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Vernissage 2008: San Francisco Art Institute MFA Graduate Exhibit
Michichi Takahashi, Speaking.
SAN FRANCISCO.- S.F. Art Institute Master of Fine Arts graduates took over the massive Herbst Pavillion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, Ca., May 16th- 24th . The prestigious art institute, founded in 1871, is holding it’s annual MFA exhibit launching the careers of over 100 graduate students in various wideranging and innovative fields. Since the 1940’s, it’s interest has been in educating artists who will become creative leaders in their respective fields. In the 1950’s SFAI was responsible for developing the Bay Area Figurative Group founded by painters Elmer Bischoff, David Park, Joan Brown and Frank Lobdell to name a few and the Funk Movement a fusion of abstract expressionist, figurative and jazz. In 1961 S.F. Art Institute expanded to include performance and conceptual art, graphic art, typography and political social documentary. Offering photography in 1946 with Ansel Adams establishing the 1st fine art photography department at the school, in 1968 it also boasted of Annie Leibovitz .

In the current crop of graduates notable are Davie Crockett’s painting, “Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues”, reminiscent of Picasso’s 1905 “Saltambique” with his Harlequin figure so prevalent from that period. Crockett’s figures seemed to be slightly levitating; Rive Grande’s paintings set in everyday scenes with dream like surreal qualities. Aria Tudanger’s life sized “Bear” and Lisa Huffman’s “Label, Catalogue of Images”; dresses, shirts, pants with buttons, designer labels, washing instruction labels and price tags tacked, sewn, strung all over each piece, complete with a labeled Barbie dress. Eve Morgenstern’s haunting photos of abandoned and foreclosed homes, depicting uncertainty and loss; Kelly Falzone’s , “I think I’ve been here before”, (2004) and Undeniable Appeal of Fiction” (2007). Especially notable was Jody Medich’s luscious and chaotic, “The Bedroom on Grande”; also, the delightful miniature clay and bronze works of William Slavis.

The exhibit runs through May 24th at Fort Mason in San Francisco, Ca.

Neila Mezynski

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