45th Annual MFA Exhibition 5/15 – 6/15 at Berkeley Art Center

The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Berkeley Art Center are honored to present:

The 45th Annual
University of California, Berkeley
Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition

Leslie Dreyer
Tanja Geis
Lee Lavy
Michelle Ott
Sofie Ramos
Matt Smith Chavez

Friday, May 15th – Monday, June 15th, 2015
Note location: Berkeley Art Center: 1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709

Opening Reception: 6 – 8 pm, Friday, May 15th, 2015

Open Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm.
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public

Each year the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) showcases the work of students graduating from UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice in the Annual Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition. This year we are delighted to introduce our audiences to the work of six talented artists who bring innovative perspectives and approaches to art making: Leslie Dreyer, Tanya Geis, Lee Lavy, Michelle Ott, Sophie Ramos, and Matt Smith Chavez. While they utilize a diverse range of media, styles, and methods, these artists all display an overarching concern for their environs in their work and inventively probe their material surroundings.

This year we have joined forces with the Berkeley Art Center to present the exhibition while BAM/PFA is in the process of moving to its new building in the heart of downtown Berkeley. We thank Aimee Le Duc and the staff at the Berkeley Art Center for collaborating with us on this undertaking, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to our new home in January 2016.

Leslie Dreyer: Reclaim Disrupt, 2014-ongoing; public performance with vending cart and etched bricks; courtesy of the artist.

Leslie Dreyer: Reclaim Disrupt, 2014-ongoing; public performance with vending cart and etched bricks; courtesy of the artist.

LESLIE DREYER (b. 1978, Austin, TX) has presented lectures and workshops on art and activism at the University of California, Berkeley; San Francisco Art Institute; Jenin Refugee Camp, West Bank, Palestine; and Kukje Language Academy, Busan, South Korea. Dreyer holds a BFA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin.

Tanja Geis: Littoral Daemon III, 2015; mud from the San Francisco Bay on paper; 102 × 52 in.; courtesy of the artist.

Tanja Geis: Littoral Daemon III, 2015; mud from the San Francisco Bay on paper; 102 × 52 in.; courtesy of the artist.

TANJA GEIS (b. 1979, Hong Kong, China) has exhibited at Root Division, San Francisco; Santa Cruz Museum of Art; Setouchi International Art Triennale, Megijima, Japan; and NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland. Geis holds a MFA from Edinburgh College of Art; a MA in resource management in coastal and marine management from University Centre of the Westfijords, Iceland; and a BFA from Yale University.

Lee Lavy: still from Training Break #6, 2014; digital video; color, sound; 3:11 mins; courtesy of the artist.

Lee Lavy: still from Training Break #6, 2014; digital video; color, sound; 3:11 mins; courtesy of the artist.

LEE LAVY (b. 1982, Houston, TX) is the cofounder of ICE Gallery in San Diego and has exhibited at Bread and Salt, San Diego; SOMArts, San Francisco; Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley; and Susan Street Fine Art, Solano Beach, CA. Lavy holds a BA from San Diego State University.

Michelle Ott: opacity and accumulation, from the series Redirected Objects, 2014; archival ink on paper with hand-cut surface; 40 × 30 in.; courtesy of the artist.

Michelle Ott: opacity and accumulation, from the series Redirected Objects, 2014; archival ink on paper with hand-cut surface; 40 × 30 in.; courtesy of the artist.

MICHELLE OTT (b. 1977, Milaca, MN) has exhibited at Embark Gallery, Root Division, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, all in San Francisco; McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery, Antarctica; Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA; Parsons School of Design, Paris; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Ott holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Sofie Ramos: decorate/defecate, 2014-ongoing; video, acrylic paint, paper, fabric, drywall, plaster, wood, tape, and matboard; 92 × 75 × 125 in.; courtesy of the artist.

Sofie Ramos: decorate/defecate, 2014-ongoing; video, acrylic paint, paper, fabric, drywall, plaster, wood, tape, and matboard; 92 × 75 × 125 in.; courtesy of the artist.

SOFIE RAMOS (b. 1990, Cincinnati, OH) has exhibited at List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, RI; Arts Benicia Gallery, Benicia, CA; Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley; and Carnegie Gallery, Cincinnati. Ramos holds a BA in visual arts from Brown University.

Matt Smith Chavez: Chaplin in his cell, pampered by his wardens, 2015; mixed media on muslin; 48 × 43 ½ in.; courtesy of the artist.

Matt Smith Chavez: Chaplin in his cell, pampered by his wardens, 2015; mixed media on muslin; 48 × 43 ½ in.; courtesy of the artist.

MATT SMITH CHAVEZ (b. 1978, Lima, Peru) has exhibited at Embark Gallery and SOMArts, San Francisco; Worth Ryder Gallery and Kala Arts Institute, Berkeley; Arlington Arts Center, Virginia; and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Smith Chavez holds a MA from the University of Maryland, College Park and a BA from George Washington University, both in geography.

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The 45th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, BAM/PFA curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, and presented at the Berkeley Art Center.

The annual UC Berkeley MFA exhibition is made possible by the Wiltsek Endowment for the Master of Fine Arts Exhibition.

The text above is quoted from the The 45th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition Brochureedited by Apsara DiQuinzio with essays by Lauren O’Connell, BAM/PFA curatorial assistant, 2015.

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