New Exhibitions Celebrate UC Berkeley Graduate Students

Cal Conversations and MFA 2019 Open May 17

Two new exhibitions showcase the work of UC Berkeley graduate students, presenting fresh work by graduating MFA students and a curatorial consideration of blackness and belonging.

GIF: Ricki Dwyer: Ghost Print 012, 2018; monotype diptych; each 30 × 22 in. Live performance of SPELLLING. Photo: Steve Simpson Photography. Connie Zheng, Mother, 2019; gouache on Mylar and found objects; dimensions variable. Gabriella Willenz: still from Gray Area (8200), 2016; mixed-media installation; dimensions variable; 25 min. Heesoo Kwon: still from 탈피를 위한 의식 [A Ritual for Metamorphosis], 2019; mixed media; dimensions variable.

For the forty-ninth year, BAMPFA and the University of California, Berkeley Department of Art Practice have collaborated to present an exhibition of works by Berkeley Master of Fine Arts graduates. This year’s exhibition includes the exceptional work of Chrystia Cabral, Ricki Dwyer, Heesoo Kwon, Gabriella Willenz, and Connie Zheng. On opening day, the artists discuss their work at 5:30 PM.

Installation view, Cal Conversations / About Things Loved: Blackness and Belonging.

Organized by students in the UC Berkeley graduate seminar Diaspora | Migration | Exile, Cal Conversations / About Things Loved: Blackness and Belonging acknowledges that museums have been implicated in antiblack practices that present racial difference as biological fact rather than social construction, and exclude, marginalize, and devalue Black art, Black artists, and Black life. This exhibition centers a diverse array of Black art in the hope of addressing these questions: To whom does blackness belong? Where does blackness belong? How can blackness belong within the museum?

Dive deeper into the exhibition with related programs, including a gallery talk with graduate student curators (May 24) and a Juneteenth screening and discussion with exhibiting artist Mildred Howard (June 19).