Make Space

August 23 – October 5, 2014
Opening Reception: August 23, 5-8pm 

Berkeley Art Center is thrilled to present Make Space, a group exhibition featuring new and existing work by, Randy Dixon, Nancy Ivanhoe, Tressa Pack, Erik Parra, Dimitra Skandali. This show challenges artists to re-contextualize their art practice within the walls of the Berkeley Art Center; an art space like no other in the Bay Area.

During a time of dramatic economic and cultural shifts in the Bay Area, art spaces are closing, moving and utterly transforming in order to adapt to the changing financial and social changes of the region. However the Berkeley Art Center is a site fixed within Live Oak Park in North Berkeley. What relationship does the site of the Center, situated in a beautiful city park, have to the artwork within it? How can we consider what this art space means and how it functions within the great arts community? 

Randy Dixon’s sculptures of unrealized and unrealizable houses and buildings use the language of architecture to lure us into considering how the space around us is constructed. Dimitra Skandali and Nancy Ivanhoe, in addition to showing their own singular sculptures and installations, will be collaborating on a series of line drawings, drawn directly onto the walls, grounds and floors of BAC, that will follow the lines and shadows created by the trees in Live Oak Park beginning at the front entrance of the building and moving throughout the gallery and out to the sculpture garden. Tressa Pack’s photographs of photography equipment set up to light and frame an empty space creates an eerie value system for the ‘spacelessness’ filling up the rest of her compositions. Erik Parra will show new paintings of landscape and domestic interiors situated inside an installation of a room that could easily exist inside his paintings.

BAC executive director, Aimee Le Duc notes, “The artists in Make Space are confronting architecture as both subject and object. They will incorporate Berkeley Art Center into their installations and work – including both the interior and exterior spaces of the gallery. The exhibition is an experiment to test how physical space informs art practice.”

Exhibition Guide

Randy Dixon, Klein Haus, 2006, wood and roofing felt 

Randy Dixon
Randy Dixon refers to his work as "archisculptures" : a conflation of architecture and sculpture. He is interested in re-contextualizing architecture to examine how we relate to space and define our personal spaces in the larger environment. The two works in this exhibition are part of a series called Dream Houses, which displaces everyday architectural elements into new configurations.  

Klein House represents the mathematical model of a continuous surface, turning the insides out, and doorways into intersections. Adooration contemplates the role of the door and the physical space it inhabits in its trajectory of opening and closing. 


Nancy Ivanhoe, Studio 9, 2013, graphite, charcoal and cut drywall

Nancy Ivanhoe
Nancy Ivanhoe captures and aggregates the extremely temporal interactions between light and objects; following light beams and tracing shadows. She embraces ordinary materials and incorporates the site, dissolving the line between her art and the everyday.

Studio 9 is a wall taken from the artist’s studio and transplanted here, creating a new narrative through the re-contextualization of this structural-element turned art-object. The drawing was originally created by tracing the shadows in changing light created by a small bundle of copper wire.

 Out / In Berkeley investigates the concept of site and siteless-ness and plays with the concept of the threshold. The wire mesh sculpture is in dialogue with and incorporates shadows and light as well as the reflections, transparency and materiality of the glass in the window.

Sun Traces is a collaborative drawing installation created by Nancy Ivanhoe and Dimitra Skandali on the outside walls and entrance to Berkeley Art Center. The artists traced the changing shadows and light patterns as they fell on our structures throughout the day. The result is a static visual record of the ephemeral phenomenon of the light filtering through trees.


Tressa Pack, Fictions (Hayward), 2014, 8x10 color transparency, archival inkjet print 

Tressa Pack
Tressa Pack examines the paradox of photography’s implication of unedited reality vs the concept of the constructed image. Even the most documentary photograph is subject to the aesthetic and technical decisions of the person behind the camera.

 The works in this exhibition are part of a series titled Fictions, in which the tools of photography become the subjects of the photograph themselves. Simply by surrounding and illuminating a small area, these objects manage create a new “place” that is independent of the “place” that already exists around it. These seemingly aimless set-ups exist in a vast natural landscape, emphasizing their contrived arrangement and implying the hand of the unseen photographer.


Erik Parra, Nocturnal Pool, 2013, acrylic, spray paint and marker on canvas 

Erik Parra
Erik Parra’s paintings and installations incorporate imagery from the history of American design to create interior spaces that are simultaneously full and empty. He juxtaposes visual and technical dichotomies such as random vs meticulous paint application, mono vs polychrome color, thick paint vs washes, rendered objects verses flat shapes, energetic compositions vs static objects. This creates a tension and subtle sense of uncertainty that these constructed spaces are places where a person could or would live, despite their outward pleasantness.


Dimitra Skandali, installation detail 

Dimitra Skandali
Dimitra Skandali uses natural and man- made detritus to create installations that reflect on fragility, temporality, displacement, interconnectivity and interdependency. Enfolding is created using materials and sounds gathered  around Berkeley Art Center by the artist who then brought them inside and reconfigured them into an ephemeral mass. Each item, initially gleaned from the ground, is given its own space and voice at it is re-contextualized as art. The objects transform from trash and sticks to lines, colors and forms in space, interacting and combining with each other to make something larger as a whole.