Berkeley, CA, April 23, 2015 — For the past forty-four years, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) has collaborated with the UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice to present the work of its graduating MFA students. This year BAM/PFA has joined forces with the Berkeley Art Center to present the exhibition while BAM/PFA is in the process of moving to its new building in the heart of downtown Berkeley.
Though they utilize a diverse range of media, styles, and methods, the artists in this stellar class of graduates are unified by a shared concern for their natural and cultural environments, and in the imaginative ways they probe their material surroundings. Leslie Dreyer investigates performances, protests, and interventions in response to the impact of the Bay Area’s rapidly growing tech industry on the community and existing residents. Tanja Geis produces large-scale mud paintings, hand-sized clay sculptures, and underwater videos in response to toxic pollution found in our natural environment. Lee Lavy’s sculptures and performances explore the foreboding presence of the fault lines of the California coast. Michelle Ott’s abstract experiments with light and focus lead to larger consideration of humans and their relationship with nature. The installations of Sofie Ramos, meanwhile, are totalizing environments where elements such as line, color, and shape come to life in a hallucinatory diorama. And Matt Smith Chavez’s two-dimensional works often use images of everyday objects as a way to probe the authenticity of authorship and consumers.
The 45th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, BAM/PFA curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator.
MFA Artists’ Talks
May 17, 2015; 3:00 p.m.
Meet the 2015 graduates of UC Berkeley’s Masters of Fine Arts program as they talk about their work at the outset of their professional careers. This year’s graduates are Leslie Dreyer, Tanja Geis, Lee Lavy, Michelle Ott, Sofie Ramos, and Matt Smith Chavez. Admission is free.
Berkeley Art Center
1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709
Open Wednesdays through Sundays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The annual UC Berkeley MFA exhibition is made possible by the Wiltsek Endowment for the Master of Fine Arts Exhibition.