Photos from the First Year MFA Opening!

The Opening Reception for the 2014 First Year MFA Exhibition was well attended and the show looks great! Here are some photos of the opening and the artwork!

Read more about the Exhibition…

And don’t miss the MFA Artist Talk on Wednesday, February 5th, from 12 – 1 pm!

Art Practice Emeritus George Miyasaki, 1935 – 2013



George Miyasaki (1935-2013)

George Miyasaki, Professor Emeritus of Art Practice, UC Berkeley, passed away on October 21, 2013.  He was born in Kalopa, Hawaii in 1935, a part of the island dominated by sugar plantations.  In this rural environment, he was encouraged by his high school art instructor to pursue his dream of becoming an artist.  So, in 1953, Miyasaki began studies at California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland where his fellow students included Manuel Neri and Billy Al Bengston.  Among his teachers were Nathan Oliveira and Richard Diebenkorn, artists who were not yet legends.  Each had a lasting impact on Miyasaki.  During this time, Miyasaki began to work in an abstract expressionist manner and by the late 1950’s his paintings and lithographs began to find an audience and gain critical attention.

Despite his early success, Miyasaki abandoned the expressionist approach during the mid-sixties in favor of more systematic investigations of color and form. The rigorous geometry characteristic of his works of this period subsequently softened and by 1978, Miyasaki was freely combining collage elements with hard-edge shapes and spontaneous, expressionistic paint application.  He found his voice in both painting and printmaking with compositions that balanced abstraction, gentle and hard-edge shapes, delicate lines, and shadows of paint.  In his mature works, Miyasaki engages the viewer in “almost meditative contemplation as he challenges the eye to survey the depths of his paintings, highly nuanced surfaces and subtle printmaking.”  Miyasaki worked closely with Magnolia Edition where he produced several editions of delicate intaglio works and lithographs.

Miyasaki earned his BAEd and BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (Oakland) in 1957 and his MFA from the same institution in 1958.   From 1958-1964, he was an Assistant Professor at California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland.  During that period, he was a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University for one year.  In 1964 Miyasaki joined the Department of Art Practice where he started as a Lecturer, then moved to Assistant Professor and retired as Full Professor in 1994.   While at Berkeley, he designed and developed a world-class printmaking studio, still in use today.

His work has been exhibited both locally and internationally in venues such as the Mary Ryan Gallery in New York, the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco, the Paul Klein Gallery in Chicago, the Rubiner Gallery in Michigan, the Dillon Gallery in Seattle, the Honolulu Academy of the Arts in Hawaii, the Gallery of Modern Art in Washington, D.C. and at various sites in Yugoslavia.  In addition to his numerous solo exhibits, his work has been in over 300 group exhibitions in important venues throughout the nation.   Many of those group exhibits highlighted Asian American Modern Art, Abstract Expressionism, and Contemporary Trends.  His prestigious fellowships and awards include the Henry Ward Ranger Purchase Award (2001), National Academy of Design, New York City (1995), Purchase Award, Brooklyn Museum, NY (1993), National Academy of Design, New York City (1993), National Endowment for the Arts, Artist’s Fellowship (1985, 1980), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1963).

Miyasaki’s work has been collected by many important institutions such The Art Institute of Chicago, The Brooklyn Museum, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, James A. Michener Collection at the University of Texas, Austin, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, National Academy of Design in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, San Diego Museum, San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center in  Minneapolis, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, Worcester Museum of Art in Massachusetts, the Oakland Museum of California,  and The British Museum in London,   In addition, his work has been collected by institutions in Canada, Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, and England.

Miyasaki continued to live and work in Berkeley until his death.  He is survived by his daughter, Julie Miyasaki, and two sons, Farrell and Michael Miyasaki.  From March 19-22 and 28, 2014 a retrospective of George  Miyasaki’s work will be held in the Worth Ryder Art Gallery (116 Kroeber Hall) as part of the SCG International Conference exhibition of prints.  The Show’s Opening will be held March 19 with a reception from 4-7 pm.




“In Our Hands” – UC Berkeley artists at HDLU, Zagreb, Croatia


False 360° Panorama of “In Our Hands” installed in the Barrel Gallery at HDLU, Zagreb, Croatia.

Ten artists from the UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice recently showed their work in “In Our Hands”, a benefit exhibition at HDLU (The Croatian Association of Artists) in Zagreb, Croatia which was open from December 18 – 28, 2013.

Participating artists, who donated a portion of their sales to the benefit, included Aida Gamez, Farley Gwazda, Randy Hussong, Craig Nagasawa, John McNamara, Indira Martina Morre, Azin Seraj, Richard Shaw, Katherine Sherwood, and Stephanie Syjuco.

