Art & Development, Community

Artists (and) Talking

This month, countless MFA exhibitions are occurring across the country. I’m in one at CCA, as friends and colleagues are in others around the Bay Area…

I’m looking forward to seeing the other MFA shows. It’s nice to be part of the buzz of excitement and celebration, and to see what people are capable of after two years of growth. But during a recent online search, I came across a Flickr page authored by someone who came to CCA’s MFA show to see the “competition.” Maybe it was ironic, but I don’t see the local art schools having a famous rivalry, like Cal versus Stanford or anything.

While it’s true that the art market is paying more attention to younger artists, I feel lucky to be among cohorts who value comraderie over competition.

See it for yourself.

fer·ma·ta: The 37th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition
May 18–June 10, 2007
Berkeley Art Museum

The San Francisco Art Institute’s Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition
May 19–26
Fort Mason

San Francisco State University MFA Thesis Exhibition
(Oops! It ended a few days ago, but you can view the work on the website)

Mills College MFA Exhibition 2007

April 29th – May 27th
Mills College Museum

Lift Off: San Jose State University MFA Exhibiton
June 29 – August 4, 2007
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Arts

Academy of Art University
(Can’t seem to find an MFA show on the site, but there’s a school-wide Spring Show.)

California College of the Arts 2007 Centennial Graduate Exhibition
(The show closed today, but you can see lots of images at the website.

On another note, I got to present my work in the MFA exhibition today to a group of visitors from the Oakland Museum of California. They were doing a tour of several MFA exhibitions, and were genuinely fascinated by contemporary art. I had a lot of fun, and hope to have more chances to talk about my work.

It’s a common stereotype that artists don’t like talking about their work. But I’ve become very comfortable doing just that. My previous experiences probably helped — teaching forces you to get used to talking to big groups; doing presentations with clients boosts your confidence.

Plus, CCA emphasizes seminars and critiques–basically, lots and lots of talking. I’m thankful for the chances I’ve had to refine how I talk about my work, and to clarify what I want to convey.


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