Emerging Women Artists Featured in University Art Gallery's Newest Exhibition

'Allison Berkoy: OK and Jessye McDowell: Superbia' exhibition explores technology, electronics and digital media.
November 3, 2022
Jessye McDowell, Future Sets (After Huysum), 2021, digital print on aluminum.

Jessye McDowell, Future Sets (After Huysum), 2021, digital print on aluminum.

The University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University is pleased to present two solo exhibitions of work by digital artists. Titled Allison Berkoy: OK and Jessye McDowell: Superbia, the exhibitions will be concurrently on view Thursday, November 3 to Sunday, December 11, 2022. Guest curated by SSU Assistant Professor of Art Sena Clara Creston, the exhibitions feature two emerging women artists who use technology, electronics, and digital media in their work: Allison Berkoy and Jessye McDowell. 

“I find Jessye and Allison's art so interesting,” said Jennifer Bethke, Interim Director of the University Art Gallery. “Their works are defamiliarizing and almost a little bit unsettling -- though they also can be quite funny. Their art asks us to look, then look again, and to question what we're seeing.”

Allison Berkoy: OK

Artist Allison Berkoy uses electronic media to create videos, sculptural installations, and interactive environments. Based in Brooklyn, she is an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Technology at New York City College of Technology, City University of New York (CUNY). With participatory, defamiliarizing, and absurdist themes, Berkoy’s work stages encounters that test the boundaries and etiquette of human-machine interaction.

Berkoy's exhibition at the University Art Gallery features interactive video sculptures and electronic sculptural reliefs. The pair of video sculptures in the exhibition, which are triggered by human presence, display images and text destabilized through electromagnetic filtering of analog video. Her sculptural reliefs use digital projection, light, and shadow to manipulate appearance. Berkoy's exhibition asks its viewers to look, look again, and question what they are seeing. 

Jessye McDowell: Superbia
Artist Jessye McDowell uses digital CGI (computer-generated imagery) technology to create images and animations that explore cultural narratives about technology. Based in Baltimore, she teaches at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she is an Assistant Professor of Digital Art 

& Animation. Her work engages with our technologically mediated present moment, one saturated by virtual imagery, in which questions of what is true, beautiful, natural, and authentic are acute. 

McDowell's exhibition at the University Art Gallery features two sets of work. Future Sets draws connections between seventeenth-century Dutch still life paintings and contemporary computer modeling software. In these works, the artifice involved in the illusion is apparent, but the images remain ambiguous: Are they real, or fake? Are they beautiful, banal, or horrible? Superbia, McDowell's current body of work, is similarly tongue-in-cheek. Drawing connections between the historical era of European colonization and our contemporary exploration of virtual worlds, the work imagines objects for future rituals that might evolve out of current technologies. 


• Opening Reception – Thursday, November 3, 4:00-6:00 pm 

Location: University Art Gallery, Art Building, SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park. Hours: Tuesdays - Fridays 11:00-4:00 / Weekends 12:00-4:00
Admission: Free
Parking: $8 pass in any lot on campus 

Telephone: (707) 664-2295

The opening reception is free and open to the public and the SSU campus community. Visitors driving to the SSU campus must purchase an $8 parking pass from any automated parking kiosk.