2017 Sussman Painting Exhibition

The Worth Ryder Art Gallery presents:

The 2017 Wendy Sussman Memorial Painting Exhibition


Erik Bender, Jerome Rivera Pansa, and Weston Smith

Wednesday, March 8th – Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
Opening Reception:  Wednesday, March 8th, 4 – 7 pm

Worth Ryder Art Gallery, 116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday, 12 – 5 pm
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public

RSVP to Facebook Invite

This year’s annual Wendy Sussman Memorial Prize in Painting features the work of undergraduate Art Practice majors Erik Bender, Jerome Rivera Pansa, and Weston Smith, selected for their outstanding achievement in painting.


Erik Bender, SORRY JOHNNY, 2017. Oil, Acrylic, Pigment and Joint Compound on Panel. 24″ x 24″.


Erik Bender intersects drawing, painting and sculpture to depict figures in tense situations. Influenced by graffiti and cartooning, he makes marks using decisive gestures that simplify things into bold shapes, and repetition of specific forms and subjects to create a dialogue between works. Figures are compressed by the spaces they inhabit, with body parts and objects indistinguishably overlapped into tightly packed compositions. Bender’s work confronts structures of sociopolitical power and their effects. Dynamics of authority and oppression, toxic masculinity and threats of violence from the big, bad men with guns are undermined and ridiculed through an uncanny and often humorous personal visual language. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Bender has exhibited work at various local spaces and is currently attaining his BA in Art Practice at UC Berkeley.



Jerome Rivera Pansa, Intersection, 2016. Oil on canvas and collected materials, 67.5″ x 95″, installation components variable.


Jerome Rivera Pansa creates works in painting and sculpture facilitating/curating material agency of objects and subjects. Working with collected materials, and sourced imagery, he opens a platform for intersecting conversations and connection potential by arranging objects in lieu of one another.



Weston Smith, In a different room, 2017. Oil on canvas, 9″ x 12″.

Weston Smith is a California based artist working primarily in painting. He is interested in the role of objects and the subject through extended process and what exists alongside the place and moment of possibility, where they all intermingle.


Please join us for an Opening Reception on Wednesday, March 8th from 4 – 7 pm at the Worth Ryder Art Gallery!

* * *


The Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting is awarded to outstanding undergraduate painters in memory of figurative painter and inspirational professor Wendy Sussman who taught at Berkeley from 1989 until her untimely death in 2001.

* * *

Like UC Berkeley Art Practice Events on Facebook

Follow Worth Ryder Art Gallery on Instagram

Join our email list to receive invitations to exhibitions at the Worth Ryder Art Gallery, the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series, and select Department of Art Practice events.