Artist Profile: Jenifer Wofford

To exist within an art community and thrive, one must be able to grow, learn, develop, and maintain an incredibly multi-faceted practice to stay relevant. To take it a step further, as an arts educator and practitioner, it is imperative to make work that is accessible to the public and be ready to engage. Jenifer Wofford is a rare gem in the arts. From artist residencies in Denmark, Italy, and most recently, Norway, she continues to make profound connections between ideas, cultures, and people through her work. Her travels and thirteen years of providing arts education in the San Francisco Bay Area public school district as well as at the university level, including California College of the Arts, UC Berkeley, and University of San Francisco have produced a unique combination of art practice and theory that illuminates as much as it entertains. Wofford thrives on collaboration and participation from her peers as a part of the creative process. Her observations, conversations, and dynamic global studio practice are not only imaginative but showcase a multitude of talent across genres.

When asked about her favorite medium to work with, Wofford stated,

I had reasonably rigorous training in the traditional plastic arts, and so, even if I veer off into more performative or experimental practices, I still often begin from a hands-on, drawing-based approach. I also enjoy drawing, particularly with ink, more than other forms, so it’s the easiest, most straightforward form that I can express myself in. Some projects and ideas reveal themselves to be best suited to remaining within the two dimensional realms of painting and drawing; other projects reveal themselves to be better addressed in video, performance or installation.

In addition to her fine arts practice, her illustration and design work are characterized by strong, bold, non-tentative lines. Past work include, Flor 1973-78, which was a San Francisco Arts Commission Market Street Poster project. Flor provided a fictitious pictorial narrative of a Filipino nurse’s journey from the Philippines to the United States in the late 1970s that included visual references to both the cultural and political climate of the times. In looking at Filipino-American culture and history mixed with tongue and cheek humor, individuals can easily use her work as a point of departure for discussing identity and culture without it being overly abstract and complicated. Her current work, Grand Tour, tethers representations of real-life people to fictitious stories that one wishes were true because Wofford crafts such engaging tales through her drawings and paintings. Lastly, performance-based work with art collective Mail Order Brides will have you convinced that artistry necessitates being a maestro of creativity. You will inevitably find something telling in the way she narrates a story that is intelligent and witty. With a myriad of skills, the common thread, as Wofford explains lies heavily on creating work that allows people a rich experience of art.

There’s always a subtle, or maybe not-so-subtle, politic at work underneath my artworks,” says Wofford. “While the art world is ever-more international, there’s still something of a dearth of voices and perspectives coming from women and people of color, as well as a limited perspective represented from the non-Western world. Since I come from a mixed-ethnicity, mixed-nationality, Third Culture, feminist background, I’ve often felt like I’ve been blessed with a unique opportunity to speak from this perspective, and to give voice in my various projects to something beyond simple formalism or more generalized or codified concepts within Western art. That said, I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly radical, and I dislike anything that smacks of being overly agenda-driven. It’s important to me that my work feel accessible on a number of fronts, and to still retain both a sense of play as well as some formal chops—as far as technique and execution go.

Originally posted to Asterisk

When I’m not thinking about the afterlife, I’m thinking about love. This is true. Currently live blogging at Wire + Nail Gallery for Carissa Potter’s opening, People I’ve Loved. One of my favorite artists.

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Please help spread the word about my friend and artist, Stephen Stout’s, latest work, The Nothing Box. You can learn more about his project and how you can help him meet his goal via his Kickstarter page by clicking here. Stephen’s video goes into the inspiration for the piece, the making of The Nothing Box, and the overall concept. The completion date of this large-scale installation is scheduled for November 2011. It’s an incredible piece and I’m a backer on the project! Hoping you can help out (even a $1 helps believe it or not) AND if you are unable to aid financially, please think about passing the information to your friends and family. 🙂

Recently, the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field imaging system unveiled the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind, that reveals the first light from 13.5 billion years ago. The exposure lasted for eleven and a half days and is the as far back as the human eye has seen to the origins of the universe.

Collapse, Antonucci’s first solo show, addresses these awe-inspiring galactic portraits in a purist vocabulary imbued by the hand of the artist. With the topic of the photographic universe at the forefront of scientific observation and contemporary art making, this body of work seeks to re-contextualize Hubble’s image through an opaque lens, so as to re-negotiate the romantic notions of the viewer and subject matter itself. As an image presenting truth, the Hubble Ultra-Deep still evokes an undeniable mysticism, sense of wonder, and romance. In this investigation, Antonucci pays homage to the beauty held within the visual landscape of the cosmos while extracting a veritas all his own.

Antonucci received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in May of 2010. During 2009 he completed a residency exploring video and printmaking in Berlin. His self-made book inspired by the Hubble Ulta-Deep Field images, First Light, was published this year by Conveyor Arts. Currently Antonucci is occupying a printmaking residency at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and he resides in San Francisco.

~ Press release from Wire and Nail Gallery Site

To learn more about Luca Nino Antonucci and his work, please click on the exhibition image above or click here.

If you’re not familiar with Utterback’s work, please familiarize yourself.
She’s phenomenal AND a presenting artist with Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA)…

Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it? ~Pablo Picasso

Although art, technology and conceptual art are deep seeded passions, I’m a sucker for a great painting. Illustrative and figurative work often straddles between commercial and fine art. Then again, it depends on what the artist is trying to achieve with highly representational and figurative works. Kenney Mencher’s exhibition, Renovated Reputations, currently showing at ArtHaus showcases what a skilled draftsman can create with colorful stories as inspiration. The work is communal, engaging, textural, and fun. Yes, folks, art can be FUN (I’ll get to the serious stuff later, for those interested)!!

Mencher’s work for Reputations is well spun fiction with a vintage feel, and an impressive use of alla prima.

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