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March 27, 2006

Painting exhibition at Sesnon to feature nine art faculty

By Scott Rappaport

A wide array of painting styles will be on display during the Faculty Works: 2006 Painting exhibition running April 5 to 29 at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery on campus.

Artwork: RotationsAmong the artwork to be displayed is Melissa Gwyn's Rotations, 2006.

Featuring the current work of nine faculty members from UCSC’s Art Department, the dynamic group exhibition will spotlight the diverse mix of techniques and approaches employed by the university’s visual arts faculty.

 “Painting continues to attract a major portion of all students who decide to pursue studies in visual arts,” noted Art Department chair Frank Galuszka. “There is a robust history of painting at UCSC including such notable practitioners as Patrick Aherne, Eduardo Carrillo, Don Weygandt, Kathryn Metz, and Jack Zajac. The wide range of works in this exhibition shows the vitality and diversity of painting as it flourishes today among the faculty and lecturers of the Art Department.”

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Wednesday, April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery located in Porter College. The event is free and open to the public.

The featured artists at the exhibition are:

Noah Buchanan, Lecturer, specializes in drawing & painting; M.F.A., New York Academy of Art. “My work is based in the academic tradition of the figure, and favors themes of the mythic, symbolic and heroic. I am primarily interested in depicting the human figure as an anatomical event, which houses the spirit of the human condition, and its relationship to the divine.”

Tim Craighead, Lecturer, specializes in drawing & painting; M.F.A., Columbia University. Although Craighead’s work is often categorized as abstract, he sees it as inhabiting both the objective and the nonobjective worlds. He is attracted equally to an autonomous or nondepictive mark, and the structural forms found in nature and the world of engineering and architecture.  

Don Fritz, Lecturer, specializes in drawing & painting; M.F.A., UC Davis. “My work has evolved from an early interest in Pop Art and icons of American pop culture expressed through popular imagery and cultural artifacts. I explore the visual symbol for what it represents both literally and metaphorically.”

Frank Galuszka
, Professor, specializes in painting; M.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Temple University. The encrusted surfaces of Galuszka's large abstract mica paintings exert the allure of objects that are both familiar and mysterious. Utilizing the unique properties of mica, these works are reflective as well as transparent, forcing the viewer to plunge deep inside the artwork.

Melissa Gwyn, Assistant Professor, specializes in drawing and painting; M.F.A., Yale School of Art. “In my paintings the organic evolves into artificial, animal into plant, and abstraction into decoration. There is an anxiety in these paintings about accelerated growth that is not wholly natural. There is a balance in these paintings that is precarious and tenuous.”

Hanna Hannah, Lecturer, specializes in drawing & painting; M.F.A., San Francisco Art Institute. Hannah combines an eclectic range of visual idioms that often engage media images of disaster in an attempt to translate, through painting, the role of viewer/artist into that of “witness.”

Miriam Hitchcock, Lecturer, specializes in drawing and painting; M.F.A., Yale School of Art. “I think of my artwork in general as a reverent investigation of the ordinary. These paintings contemplate the imagined trajectory of all that an ordinary life has set into motion and the unresolved nature of what remains when that life is interrupted.”

Jennie McDade, Professor, specializes in drawing and painting; M.F.A., University of Georgia. “Plein air painting is the foundation of my involvement with landscape. The meditation of place that is a part of painting outside, on site, en plein air, expands my understanding of the place and deepens my experience and memory.”

Susana Terrell, Lecturer, specializes in drawing and painting; M.A., San Francisco State University. For Terrell, the pursuit of painting is a passion for form, color, and sensation, in dialogue with the nondidactic, sensory, and humanistic expression found in certain historical art images.

In conjunction with the exhibit, several faculty members will also present lectures on their work in April. All lectures will take place at the Baskin Arts Seminar Room, D101, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The Faculty Lecture schedule will feature:

• Wednesday, April 19: Hanna Hannah, Jennie McDade

• Thursday, April 20: Miriam Hitchcock, Tim Craighead

• Thursday, April 27: Frank Galuszka, Melissa Gwyn

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Group tours are available by appointment at (831) 459-3606. For more information, go to arts.ucsc.edu/sesnon/ or contact Leslie Fellows, (831) 459-5667, or e-mail lfellows@ucsc.edu.

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