Exhibitions at University Art Gallery Draw Attention to Environmental Issues

Lost and Found-A North Sea Collaboration by Carl Reed

A series of exhibitions revolving around environmental issues will be on display at the California State University, Dominguez Hills University Art Gallery from January 30 to March 26.

Central to the series is the exhibit “Lost and Found: A North Sea Collaboration—Carl Reed and Thomas Claesson,” featuring found object art derived from materials discovered on islands lying off the west coast of Sweden. When Carl Reed, a sculptor who has worked for years with found objects, meet Thomas Claesson, a Swede who had an enormous collection of “lost” objects—items that have washed up on shore, been abandoned or unearthed, or acquired through inheritance—the two sensed the potential to realize an unusual collaborative project. “Lost and Found” traces the dynamic of their collaborative process and explores ideas such as the urge to collect, layers of time, recycling, and the blurred distinction between art that is found and art that is made.

Los Angeles artists Bruce Irwin and Claudio Garzon raise issues about trash in the oceans and landfills, and modes of recycling. Displayed in “Bruce Irwin: The UnEarthed Paintings” are three of Irwin’s large-scale paintings showing the debris and detritus from man’s consumption and its effect on the ocean. In “Recycled from the Sea: Claudio Garzon’s PlasTiko-Bots Marine” Garzon has sculpted sea creatures such as sharks and turtles using mostly plastic bits and pieces he found in his neighborhood or at the beach. Instead of simply throwing out the plastic debris, he has designed a way to creatively re-use it.  He writes, “Many of us, who live near the oceans, or any body of water for that matter, know that plastic products are one of the top forms of pollution found in these areas.”

Bruce Irwin, UnEarthed, 108 x 74″, oil on canvas

Long Beach artist Jennifer Celio, who received an Artist’s Resources for Completion (ARC) Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation for this exhibition, creates striking large-scale drawings that also focus on environmental issues in “Not in My Backyard: Urban Drawings by Jennifer Celio.” She writes that her drawings “capture the imbalance created when nature tries to reclaim or adapt to urban expansion.” Her drawings encompass cell phone tower “trees.” the industrial technology of the Port of Los Angeles, the cookie cutter looks of strip malls and suburbia, and the concrete riverbeds that retain their natural ecosystems in spite of rapid development.

Also “Student Showcase: Design” will feature posters and storyboards on the transformation of selected words through the use of found objects, all designed by students in the Art and Design Department in Michele Bury’s Conceptualization ART 342A class.

The opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30 with a discussion with Celio on her urban drawings at 6 p.m.

The exhibition and supporting events in the University Art Gallery are presented by the College of Arts and Humanities and co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Design. Additional support is provided by the Instructionally Related Activities Committee of the Associated Students Inc., CSU Dominguez Hills and the Colorado College Art Department/Stillman Fund for Exhibitions.

Open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University Art Gallery is in room A-107 on the first floor of LaCorte Hall on the CSUDH campus, 1000 E. Victoria St, in Carson. Admission to all gallery events is free.

Parking in campus lots is $4, with passes available for purchase at kiosks located in each lot.

For more information on the exhibitions at the University Art Gallery, contact Director Kathy Zimmerer at kzimmerer@csudh.edu or visit http://cah.csudh.edu/art_gallery.

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