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JULY EXHIBITIONS: 7/2 – 7/30

Cannery Suite 104

Kristen Brown, Memory Landmarks

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Kristen Brown, Memory Landmarks

Memory can be unreliable; images blur with the passage of time, narratives become simplified, and the original experience gradually fades into obscurity. We treasure photographs and keepsakes as physical anchors that keep us grounded in the realities we wish to preserve. Kristen Brown’s oil painting series “Memory Landmarks” begins with snapshots taken with cheap or vintage film cameras, and likens their pictorial defects to our distorted memories.

“My life often feels as unreal as a photograph or a movie,” says Brown, “and I often feel that recalling my past is similar to watching a film about someone else.” Using traditional techniques in an unconventional manner, Brown builds her paintings in thin transparent layers, progressively blurring her images rather than clarifying. All the hallmarks of a cheap lens – chromatic aberration, distortion of perspective, flares, and halos – serve to heighten the surrealistic mood and take the viewer outside the realm of reality. Narratives become unreliable, emotions suspect; as the disassociated memory scenes are obscured they become more general, and begin to strike chords of recognition in all of us.

Kristen Brown earned her BFA in Studio Art from University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and is currently finishing her last semester in the MFA Painting program at Academy of Art University. Memory Landmarks is her third solo exhibition, in addition to numerous group exhibitions in the US and Canada.

 

Kristen Brown, Memory Landmarks

Cannery Suite 108

Academy of Art University 2014 Spring Show  – Fine Art Sculpture

Academy of Art University 2014 Spring Show  – Fine Art Sculpture

Cannery Suite 110

Alex Vietti, Construction

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Alex Vietti, Construction

How many of us can pass by a construction site without peeking through the fence in hopes of catching a glimpse of something wondrous? Theres something about that rare chance to look beneath the surface of the everyday world that appeals to us all, to see the bones that support the modern world we take for granted. Alex Vietti’s “Construction” taps into this fascination and considers the construction site as a transitory zone of instability. Uniformed workers take on the appearance of a secular clergy, gatekeepers of the mysteries of concrete, steel, and heavy machinery, working to restore a disrupted equilibrium.

“From their daily labor they give birth to the new structure,” says Vietti. “Observing them working has given me the chance to look into another world, a constantly fluctuating world that lays the foundation for my own as I walk through the city.” Vietti’s straightforward realistic technique presents the subject without distracting from the narrative. Decay and Destruction bring instability, workers move in and restore equilibrium, then move on to the next project.

Alex Vietti received his BFA in Drawing from Northern Illinois University, and is working towards his MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University. He has exhibited in numerous fine art galleries around the United States, and has won awards for his short films and animation.

 

Cannery Suite 112

Asma Salehi, Behind the Burka II

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Asma Salehi, Behind the Burka II

Born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1972, Asma Salehi grew up during her country’s  tumultuous transition from monarchy to republic, experiencing from her earliest days the growing tensions that resulted in the Saur Revolution and subsequent Soviet invasion. Her still life series “Behind the Burka II” examines the cultural plight of women and children rendered powerless by war, politics, and an oppressive culture.

“Each composition is created by a collection of items that are symbolic in Afghan culture,” says Salehi. “For example, the Burka is an icon for Afghan women.” But Salehi’s images look deeper into the issues. “The problems are not only about the Burka garment, but about women being sold into marriage, boys getting abducted to become sexual slaves, poverty, self immolation, vitriolage on women who seek education, and more.” Taking inspiration from her memories as well as contemporary news coverage, Salehi creates still life narratives that bear witness to those unseen and unknown in the world today.

Asma Salehi’s family escaped to Pakistan in 1982, and was later granted asylum in the United States. Asma discovered her artistic talent during an elective art class at Diablo Valley College, and went on to complete her Bachelors degree in Graphic Design at Queens College, New York. She completed her MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University in 2014.

“Behind the Burka II” expands on the artist’s earlier solo exhibition at SOMArts, San Francisco in 2010. Her primary mission as an artist is to provide visual awareness to help give voice to oppressed women and children around the world.

 

625 Gallery

Lisa Manes-James, Parallel Nature

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Lisa Manes-James, Parallel Nature

Lisa Manes-James’s abstract painting series “Parallel Nature” represents an experiential journey through memory and imagination. “My art references the natural world, based on observation, in which nature is seen paralleling the human condition” says Manes-James. “My painting process is a free expression of my feelings, resulting in non-objective abstract explorations.”

Manes-James works intuitively, using brushes and tools to build up layers of color. Allusions to nature are realized through organic shapes, colors, and texture, as each painting evolves over the course of its execution. Engaging memory and imagination, she strives to invoke a reflection of place. The experience of painting becomes a metaphor for the internal and external forces that shape us as human beings.

Lisa Manes-James is a California abstract artist whose paintings are based on connections to the natural world and are inspired by the natural environments of Northern California. Originally from the Central San Joaquin Valley in California, Lisa holds a BA and teaching credential in art from California State University Fresno and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She now resides and works in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area and has exhibited her recent work in juried shows at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol and the Academy of Art Spring Show in San Francisco. Lisa has been teaching art in California public schools for thirteen years.

 

Atelier

2014 Spring Show Award Winners

2014 Spring Show Award Winners