“Futures” at ARC Gallery

by Admin on 02/17/2013

Co-curated by Jack Fischer, owner of Jack Fischer Gallery and Michael Yochum, director of Arc Gallery, “Futures” group exhibition at Arc Gallery showcases work by six MFA candidates from the Bay Area’s Mills College, California College of the Arts, and San Francisco Art Institute who show exceptional promise in their artistic practice and field. Each of the artists was asked to curate a collection of their work that exemplifies their artistic practice as well as their interests, and it should also read as a proposal for a larger gallery exhibition or installation.

In “All This Mad Frenzy,” Oakland artist and Mills College MFA student Keegan Luttrell explores psychological responses to thrill and fear through the metaphor of riding a roller coaster, while concurrently examining the state of vulnerability in moments of turmoil. Luttrell’s drawings and paintings, sculpture and videos have multiple layers of destructive undertones within a collective recreational activity. Oakland Art Enthusiast visited her studio last year during Mills College Open Studios.

Michal Wisniowski’s, “Re-flection” investigates object-making as a survival strategy under oppressive power structures, perhaps as a last refuge within one’s own selfhood. Exploring tensions between the private and public in an era where these two spheres of life are certainly blurred, Wisniowski turns to memories to find whether they can be personal forms of resistance when privacy is known to be illusory or largely absent.

Through experimentation with form, process and scale mainly in sculpture, Mills College MFA student Nadja Eulee Miller’s, “Promise” examines how social structuresmold expectations and desire. Creating an elemental form of a three layered cake, her “Cake” sculptures look fortified, but Miller reveals the precarious stability within the hollowed design. In “Alcatraz,” she explores the myths and legends of the prison in a micro-view the attempt to escape with nothing but a metal spoon grinding at the rock. Oakland Art Enthusiast visited her studio last year during Mills College Open Studios.

 Although a natural trait of the human condition, secret-keeping is wrought with such negative consequences of shame, jealousy and perhaps revenge. “Exposure Album” by Amber Crabbe, a 30’ fine art photography book, creates an implied relationship among photographic portraits and statements scribbled on post-it notes, exposing audiences to the consequences of playing either the accuser or the accused. Crabbe’s artwork also examines the at times convoluted relationship between the secret keeper and/or teller, the one whose secret is being kept or told, as well as the one who is receiving confidential information.

Sara Dykstra’s portraits of two women in “The (dis)-Integration Series” reflect upon the interaction between painter, subject, and the space between. Painted from photographs and from life, the women’s uncanny resemblance to one another is an attempt to capture the authenticity of an evolving subject, a process aspiring to uncover what lays beneath the surface of two similar, yet different people. The use of reflective paint or silver leaf upon the portrait, leaving only a bit to be seen, calls attention in a concise manner not only audiences roles of both the audience and voyeur but also the space between the portrait and the sitter, painter, or audience.

In a fusion of natural history illustration and classic tradition of still life painting, Evan Barbour’s “Planktos” explores the blurred boundaries between object and abstraction through a series of paintings that portray collections of both real and invented microscopic sea life. The works refer to a time when science fiction was at its climax, as well as an era of great explorers within a world yet charted. These works also question within an age of information how well we truly know the world we inhabit, and where the natural world ends and our imagination begins. Oakland Art Enthusiast visited his studio last year during Mills College Open Studios.


“Futures” will be at Arc Gallery through March 23rd.