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California Institute of Arts School of Art names new building for John Baldessari
The John Baldessari Art Studio Building at CalArts School of Art.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- California Institute of Arts’ (CalArts) School of Art announces that its new building of artists’ studios will be named in honor of legendary artist John Baldessari, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the school as both an alumni (Chouinard) and as a faculty member from 1970 to 1986. In addition, the Institute announces The CalArts Art Benefit and Auction, an unprecedented fundraising initiative in which more than 70 important works of art by CalArts alumni and faculty will be exhibited and sold this spring to fund the new Baldessari Building and endow scholarships for students at CalArts.

Since the early 1970s, CalArts’ School of Art has provided a transformative educational experience to more than 15,000 alumni around the globe and has produced an exceptional number of influential artists. The school’s unique pedagogical approach is rooted in an environment that encourages creative risktaking and recognizes that experimentation is a vital part of the artistic process; a faculty comprised of extrordinary full-time and visiting artists who develop close mentor relationships with students; access to private studio space for reflection and art-making; and institutional financial aid, which fosters creative freedom for students.

As CalArts expands to meet the growing needs of its students, many of CalArts’ most influential artist-alumni are joining together in The CalArts Art Benefit and Auction to ensure that the unique opportunities afforded to them as young artists studying at CalArts, namely studio space and financial assistance, continue for future generations. The initiative has several distinct but related components.

More than 40 works donated by CalArts alumni artists will be presented in an exhibition and sale at Paula Cooper Gallery and Metro Pictures in New York from April 5th to April 19th, 2014, with a preview to take place at Regen Projects in Los Angeles in March 2014. Clara Kim, most recently Senior Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center and former Gallery Director and Curator of REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) from 2008-2011 will organize the exhibition, providing a rich context that illustrates the history of CalArts.

Artsy, the premiere online platform for discovering, learning about, and collecting art, will be the exclusive online partner for the presentation and sale of the works. On May 13, 2014, Christie’s will auction works by more than 20 artists including John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Vija Celmins, Matt Mullican, Catherine Opie, Tony Oursler, Ed Ruscha, Carrie Mae Weems, and James Welling, among many others.
All proceeds from the gallery, online, and auction sales, which are expected to raise more than $5 million, will benefit CalArts’ School of Art so that it can continue to educate and nurture artists as it has for decades, specifically through The John Baldessari Art Studio Building and endowed scholarships.

Thomas Lawson, Jill and Peter Kraus Distinguished Chair and Dean of the CalArts School of Art explained, “We are delighted to be naming the new studios after John Baldessari, as it signifies our longtime and ongoing dedication to being an artist-centric institution. This fundraising initiative will allow the School of Art to expand its offerings to current and prospective students, both in terms of studio space and financial aid, and is only possible because of the generosity of generations of artists who have graduated from CalArts and gone on to become highly influential artists.”

In addition to the generous involvement of artist-alumni, CalArts has assembled an illustrious honorary committee including Eva Chow; Sofia Coppola, (CalArts ’94); Paula Cooper, Paula Cooper Gallery; Larry Gagosian, Frank Gehry, Marian Goodman, Marian Goodman Gallery; Jill G. Kraus, CalArts Trustee; Michael Kohn, Michael Kohn Gallery; Steven D. Lavine, President, CalArts; Thomas Lawson, Jill and Peter Kraus Distinguished Chair and Dean, CalArts School of Art; Eugenio Lopez, Daniel Neidich and Brooke Garber Neidich; Tony Oursler (CalArts ’79); Michael Ovitz; Shaun Caley Regen, Regen Projects; Ed Ruscha (Chouinard ’60), and Dasha Zhukova, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow to spearhead this incredible campaign.

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