School of Art
Practicum Lecture Series
January 13, 6pm
Nikolas Ventourakis is from Athens, Greece and lives in London,UK since 2007. He studied fine art photography at the TEI of Athens and completed an MA in Photography at Central Saint Martins School of Arts in 2013. He was selected for the Young Greek Photographers exhibition at Athens Photo Festival in 2010, and in 2013 he exhibited his project “Leaving Utopia”, an abstract narrative about the social crisis in Greece, in a solo show in the main schedule of the festival. He is the recipient of the Deutsche Bank Award in Photography, a finalist of the Celeste Prize 2013 and was selected for The Catlin Guide 2014 and the Future Map 2013 as one of the top graduating artists in the UK. In the Summer of 2014 he exhibited in the Photographer’s Gallery, London, in the Fresh Faced Wild Eyed exhibition, was nominated for the Fotomuseum Winterthur Plat(t)form and from October 2014 he is a visiting artist in residence at the California Institute of Arts with a Fulbright Artist Fellowship. His main subjects of interest are misconceptions and assumptions.
January 15, 6pm
Sara Wookey is a choreographer with an interest in the way that performance and publics interact. Her work is informed by her training in American Post-Modern Dance, European Dance-Theater and Laban Movement Analysis. Parallel to her creative practice Sara speaks and writes on issues of economy and value in dance. Sara is often asked to consult on dance presentation and archive in the museum and on public engagement with cultural institutions and government agencies. She is a certified teacher of Yvonne Rainer's seminal dance work Trio A (1966) and a practicing square dance caller.
January 20, 6pm
Neha Choksi was born in the United States, raised in India, and formally educated in the Fine Arts and Indo-European philology at UCLA and Columbia University. She lives and works in Mumbai and Los Angeles. Her poetic oeuvre presents a materially bound search for, and acceptance of, various forms of absences - absenting and emptying. Whether sculpture, video, photography or performance, her art takes matter apart in substance and form, in metaphor and media. She often makes tragicomic, even absurd, interventions in the life of a plant, an animal, or her own, and in so doing trespasses on the vulnerability, intimacy and isolation that is experienced. Additionally, Neha’s works often carry an interest in commonsense gravity and in the stillness that accrues in time and space to the things of this world. These themes recur in the various formats in which she works, whether it is a performance piece in which she anesthetized herself and four farm animals; a video showing the denuding of a large tree in a single day; or an installation of vases full of flowers supporting the crushing weight of a mattress. Her works approach absence through an excess of gesture and of presence.
Neha’s works have been exhibited worldwide in galleries, museums, festivals, and film screenings and are in notable public and private collections in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Neha is a contributing editor for X-TRA, a quarterly art journal published in Los Angeles.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
January 22, 6pm
Njideka Akunyili Crosby was born in 1983 in Enugu, Nigeria. She earned her BA at Swarthmore College, obtained a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and went on get her MFA from Yale University School of Art 2011.
Akunyili Crosby has exhibited extensively both around the United States and internationally including at venues such as Marianne Boesky gallery, Victoria Miro Gallery London, the Nasher museum of Art at Duke University, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Bronx Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. She will be included in Surround Sound, the next New Museum triennial that opens in late February.
She has received numerous awards including the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant, and most recently, the James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize from the Smithsonian Museum. This passage from the announcement of her receipt of this most recent award provides a concise description of her artwork itself:
The jurors wrote in their decision, “Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s nuanced work reflects the increasingly transnational nature of the contemporary art world. Akunyili Crosby sensitively negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating collage and photo transfer-based paintings that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds. She has created a sophisticated visual language that pays homage to the history of Western painting while also referencing African cultural traditions. Akunyili Crosby has a striking ability to depict deeply personal imagery that transcends the specificity of individual experience and engages in a global dialogue about trenchant social and political issues.”
Akunyili Crosby creates vibrant paintings that weave together personal and cultural narratives drawn from her experience. She uses an array of materials and techniques in each of her autobiographical works. Collage and photo-transfer provide texture and complexity to the surface of each composition in which photographs from family albums mingle with images from popular Nigerian lifestyle magazines. This varied and inventive use of media serves as a visual metaphor for the intersection of cultures as well as the artist’s own hybrid identity.
Akunyili Crosby was a 2011-2012 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a 2013 resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, NY, and a 2014 recipient of the space program from the the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation.
Akunyili Crosby’s work is included in numerous public collections such as: the Yale University Art Gallery, the Rubell Family Collection, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the New Church Museum Cape Town, the Zeitz MOCAA Cape Town, and the Tate Modern.
January 27, 6pm
Edgar Arceneaux (b. 1972, Los Angeles, CA) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1996, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting in 1999, and then received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2001. He is the co-founder of the Watts House Project, of which he was the director from 1999-2012. The Watts House Project is a non-profit neighborhood redevelopment organization that focuses on renovating residential properties and providing programs and venues for community involvement in the neighborhood around the historic Watts Towers. In 2007, Edgar Arceneaux was named a United States Artists Fellow and was included the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Arceneaux's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Orange County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Kitchen, NY, the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, the Lentos Art Museum, Austria, and the Museum Ludwig in Germany. He is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in Los Angeles and Praz-Delavallade in Paris.
Thorbjorg (Tobba) Jonsdottir
January 29, 6pm
Thorbjorg Jonsdottir is a visual artist and experimental filmmaker from Iceland. She graduated with a MFA in filmmaking from the Program in Film & Video at California Institute of the Arts in 2009 and holds a BFA degree in visual arts from the Iceland Academy of Arts. Thorbjorg has taught in various places, such as in the School of Film & Video at CalArts, the Iceland Academy of the Arts and she is one of the founders and head instructors at Teenage Wasteland of the Arts, a radical arts program for teenagers and young people.
Thorbjorg works primarily in 16mm film, video installation and collage. Her work often deals with the uncanny and the preternatural, and uses landscapes as a metaphor for entrances to other worlds. Thorbjorg’s films and video installations have screened both in galleries and film festivals nationally and internationally. Thorbjorg lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland and Los Angeles, California.