APRIL/MAY 2013: FINAL SFAI THESIS COLLABORATIVE PROJECT
As a collaborative project, seven of my peers and I have developed theoretical museum which highlights exhibition history as being unique and different from more popular modes of art history or curatorial practice. In that, we are proposing to re-exhibit notable exhibitions from the past, the first being the inaugural Bay Area Now exhibition (1997), at the YBCA. The project will be presented in 3 parts:
-An exhibition at the Diego Rivera Gallery, a public symposium with guest speakers Andrew Weiner and original BAN curator Renny Pritikin in the SFAI lecture hall and at Vernissage, SFAI MFA/MA Graduate exhibition, at the San Francisco Mint.
APRIL 2013: URBAN AFFAIRS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE PRESENTER
Thomas Kinkade and The Village in Vallejo, CA: Revitalizing Contemporary Suburbs through Branding Strategies and the Visual Arts
Since the early 1990s, a trend among developers has been to use corporate branding strategies to produce communities that attempt to separate themselves from stereotypical elements of sprawl in both aesthetic and social arenas. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of these new trends in suburban design by focusing on the Thomas Kinkade-inspired community in Vallejo, California, named The Village. Kinkade is widely known as the Painter of Light and although Kinkade considered himself a serious artist, his work is associated with kitschy Americana because of the mass marketing of Kinkade originals and reproductions in Kinkade galleries located in suburban malls across the country. Opening in 2001, The Village housing development was driven by Kinkades corporation, The New Media Group, and it was created in the likeness of his paintings. Drawing on interviews with developers, homeowners, and real estate agents, as well as art criticism, my analysis of The Village addresses the effectiveness of the visual arts and popular culture in suburban revitalization. By considering issues such as stylization, the artists popularity, kitsch, and the ideology of the American Dream, I show how Kinkade and his brand are involved in a specific conversation about home. The paper compares The Village with similar new urbanism projects like Celebration, a Disney-inspired neighborhood in Florida, and Strand East, a mixed-use neighborhood being developed in London, UK by the Swedish retail tycoon IKEA. My research investigates whether these communities, which are seen as unique social experiments, have the capability to inspire civic engagement solely based on the idealization of community from popular art and culture brands.
FEBRUARY: 2013 MFA NOW! 2013 Root Division
Reception: Saturday, February 9, 7-10pm
"Root Division presents MFA Now 2013, an archive project featuring Bay Area MFA Candidates and juried exhibition presenting twenty-six of those artists work.
According to the US News and World Report survey from 2012, the Bay Area is home to seven of the top one hundred MFA Programs in Visual Arts in the country: California College of the Arts, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Juror, Brian Karl, Program Director of Headlands Center for the Arts, selected twenty-six works from the submitted archive materials to be shown in Root Division's gallery for the month of February. Copies of the archive publication will be for sale at the exhibition opening or during business hours for $20.