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April 30 - June 17, 2015

Creativity Explored

San Francisco, CA

Top: Detail of Hot Pink Feelings by Jenny Sharaf, 2015, paint on paper, 22 x 30 inches; Bottom: Detail of Happy is a Shade of Blue by Eva Jun © 2015 Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC, acrylic on paper, 51.5 x 43 inches

Five Creativity Explored studio artists inspire a collaborative project involving Sahar Khoury, Alicia McCarthy, Maysha Mohamedi, Jenny Sharaf, and Sarah Thibault.

Super Contemporary, organized by guest curator and artist Jenny Sharaf, includes work by ten Bay Area artists. For the exhibition, five Creativity Explored artists were paired with five local artists to create works that respond to each other’s studio practice.  The impetus for the exhibition was to use the language of color to start a dialogue between Creativity Explored artists and established Bay Area artists in which both sets of artists learn and challenge one another, pushing the work in new directions.  Artist/Curator Jenny Sharaf used an intuitive process to select and pair the artists, inviting each pair to develop work in tandem – either as a direct collaboration or more of a formal call and response.

Creativity Explored artist Eva Jun partnered with Jenny Sharaf. Both Jun and Sharaf’s art practice is marked by tactile surfaces and saturated color palettes. The artists, both in their late twenties, worked side-by-side to produce a series of paintings that seem to speak to each other.  Collaborating over the course of three months, meeting in the Creativity Explored studio on Thursdays, each artist continued their own practice while encouraging the other to explore new directions.  For the exhibition, Jun and Sharaf will create an installation of their paintings.

The other teams of artists elected to create works that respond to each other’s oeuvre, allowing a different kind of interaction to emerge. Creativity Explored artist Maria Berrios was paired with Oakland-based artist and researcher Sahar Khoury. Berrios’ vibrant paintings and drawings depict portraits of families and flora and fauna, often using the color red as a major compositional element.  Khoury primarily uses paper-mâché and concrete to produce sculptures that blur the lines between paintings, furniture, and photography. The pairing allows viewers to make connections between Berrios’ and Khoury’s seemingly disparate works.

Other artists were grouped because of the parallels found in their art practice. Creativity Explored artist Kaocrew "Yah" Kakabutra joined forces with San Francisco-based artist Maysha Mohamedi. Kakabutra’s practice emphasizes mark-making using a diverse range of media like colored pencil, acrylic, and pastel. Mohamedi’s gestural paintings also use direct, personal mark-making in order to express ideas around fate, emotion, and consciousness.

Similarly, work by Creativity Explored artist Taneya Lovelace is shown alongside Alicia McCarthy’s paintings. McCarthy, a core figure in San Francisco’s Mission School which dates back to the mid 1990s, creates complex compositions by weaving together color, form, pattern, and accessible materials. Lovelace’s abstract mixed media works layer rich colors and organic forms, building complex compositions with visual movement.

Creativity Explored artist Evelyn Reyes teamed up with Sarah Thibault to form the fifth partnership. Reyes’ paintings develop pattern through repetition of forms, often focusing on one object for a series of works.  Her motifs include everyday objects like cakes, garbage cans, and carrots. Thibault’s multi-media paintings also investigate pattern through everyday imagery to investigate materialism, artifice, and the relationship between objects and power.

Each of the ten artist’s practice inspires, challenges, and informs the work made for Super Contemporary. In making art together, Super Contemporary brings a new perspective to the abstract art conversation in the Bay Area.

Participating artists: Maria Berrios + Sahar Khoury; Eva Jun + Jenny SharafKaocrew "Yah" Kakabutra + Maysha Mohamedi; Taneya Lovelace + Alicia McCarthy; and Evelyn Reyes + Sarah Thibault

Guest curated by Jenny Sharaf.

Opening Reception

April 30, 2015
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Music by Robert Doerr 

Donor Preview*

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

*To become a donor, click here.

FREE parking available during the opening reception at Mission Dolores Church (enter on Church Street between 16th and 17th Streets) from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

March 12 - April 22, 2015

Creativity Explored

San Francisco, CA

Detail of Un Árbol de Mangos by Nubia Ortega © 2015 Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC, watercolor on paper, 18 x 14 inches

Artistic representations of trees as powerful symbols of growth and unity

Tree of Life is a group exhibition that celebrates the rich cultural diversity and assorted art styles found at Creativity Explored. The title of the show references the universal image of the "Tree of Life," which manifests in folklore, mythology, and world religions. The “Tree of Life” is globally known by many different names, for example, The Cosmic Tree, The Holy Tree, Ydryssil, the Bhodi Tree, and The Tree of Enlightenment. A powerful symbol of growth and unity, trees of all varieties, depicted in a range of media, are the source of inspiration for this exhibition that explores trees’ influences on artistic and cultural life.

Selected works include Nubia Ortega’s watercolor on paper titled Un Árbol de Mangos, 2015 which reimagines the symbol of the “Tree of Life” through a vibrantly colored and patterned mango tree set against the dark night sky. In Kathy Wen’s watercolor on paper titled, Tree for Animals, 2014 the artist reflects on the interconnectivity of trees and animal life. Painted in her meticulous patterned and embellished style, Wen scatters animals throughout the branches emphasizing how trees offer animals shelter, food, and a place to escape. Furthering the notion of trees as a place of refuge, Zachary Adams’ watercolor and ink on paper titled, Treehouse with Windows, 2014 depicts a habitat built within the branches of the tree eluding to the artist nostalgic yearning for space to play and dream.

In using the universal symbol of the “Tree of Life,” the works included in this exhibition reflect not only on the tree as a symbol of unity and support, but also how trees trigger memory and experience.

Artist Pam Berry, a Creativity Explored Visual Arts Instructor and the exhibition’s co-curator (with Visual Arts Instructor Lani Asher), sees the show as “a way to raise awareness about our shared habitat with nature.”

The last day of Tree of Life coincides with the Earth Day’s 45th anniversary on April 22, 2015, followed by Arbor Day on April 24, 2015. Plan to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by viewing artwork inspired by the powerful symbol of the tree.   

Participating artists: Ian AdamsZachary Adams, Mary Belknap, Maria Berrios, Henry BrunsElana Cooper, Peter Cordova, Charles "Pancho" Cruz, Badia Forbes, Joseph "JD" Green, Maribel Guzman, Nita Hicks, Olga KardonskayaWalter Kresnik, Melody Lima, Steven LiuHector Lopez, Merna LumMirian Munguia, Nubia OrtegaBertha OtoyaSelene PerezAbel PinedaEthel RevitaKevin RoachCheryle RutledgeAnne SlaterErnesto SosaKate Thompson, Kathy WenAlexander Yeap, and Doris Yen.

Curated by Visual Arts Instructors Lani Asher and Pam Berry

Opening Reception

Thursday, March 12, 2015

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Music by Meredith Axelrod  

Donor Preview*

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

*To become a donor, click here.


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