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Image courtesy of the artist, Felicita Norris.

Image courtesy of the artist, Felicita Norris.

San Francisco

CALIFORNIA

The San Francisco Foundation and SOMArts Cultural Center present a focused look at the future of the Bay Area visual and media arts landscape, September 2–20, 2014. The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition showcases the work of promising visual artists from regional Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs working across disciplines and identifies young artists whose work intersects with emerging trends.

Opening with a reception and awards ceremony Friday, September 5, 2014, 6:30–9pm, awards at 7:00pm, the exhibition surveys new work from the 24 recipients of the competitive Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowships and the Edwin Anthony and Adelaine Bourdeaux Cadogan Scholarships Awards, administered by The San Francisco Foundation.

The two awards, left to the Foundation as legacy gifts, provide annual tuition assistance of $5,000 to a number of Bay Area Fine Arts graduate students in support their artistic potential in digital art, film/video, hybrid practice, installation, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture.

Lex Leifheit, Executive Director of SOMArts commented, “Nurturing emerging local artists and new contributors to the cultural fabric of the Bay Area is one of the most vital and rewarding services SOMArts provides. Working in partnership with The San Francisco Foundation allows both organizations to support artists on a scale unprecedented in their burgeoning careers. For San Franciscans, this exhibition is an opportunity to discover artists who are already making meaningful contributions in the Bay Area, and to witness firsthand the impact that our city’s scholarship, resources and inspiration can have on artistic excellence.”

Brian Pittman’s mixed media pieces explore the racial tensions still prevalent in our society. His drawings incorporate symbolic materials such as charcoal ashes acquired from a Klansman’s charred crosses, flags, vintage newspaper clippings, and grape soda. The resulting multiple layers of ghostly portraits, dark colors, and vibrant lines and splashes create alluring imagery that entices the viewer, as well as reveals the hidden truths of our historical transgressions.

Paintings by Felicita Norris depict complex physical and psychological experiences in domestic settings. Luscious and dangerous, subjects, some bound in duress, loom over the viewer in large scale, vibrant color. These subjects simultaneously express a heroic and pathetic quality, evoking a number of different narrative possibilities that rest on the tension between figures enmeshed in a difficult situation.

Brian Dean’s black and white photographs are still and silent testimony to the places in the city where urban meets the natural and where the San Francisco Bay Trail intersects our daily lives. Dean’s graceful compositions depict the ways that nature and human intervention create new forms and inspiring relationships.

Malena Lopez-Maggi explores artificial nature, re-framing natural objects and phenomena through highly chromatic objects and images, such as polymer geodes and thunder eggs with bright centers and intricately patterned shells. Lopez-Maggi merges observation with imagination to produce forms that reference her immediate environment while evoking a playful otherworldliness.

Fellowship recipients were selected three esteemed jurors in the visual arts world including SOMArts Curator and Gallery Director Justin Hoover; Kira Lyons, Associate Director, Wendi Norris Gallery, San Francisco; and Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Executive Director, Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans.

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