Curated by Tom Christie and Holly Myers
Following up on last Fall’s successful first “annual biennial” exhibition of emerging artists, L.A. Weekly and Track 16 Gallery host “MFA WMDs: Selections From L.A. Art Schools.” The show, co-curated by L.A. Weekly Senior Features Editor Tom Christie and art critic Holly Myers, features the work of some 20 artists studying in MFA programs in 2006 – at UCLA, USC, CalArts, Art Center, Claremont Graduate School, Cal State Long Beach and Otis. The exhibition runs from September 9 through October 13, 2006, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 9 from 7 to 11 P.M. During the reception there will be a special performance at 9 P.M. of Joceylyn Foye’s “Fighting in Clay.”
The 2005 exhibition, curated by L.A. Weekly art critic Doug Harvey, included such collage artists as Elliott Hundley and Brenna Youngblood, both of whom went on to have Hammer Projects at the UCLA Hammer Museum.
One throughline of this year’s show is a strong commitment to craft, say curators Christie and Myers: “What impressed us about this group of artists was an unusually high degree of both ambition and skill. These are artists with big ideas, looking to make big statements, but who are dedicated enough to push those ideas to a sophisticated level of form.”
Although there are other surveys of MFA work, including the broad student-run supersonic shows, this exhibition has the advantage of greater focus on fewer artists. They include, from UCLA, Joshua Aster, Frank Ryan, Karen Liebowitz, Patterson Beckwith, Tracy Powell, Theodosia Pulitzer, Lily Simonson, Jacob Stewart-Halevy, Claire Baker, and Alex Klein; from USC, Jonathan Butt, Patrick Jackson and Michelle Mary Lee; from Claremont, Brad Eberhard; from CSLB, Jocelyn Foye, Jean Robison and Julie Rofman; from CalArts, Robert Russell and Louisa Van Leer; from Art Center, John McAllister and Christopher Michlig; from Otis, Eric Medine and Chris Oatey.