June 11 - August 14, 2005
Berkeley, CA, May 2, 2005-The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents an exhibition of work by twelve Bay Area artists who received The Fleishhacker Foundation's Eureka Fellowship between 2002 and 2004-Kim Anno, John Bankston, castaneda/reiman, May Chan, Jim Christensen, Chris Finley, Tom Marioni, Hector Dio Mendoza, Rachael Neubauer, Shaun O'Dell, Robert Ortbal, and Michael Temperio. On view in BAM/PFA's Gallery 2 from June 11 through August 14, 2005, EUREKA: The Eureka Fellowship Awards 2002–2004 highlights the accomplishments of these recipients of the prestigious Eureka Fellowships, which recognize artistic excellence and encompass the broad cultural and stylistic variety of the region's artists.
"Other than the fact that they rose to the top of the nominee pool, the artists in EUREKA don't have a great deal in common. Rather, they exemplify the healthy diversity of styles, attitudes, and media that is characteristic of Bay Area art," says Constance M. Lewallen, Senior Curator for Exhibitions at BAM/PFA.
Since 1986, The Fleishhacker Foundation has recognized the importance of supporting visual artists in the San Francisco Bay Area through the Eureka Fellowship Awards. Designed to help artists continue making work by supporting uninterrupted creative time, these generous $25,000 awards-the Bay Area's largest cash prize for individual artists-are based solely on artistic merit evidenced by previous work, and are not restricted to specific projects. As Fleishhacker Foundation Executive Director Christine Elbel writes in the exhibition catalog, "The primary benefit, according to recipients, is that the fellowships allow them to focus on their art during a pivotal time in their careers."
The Fleishhacker Foundation received nominations for the 2002–2004 Eureka Fellowships from forty-nine nonprofit arts organizations. Nominees were limited to working artists 25 years or older who reside in one of eight Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Marin, and Sonoma). A panel of national jurors-Karen Higa of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, James Jensen of the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, and Hamza Walker of the Renaissance Society in Chicago-reviewed slides and videotapes of work samples without information as to the artists' identities or professional histories, and selected the twelve awardees from among 125 artists considered. The 2002–2004 cycle provided four awards in each year, and stipulated only that the artists remain in the Bay Area during the year of their award.
ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION
Kim Anno (Berkeley) creates lush, oil-on-aluminum abstract paintings that combine fields of reflective color with calligraphic lines.
John Bankston (San Francisco) borrows the form of children's coloring books to create his colorful narrative paintings. In a series based on the Old West, Bankston's characters are exclusively black and male, raising questions about race and sexual identity in our national mythology.
The collaborative team castaneda/reiman (San Francisco; collaborators Charlie Castaneda and Brody Reiman) makes elaborate site-specific installations using common construction materials such as drywall, plaster, insulation, and cement, often augmented by painted elements.
May Chan's (San Jose) delicate objects--a re-creation of her mother's wedding dress, and baby shoes made from her own hair-relate to family and tradition.
Jim Christensen's (Oakland) exquisitely crafted sculptural installation is inspired by his personal history, evoking the many different locales in which he grew up, from trailer parks to apartment houses.
Chris Finley (Rohnert Park) makes abstract paintings characterized by a dynamic profusion of swirling elliptical shapes that are derived from distortions of human faces.
Tom Marioni's (San Francisco) shelves of beer bottles make reference to his early actions, in which he explored the notion of activity as art, and his belief that art has a social dimension.
Hector Dio Mendoza (San Jose) built a sculpture in the form of a tree out of Styrofoam to underline the contrast between the natural world and the non-biodegradable materials that threaten it.
Rachael Neubauer's (San Francisco) sensual, polystyrene biomorphic forms engage the floor and the wall, inviting multiple interpretations.
Shaun O'Dell's (San Francisco) precise renderings describe a personal cosmology composed of symbolic references to American history.
Robert Ortbal (San Francisco) draws on decorative art traditions, from Rococo to Moorish, as well as on the natural world in his elaborate sculptures.
Michael Temperio's (Oakland) meticulously printed photographs depict opal mines in the high Nevada desert.
Established in 1947, The Fleishhacker Foundation makes grants to organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area in the fields of Arts & Culture, and Precollegiate Education. Since the inception of the Eureka Fellowships, The Fleishhacker Foundation has awarded a total of $1,260,000 directly to Bay Area artists. Exhibitions of previous Eureka Fellowship recipients have been presented at the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
Biographical information for each of the 2002–2004 Eureka Fellowship Award winners is available at http://www.fleishhackerfoundation.org/eureka_2002.html.
Sunday, June 12, 3 p.m.
Artists featured in EUREKA: The Eureka Fellowship Awards 2002–2004 will discuss their work in an informal group gallery tour, offering a stimulating cross-section of ideas about art. Each artist will speak briefly about the work on view, as well as answer questions.
An illustrated catalogue for the exhibition will be available for purchase in the Museum Store; price $15.