEYOND, Lava's recent exhibition at the MOAD in San Francisco ($35). Click to purchase

UC Berkeley MFA Graduate Exhibition

Leslie Dreyer
Tanja Geis
Lee Lavy
Michelle Ott
Sofie Ramos
Matt Smith Chavez

May 15 – June 14, 2015
Public Reception: Saturday, June 6, Noon - 3 p.m.

Six emerging graduate students working in a variety of mediums ranging from large scale mud paintings to dioramas will present their works at BAC. Leslie Deyer unravels the Bay Area's response to the changing landscape and impact of the growing tech industry. Tanja Geis works with mud, clay, and video production, creating underwater videos and large-scale paintings to reflect on environmental pollution. Lee Lavy works with sculpture and performance to portray concern of the California coast's growing presence of fault lines. Abstract works from Michelle Ott focus on human relationships with nature, and diorama installations from Sofie Ramos bring lines, colors, and shapes to life. Finally, Matt Smith Chavez uses images of everyday objects as they relate to consumers. The six artists weave together an important theme of their shared concerns for natural and cultural environments.

Berkeley Art Center Agility Projects presents: 

Claire Colette: Ever/After

Rhonda Holberton: You Are Something the Whole World is Doing

March 28 – May 3, 2015
Artist Reception: Saturday, March 28, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Berkeley Art Center is proud to present two concurrent solo exhibitions of new work by Claire Colette and Rhonda Holberton as the inaugural exhibitions for Agility Projects.

The Agility Projects is a series of exhibitions and public programs that seeks to engage diverse audiences with new and commissioned art by outstanding emerging artists from the Bay Area. The program provides artists with time and support to create new bodies of work that will push their own artistic practices in new directions.

These exhibitions are supported by, the City of Berkeley, Elizabeth Sher and Phil Shnayerson. 

Claire Colette’s series of drawings and sculpture that make up Ever/After are both striking and contemplative. This body of work has been a result of an interest in the idea of the infinite. She investigates the human relationship to our place in the universe and the compulsory desire to create objects in order to make meaning. Seeking out repetitive patterns and shapes that have occurred throughout time Colette is looking for a mystical or spiritual connection between objects and occurrences. She is interested in how these forms and objects come to life, and the dialogue they create with each other. 

Continuing her ongoing investigations into the aesthetics of technologically enhanced human forms, Rhonda Holberton’s new series, You Are Something the Whole World is Doing, imagines the limitations of the physical body in digital space. The bodies represented in Holberton’s sculptures and videos are not like the bodies we see in movies, advertising, and video games that effortlessly navigate through groundless space. Instead, cast silicone sculptures in various states of completion stand in for and represent these limitations.

Young Artists: An Exhibition featuring BUSD Students 

February 18 - March 14, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 18, 5 - 7 pm  

Featuring work by Berkeley K-8 Students

Participating Schools: Berkeley Arts Magnet at Whittier, Cragmont Elementary, Emerson Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, John Muir Elementary, LeConte Elementary, Malcom X Elementary, Oxford Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, Thousand Oaks Elementary, Washington Elementary, Longfellow Middle School, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Willard Middle School. 

HERE: The 2014 BAC Artists AnnualAn Exhibition in Two Parts
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 15, 5-8pm
Exhibition Dates: November 15- December 14
Full list of Part I artists

HERE: The 2014 BAC Artists Annual Part II
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 10, 5-8pm
Exhibition Dates: January 10-February 8, 2015 

Berkeley Art Center presents, HERE: The 2014 BAC Artists AnnualAn Exhibition in Two PartsHere: Part I is a non-juried presentation, followed byHere: Part II, curated by Aimee Friberg, director of CULT Exhibitions in San Francisco. Friberg has selected five outstanding artists from Part I of the exhibition who will then be invited to showcase a larger body of work in Part II. This unique exhibition experience will allow new perspectives on the broad and deep BAC artist communities.


Berkeley Art Center would like to congratulate the HERE: Part II exhibiting artists.

Mariet Braakman
Afton Love
Amy Nathan
Joyce Nojima

Sabine Reckewell

Here: Part II, the juried exhibition of Berkeley Art Center’s two part Annual Members’ Show, brings together a group of Bay Area artists, who while exhibiting together for the first time, have distinct synergistic parallels in both their work and process. Selected from a vast survey of single-submission works from Berkeley Art Center member artists, Here: Part II spotlights artists whose work utilizes repetition and mark-making to explore landscape, memory and space: Mariet BraakmanAfton LoveAmy NathanJoyce Nojima, and Sabine Reckewell.

In reviewing the large survey show of Here: Part II, I noticed a particular attention to rigorous materiality and an exploration of volume in these five artists’ works. Each of these artists has a tactile, if not sensual approach to meditative mark making. Even the artists working in three-dimension seem to lift line and repetitive marks off the page into volumetric form. This show highlights diverse media - from drawing, to manipulated found objects, to painting and sculptural installation. Amy Nathan’s densely repeated renderings in ink and watercolor depict plant, mineral and landscape sourced from autobiographical imagery to explore unconscious ritual, association and narrative. Sabine Reckewell explores dimensionality and geometric shapes, making installations that reference linear form, literally bringing the line into three-dimensional space with yarn, ribbon, rope and tape. Joyce Nojima punctures, burns, disfigures and draws with a heated iron rod - these destructive gestures result in lyrical shapes and forms that are sculptural, textural and exquisitely scarred. Mariet Braakman’s dense accumulation of colorful strokes and repeated contours result in methodical paintings in which content is both microscopic and monumental. With similar intent, Afton Love explains that her mammoth scale drawings, rendered with alliterative application of graphite and beeswax on delicate tracing paper, are about preservation, the state of the world and our precarious position in it.

Across the diverse media explored in Here: Part II, thematic conversations emerge, referencing landscape and the natural world with various levels of abstraction. The works exhibited point to a trend among Bay Area artists, bringing into dialog the formal with the conceptual, through rigorous repetitive processes that often reference their labored efforts as a meditation.

Aimee FribergHERE: Part II Curator