HERE, Part I
2016 BAC Artists Annual Exhibition

December 3, 2016 - January 11, 2017

Artwork Pick-up: Thursday, January 12 - Saturday, January 14,  11 am – 5 pm

Click here for the LIST OF ARTISTS

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. The exhibition is presented in two parts: a non-juried presentation, followed by a juried show. This year the juror will be Renny Pritikin, Chief Curator of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. 

HERE, Part 2 will open January 22 and run through February 26, 2017. 
Below is a partial gallery of images included in HERE Part I.

BAC Agility Projects presents:
Formidable Fragments: Breaking Down the Cult of Cute

October 8 – November 20, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 8, 6 - 8 pm

 Kathy Aoki,  Hello Kitty Monument: Morning in June , photo by Kari Orvik

 Kathy Aoki, Hello Kitty Monument: Morning in June, photo by Kari Orvik

For this solo exhibition Kathy Aoki will create an installation that addresses the worldwide obsession with Hello Kitty and other “super cute” commercial ventures that have dominated the market targeting young girls. For the Berkeley Art Center, Aoki will create a museum space devoted to the fictitious Hello Kitty Monument with large scale artifacts, an interactive map, and both audio- and video-based works. In addition to raising key questions about unhealthy/unaffordable obsessions with cuteness, Aoki’s displays will comment on the high-tech housing crisis and exhibition sponsorship.

Kathy Aoki addresses gender and pop-culture issues through approachable visual formats with a twist of humor. Installations of her current work are often presented in an ersatz museum context with “educational” fictive labels in convincing language. The museum framework provides a familiar format that is inviting rather than confrontational. 

Aoki’s work can be found in major collections across the U.S. such as the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Harvard University Art Museums, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Past awards include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony (NH), the Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), and the Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium). Aoki lives and works in the Silicon Valley where she is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Santa Clara University.

Collect! Exhibition and Art Auction

Exhibition: September 10 - 24, 2016
Stop by BAC to preview donated artwork, Wed - Sun, 11am - 5 pm

Art Auction Fundraiser
Saturday, September 24, 6 - 9 pm
Tickets: $50 / $45 BAC Members

Raise a glass to our generous local artist community at COLLECT! the BAC’s largest annual event. Works from some of the Bay Area’s most exciting artists will be exhibited and up for auction, enjoyed with a glass of wine and delicious food. Bring home your favorite piece and support artists in the community!

Funds from this event directly support year-round programming including our Programs for Young Artists as well as our exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and the donating artists. This is your opportunity to support a vital organization with almost 50 years of community presence.

Purchase online by clicking below
$100 VIP (or 6 for $500)
$50 General / $45 BAC Member

Can't attend? Make a donation!

Collect! Honorary Host Committee  

Alan Bamberger
Natasha Boas
Mariet & Bernard Braakman
Sandy Simon & Bob Brady
Chandra Cerrito & Lewis deSoto
Marna Clark
Randy Colosky
Penny Cooper
Rene de Guzman
Katie Hawkinson & Joe Slusky
Mildred Howard
Susan Klee & David Stoloff
Melanie & Ken Light
Richard Nagler
Josh Oliver
Renny Pritikin
Heather Marx & Steve Zavattero
Katrina Traywick
Carl Worth
Lava Thomas

BAC Agility Projects presents:
Quiet Please: The Mental Game of Art and Tennis

July 30 – August 28, 2016


As part of The Agility Projects series, Berkeley Art Center is proud to present Quiet Please, an exhibition that examines the call and response relationship between artist and viewer using the sport of tennis as a metaphor to this exchange. Artists  Libby BlackJennie OttingerGeorge Pfau, and Andrew Witrak  present drawings, sculpture and animation that use tennis as a way to comment on human psychology: presentation, elitism, communication, and catharsis. 

Like many sports, there are myriad rules and customs that apply to the game of tennis. A distinct quality of match play is the on-court etiquette and ritual—a play of manners and class (or lack thereof). And like the artistic process, there is an opportunity to come from one point away from defeat, to win the match. The aim of good tennis playing is to get out of your head, and trust your body and strokes—to achieve a sort of Zen looseness. On the other hand, as in creating a body of work in the art studio, one can be plagued by self-doubt, second-guessing, and the sometimes complete derailment of one's game. 

