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Cannery Suite 104

Jizhi Li – Perfectly Imperfect

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


At the age of 17, Jizhi Li suffered a temporary paralysis of her legs, an experience that for a time rendered her physically incomplete, and left her with a new understanding of the fuzzy boundary between perfection and imperfection. That awareness became the origin for her jewelry and wearable sculpture series Perfectly Imperfect.

“Body ornamentation is often used to distract attention from the imperfections and flaws of our bodies,” says Li. “I use body ornamentation to highlight such phenomena.” Taking inspiration from picture frames and ornamental objects, Li creates pieces that similarly draw attention to the wearer, and highlight the bodily imperfections they are designed to accompany. In so doing, she rejects any idea of covering, hiding, or denying the traits that differentiate us from an idealized image of unattainable perfection.

An accomplished ceramist and sculptor, Jizhi Li came to work in metal through experimentation and necessity. When her ceramic development inclined toward including metal elements, she quickly realized that metal arts was a better fit for her artistic expression. Her ceramic and sculptural background has served her well, providing a fundamental physicality that further enhances her current work. Jizhi Li received her BFA in Fine Art Ceramics at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in 2011, and is now an MFA Candidate in the School of Jewelry and Metal Arts at Academy of Art University. She has worked as a Professor Assistant to Ceramist Yaoyong Kang from 2009 to 2010, as well as in her own ceramic studio. Li plans to develop and produce her own jewelry designs, drawing on the full range of her artistic achievements.

Cannery Suite 108

Han Jiang – Dark Illusion

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


Based in painful memories of parental doubt and ridicule, Han Jiang transforms these childhood memories into dynamic motivation and a source of inspiration for his painting series Dark Illusion. Themes of a fragile refuge sought in books and movies, of dolls and Chinese fairytales, are played out in luminous plastic-toy colors; fragile, frightened dolls submerged like drowned Ophelias, become surrogate vessels of emotional expression.

“Art is not the expression of the future, it is about describing our memory,” says Jiang. “If you really want to know something about me, please come into my paintings.” Meticulously rendered in medium to large scales, Jiang’s paintings reveal a dedication to technical mastery balanced against fearless self-examination and reflection.

Born in Dalian, China, Han Jiang brings considerable art education experience through both formal education and years of practical studio sketching. He has studied at Liaoning Normal University Department of Fine Arts in Dalian, China and the Repin Acadey of Fine Arts in St. Peterburg, Russia. Jiang enrolled at Academy of Art University in 2010 and completed his BFA in 2015.

Cannery Suite 110

Khairy Adam – The Girl of Dreams

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


Finding inspiration in the traditional women’s costume of his native Kurdish society, Khairy Adam’s The Girl of Dreams examines how dress reflects the inner feelings of the wearer, and how that reflection represents femininity as seen by the outer world. Traditional Kurdish dress has evolved over time as women’s roles have changed, and Adam’s figurative series highlights the shift towards a feminine beauty aesthetic, which nevertheless remains rooted in history and tradition.

“This subject matter incorporates two aspects: femininity and the meaning behind the clothing,” explains Adam. “The expression of the figures connects the meaning of the dress.” Historically loose, flowing, and covering most of the body, today we see more form fitting and less focus on coverage. Kurdish women usually dress to reflect their mood, drawing on traditional color and design for symbolic significance. Adam’s contemporary realist approach employs selective focus in much the same way, revealing the stories and emotions of each figure through color, gesture, and suggestion.

Born and raised in the Kurdish region north of Iraq, Khairy Adam always took first place in drawing class through primary and secondary school. He continued his art studies through high school at the Institute of Fine Arts in Duhok, graduating in 2001. In 2008 he graduated from the College of Fine Arts, Salahaddin in Erbil with a BFA in Painting. He entered the masters program at Academy of Art University in 2012 and will complete his MFA in Painting in 2015. Adam’s goal is to return to his hometown and become an art instructor at a local university.

Cannery Suite 112

Jessica Newman – Vanishing Point

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


“Buildings are the main way that we visually transform the world around us,” Says Jessica Newman, of her painting series and debut solo exhibition Vanishing Point. Focusing on neglected and abandoned buildings, Newman balances unlikely beauty with a disappearing link to the past. Her architectural portraits reveal not just outward appearances, but also the stories and character that develop over time. Newman chooses her subjects from the neighborhoods of her current home town of San Diego, areas where the remaining mid-century urban architecture recalls a time of post-war optimism. She photographs the buildings at sunset, capturing their most vulnerable and evocative aspects, and alluding to a metaphorical sunset on these links to another time.

“We are now faced with a lagging economy, vast income inequality, and the buildings from the last century are symbolic of this, as they deteriorate slowly,” says Newman. “Every generation has a story, and that story is reflected in the things we create, especially our buildings.” Neglected and abandoned buildings become de facto time capsules, resistant to change while cycles of economic boom and bust play out all around them in the larger urban setting. Many of these structures were created not to be aesthetically pleasing, but rather for their commercial or civic functionality, which has since lost relevance to the current economy. Such buildings survive on borrowed time, as redevelopment and gentrification seek to return the land to more profitable use.

Jessica Newman began her artistic studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, and received her BFA in Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York. She entered the master’s program at Academy of Art University and completed her MFA in painting in 2014. Today, Jessica Newman is a full-time professor at the Art Institute of California, San Diego, where she has been teaching for eleven years. Her textbook Perspective and Sketching for Designers has been published in both English and Chinese.

625 Sutter Gallery

Reza Alhosseini – Lost In Nature

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


We are all familiar with the concept of losing ourselves in a metaphorical sense, how people will speak of losing themselves in a book or a work of art as a positive experience. Reza Alhosseini’s landscape series Lost In Nature takes the metaphor a step further by considering the other side of the coin; being physically disconnected from familiar surroundings, allows us to look deeper within ourselves.

“When we start walking through a natural trail we feel lost,” says Alhosseini. “Once we finish it, we feel like we have found our way but only for a short time. Nature is endless and it seems that we are always lost.” Drawing on years of painting experience, primarily as an abstract expressionist, Alhosseini steers away from an over-literal interpretation and approaches the natural landscape with a dream-like curiosity. The landscapes are inviting, drawing the viewer in along paths that disappear in the distance, through hills beyond hills, and onward under infinite skies.

Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Reza Alhosseini earned his BFA in Fine Art Painting at Honar Shiraz University in Shiraz, Iran in 2005 and is currently working towards his MFA in Fine Art Painting at Academy of Art University. Alhosseini is a member of the Society of Iranian Painters, Oil Painters of America, and the California Art Club. He has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the USA and Iran.

435 Jefferson Gallery

Academy Showcase

Artist Reception June 4th, 5:30-7:30pm


AAU Galleries’ newest exhibition space is now open, featuring recent works by student and alumni artists Cole Carter, Johnnie Chatman, Nic Weber, and Lucas Bononi. Located at The Cannery, you’ll find the new gallery out along Jefferson Street, where a whole new audience can discover our awesome artists!