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SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE
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San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason Center: 2019 MFA Vernissage
Artists: Benedict Barbour, David Boo, Anthony Chao, Yangyi Chen, Sophia Alexandria Cook, Ben Cornish, Katie Curry, Sami Cutrona, E. Leigh Daniels, Giuliana Funkhouser, Kathryn Gardner Porter, Arthur E. Gies, Adea Guldi, Dong Han, John James Hartford V, Samantha Mabelle Hensel, Jordan Holms, Whitney Humphreys, Hayley Samantha Jensen, Susan Lai Lai, Kate Laster, Alexis Lastomirsky, Ans Li, Yuanyuan Liu, Mengmeng Lu, Yvette Marthell, Andrew McClintock, Joshua Zachary Mintz, Nicholas Mittelstead, Ni Pan, Andy Pepper, Eliza Phelan-Harder, Gautama Ramesh, Kate Rannells, Sherwin Rio, Joe Robertson, Joanna Ruckman, Suzanne Russell, Amina Shah, T. Shell, Mumei Song, Haley Toyama, Wenzhe Wang, Momo Yuntong Wu, Rongwan Xia, Heng Yang, Tianfang Yu, Yiling Zeng, Steven (Tiandongding) Zuo.
Comment by AB: According to the SFAI website, "the culmination of the MFA degree is the MFA Exhibition-- a prestigious show that is well-attended by artists, curators, collectors, museum professionals, and the public at large. The MFA Exhibition is regularly lauded as the premiere showcase for emerging talent in the Bay Area." I take that to mean I'm gonna be seeing some pretty serious committments by artists to showing their best work in the most engaging ways possible.
Now I hate to be a downer since by nature I'm an upper kinda guy (as you will soon see), but apparently not all graduates got the message. Here's your very first chance to make an impression that counts on people who count, and for whatever reason, not everyone came to play. Intermittent exhibit spaces looked like they'd been thrown together at the last minute; a handful looked like the artist just plain didn't care. I even saw a work from 2016 in one space. Quick question-- doesn't part of the MFA experience involve making new art? They certainly give you enough time to make it.
On the flipside, a respectable number of artists took on the challenge in eminently admirable ways. The first thing I always look at is the amount of work involved. That's what impresses me the most. Because you know why? Hard Work = Serious Artist. Everything after that is gravy. So though I had to endure occasional indignities as I meandered among the offerings in search of winners, I was pleased with the results. Enough in fact to make the evening more than worthwhile. Wanna see what was shakin'? I've a top to bottom summary right here...
Mixed media on vinyl by Haley Samantha Jensen at SFAI MFA 2019 Vernissage.
Photographic alley episodes by Yvette Marthell. Nicely done.
Katie Leigh Curry polychromatic reality.
Essay on patriotism by Suzanne Russel.
Large puzzle-piece abstracts by Katie Leigh Curry.
Detail of art in above image.
Macrame madness (need name of artist).
Art by Joe.
Impressive full-room installation by Sophie Alexandria Cook.
One more view from jumbo digital image installation above.
Joshua Mintz and his anomalous action-packed ramshackle residence art.
Diorama window view in the residence above (like it).
Another diorama window view in the John Mintz residence.
One more peep into the lives of those inside the John Mintz mind.
Pinkie cam view of diminutive seating by Hayley Toyama.
Hayley Toyama small-format art.
Art in above image closer.
Copious ink & acrylic paintings on wood panels by Momo Yuntong Wu (like it).
Momo Yuntong Wu art in above image closer.
Pinkie cam detail of Momo Yuntong Wu art.
Hair and fabric sculpture by Joanna Ruckman-Gallegos. Excellent.
Joanna Ruckman-Gallegos coiffe photography installation view.
Art in above image closer.
Camera-less photography by E Leigh Daniels in a landscape setting. Nice.
Influential Black Panther artist Emory Douglas receives an Honorary Doctorate.
Singed installation by John James Hartford V.
Digital images on sheer fabric by Sami Cutrona.
Preparing for a performance (need name please).
"Digital drawing" on satin by Yuanyuan (Eunice) Liu.
Murky atmospherics by Ni Pon.
One more from Ni Pon. Now that's a unified body of work.
Balcony view-- photographic series by Yvette Marthell (like it).
Ben Cornish art.
Ceramic plaques by Katie Leigh Curry.
Long view - SFAI MFA 2019 Vernissage.