The history of the sport is significant in that, although it is possible to be played on public courts, it has an elitist reputation. Dating back to the 1860s tennis is an international sport that conjures up snotty clubs and white sweaters. There are comparisons to be drawn between the impenetrable art markets and country club memberships where tennis is often played.

BAC Agility Projects presents: I Look for Clues in Your Dreams
curated by Heather Marx

May 21 – July 17, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 21 6 - 8 pm
with a special acapella performance by Victoria Wagner and members of the CCA community

This vibrant exhibition will feature new and existing work by Leo BersaminaChris DuncanKristin FarrJenny SharafVictoria Wagner and Amber Jean Young. It explores Northern California as both a physical place and a mythological concept that has drawn people in for decades. 

The landscape, history of psychedelia, transformative powers and utopian dreams of the area have inspired generations of artists. Ripe with myth, Northern California has been a place where people go in search of something bigger and better than themselves. These artists all share an aesthetic directly linked to the mythology of the American West and how this history has affected the imagination and art of the Bay Area. Through site-specific installations, sculpture, painting, and mixed media assemblages, the artists will reflect the area’s elemental spirit and force.

Curator Heather Marx views these artists “as seekers and explorers. Their work is either directly sourced from the natural environment, situated within it, or produced by it. Marx adds “By looking for clues in these artist’s works, I hope to tell a story about this powerful and complex ‘dream’ of Northern California and its bewitching hold on our collective imagination.”


Curator Heather Marx has been involved in the fine art field for over 20 years. Her professional experience has included work at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the University Art Museum at UCSB, and Hackett-Freedman Gallery in San Francisco. She established Heather Marx Gallery in San Francisco in 2001 (renamed Marx & Zavattero in 2008). Marx founded Heather Marx Art Advisory, a comprehensive and independent curatorial agency, in 2014.

This exhibition is generously supported by the City of Berkeley and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Works in the exhibition are available for purchase to support the artists and the continuing programs at BAC.

Heavy Mellow
Sunday, May 29, 2 - 4 pm 

An afternoon of sound performances, presentations and food by Sean Smith (LFZ, Stimulus Progression) and Chris Duncan (Offing Music and Land and Sea), Tacos Oscar and Pop Pop Paletas. 
Tickets: $5 - $20 sliding scale at the door

Artists in Conversation
Thursday, July 14, 6 pm 

Join the artists along with curator Heather Marx and Rene de Guzman, Senior Curator of Art, Oakland Museum of California in discovering the many "clues" about California revealed through the work in this exhibit. 
Free for BAC Members$10 non-members, RSVP requested

Berkeley Art Center's Agility Projects presents:

March 19 – May 8, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, March 19, 6 - 8 pm

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.

In addition to the exhibition, the artists will be in conversation with Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen on Thursday, April 14 at 6 pm. MacFadyen is a curator, consultant, and project-based artist with over fifteen years of in-depth experience in the performing and visual arts. In 2013 she founded
A Simple Collective: an organization dedicated to fostering creative independence for professionals, and professional independence for creatives, and ASC Projects: an experimental project space in the Mission.


Curated by Natasha Boas

January 30 – February 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 6, 2016, 6 - 8 pm

"In many ways abstract paintings are fictional models. They render visible what we cannot otherwise see or describe. They propose a new real to be imagined. In a world increasingly saturated by instant images, abstract painting reminds us of the unique individual mark-maker and compels a closer consideration of the process before the image. In this space of the postponement of the image that is neither directly relational or ideological, we might reflect, consider and pause.

I was struck by the abundance of abstract work in all media in Here Part I, and wanted to pose questions around the subject of Abstraction—an area of art practice that remains a through-line from modernism until now. What does it mean to think about abstraction and more specifically, what does it mean to think about abstraction in painting? The six artists selected, Katie Hawkinson, Edith Hillinger, Anthony Pinata, Nellie King Solomon, Rik Ritchey and Kimberly Rowe show a dedication in their work to the investigation of abstraction and its history—and reshape new abstraction through their unique investments in expanded practices."

--Natasha Boas

BAC invites you to a conversation with Curator Natasha Boas and BAMPFA Director Larry Rinder, titled What does it mean to think about abstraction? on Wednesday, February 24 at 6 pm.