Art with a Message

University Art Gallery Brings Ceramic Works with a Point of View
October 23, 2017

Todd Barricklow, "The Golem Drones Series," 2014-2017, ceramic, wood, metal, rubber, wire, excelsior, paper, ink, shellac

Woody De Othello "A Place for Wigs and Potatoes," 2017 ceramic, underglaze, and glaze

Nancy Selvin, "Trophy for Helen", 2017, ceramic

Nancy Selvin, "Trophy for Helen", 2017, ceramic

Nancy Selvin, "Trophy for Helen", 2017, ceramic

Sonoma State University presents an exhibition of ceramic artwork by an exciting group of six Bay Area artists, "Two Scale: Large-Scale and Mixed Media Ceramic Works,” in the University Art Gallery, Nov. 9-Dec. 10 with an opening reception on Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free, parking on campus is $5-$8.

The exhibition includes 45 works on ceramic by artists including SSU alum Todd Barricklow, Victoria Jang, Nathan Lynch, Mark Messenger, Woody De Othello and Nancy Selvin. The mass of their objects removes them from the expected role of pedestal-topped ceramics and lands them squarely on the doorstep of sculpture. The ideas that each of these artists are wrestling with bring a refreshing point of view to the ceramic media. Issues of feminism, ecology, cross-cultural exploration, the psychology of spaces, myths, and the making of civilizations are all confronted by this group of artists.

The University Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission is free, parking is $5-$8 on campus. For more information, call (707) 664-2295.

About the Artists

Todd Barricklow finds the myth of Golem relevant in today's armed battles, citing the downing of a Predator Drone in the Middle East, which begs the question: how long before our weaponry turns against us? His 25 marionettes will be displayed complete with their very own coffins.

Victoria Jang describes her sculpture “embodies the complex hybridization of American-Korean culture.” Born in Korea and raised in New Jersey, her parents owned a small grocery in Manhattan.  This hybridized culture deeply enriches her work.

Nathan Lynch’s six- to twelve-foot-tall beacons to rising waters act as the flood stage markers to a pending ecological collapse. For many years, he has fabricated nest modules for seabirds in peril on the Farallon Islands. Much of his work explores the nature of shifting ecologies.

Mark Messenger draws into question societal hubris and the fall of once great civilizations. Working his way up from the base of his nine-foot sculpture, Messenger represents the necessary class strata to keep the machine working. The rings show mining of resources, soldiers, the imprisoned, bureaucrats, generals, intellectuals, decadence, and the chosen class. All are leading up to the hand gesture of the winner, “We’re number one.”

Woody De Othello is a relative newcomer to the art world, having received his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2017. His sparse installations create humorous, awkward moments for the viewer. Inspired by the psychology and psychic power of spaces, he weaves in contemporary concerns around capitalism, productivity and self-sufficiency and their potentially negative consequences. 

Nancy Selvin, a touchstone of Bay Area ceramics, has worked from her studio in Berkeley since the 1970s. Her masterful understanding of scale, volume, and composition is evident in her Trophy series, which pays homage to great women artists of the past.


About the University Art Gallery

Presentation of the SSU Art Studio Faculty Exhibition and all University Art Gallery programs is made possible with proceeds from the annual Art from the Heart benefit auction, and through grants from the Instructionally Related Activities Fund of SSU. The University Art Gallery, founded in 1978 on the campus of Sonoma State University, is dedicated to the presentation of exhibitions, publications, and lectures and symposia on a diverse range of styles, issues and ideas within contemporary art.