Initiated and organized by Lecturer Indira Martina Morre, Professor of Painting and Disability Studies Katherine Sherwood, and Marija Pavković of Udruga Prepelica, and installed in Zagreb by Worth Ryder Art Gallery Interim Director Farley Gwazda and the staff of HDLU, the show was cosponsored by The Croatian Ministry of Culture, and UNESCO, Croatia. The exhibition also included a public lecture on Katherine Sherwood’s painting practice and research into art and disability, delivered by Farley Gwazda, and an auction to benefit The Rehabilitation Center Silver.

Pro Arts exhibition featuring MFA Alumni (2013) Dru Anderson.

We’re proud to announce that MFA Alumni (2013) is included in the Pro Arts exhibition, Inspire Artists Who Inspire You.

Selections by Peer Review
Exhibition Dates: January 21 – February 21, 2014
Artists’ Reception: Friday, February 7, 6-8pm

Oakland, CA: Pro Arts is pleased to present Inspire Artists Who Inspire You, an exhibition reflecting Pro Arts’ roots as an artist-centered organization. Based on a peer review process, Inspire Artists Who Inspire You explores how artists support, sustain and participate in the launch of each other’s work. The program also allows insight into review processes, while encouraging artists to think critically about their own work within the scope of Bay Area art.

“I’m excited by the emergent themes in the show,” says Amy Spencer, Program Coordinator / Curator. “There is a strong respect for innovative material use and high craft. Also, it was nice to see the artists express empathy for each other’s daily lives – studio practice, quiet moments at home – and a subtle appreciation for the oddball, unique and absurd.”

Over 110 artists participated in the peer review; viewing each other’s work via Pro Arts custom built online ‘blind’ jury system.

“I found it rewarding to see what other artists were creating. I found myself using the criteria of excellence, relevance, and innovation to my own work as compared to what I saw online, and felt that expanded my horizons.”

“I felt like I was taking part in an important process, not just competing against other artists for a spot in the show.”

Featured artists: Dru Anderson, Ned Axthelm, Jamie Banes, Gabriele Bungardt, Andreina Davila, Jan Dove, David Fought, Bernadette Jiyong Frank, Jenne Giles, Ant Hall, Emanuela Iuliana Harris-Sintamarian, Jeremiah Jenkins, Michael Koehle, Goran Konjevod, Elaine Nehm, Fernando Reyes, Stephanie Robison, Dimitra Skandali, Patricia Sonnino, Tali Weinberg

Inspire Artists Who Inspire You is on view January 21 – February 21, 2014.
An Artists’ Reception will be held on First Friday, February 7, 6-8pm.

Exhibition and reception are free to the public

New exhibition: Occupations: Art Takes Up Space

Occupations: Art Takes Up Space
Ninth Street between Broadway and Washington Street, Old Oakland
Friday and Saturday nights running December 6, 2013-January 4, 2014 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Participating artists:
Freddy Chandra
Allan de Souza
Desirée Holman
Ranu Mukherjee
Jerome Reyes
José Carlos Teixeira
Occupations: Art Takes Up Space invites a group of established mid-career artists, based mostly in the Bay Area, to consider the ways in which we philosophically relate to physical, psychological, and social spaces. Through projections of video and photography in the public space of Old Oakland storefronts, the exhibition brings the intellectual curiosity and visual engagement of contemporary gallery art to the wider and more diverse public of the streets.
Curated by Anuradha Vikram

Welcome Stephanie Syjuco!

The Department of Art Practice welcomes artist Stephanie Syjuco to our faculty in Spring 2014! Stephanie creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic, and flows of capital, creating frictions between high ideals and everyday materials. She is currently collaborating with the FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists in Genk, Belgium, on a new body of works utilizing 3-D scanning of Belgian and Congolese antiquities to produce hybrid ceramic objects addressing the legacy of colonialism, empire, and trade routes.

Welcome Allan deSouza!

The Department of Art Practice welcomes photographer and writer Allan deSouza who joined us this fall! Rigorously innovating photography through his uses of collage, rephotography, narrative strategies borrowed from other media, and digital interventions, deSouza’s creative research suggests new frameworks for thinking about race, visuality, and representation in a global context. An experienced teacher, deSouza has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, the California Institute of the Arts, UC Irvine, Vermont College, and San Francisco Art Institute.

UC Berkeley MFA Program Information

Hello, and welcome to the Department of Art Practice MFA Application news page. This page will be updated as needed in order to help you with any questions you might have during your decision process on choosing an MFA program.

Applications are now closed. The next application season will open mid-September 2015.

Final decisions will be made late February/early March. You WILL be notified, either by letter or phone call.

***Please read this entire page before you call, thank you.*** » read more »

A Warm Welcome to our 2015 MFA Class!

Welcome class of 2015!

The department of Art Practice is proud to have these incredible artists in our MFA:

Leslie Dryer

Tanja Geis

Lee Lavy

Michelle Ott

Sofie Ramos

Matthew Chavez-Delgado Smith