From May 21 – July 17, 2016 Berkeley Art Center (BAC) Agility Projects will present I Look for Clues in Your Dreams, a group exhibition curated by Heather Marx, featuring Bay Area artists: Leo Bersamina, Chris Duncan, Kristin Farr, Jenny Sharaf, Victoria Wagner and Amber Jean Young.

gia on the move art
Leo Bersamina, Grow (Stella-Thiebaud), 60” x 42”, paint and driftwood, 2016.

Opening Receptions: Saturday, May 21st 6-8pm and will include a special performance by Victoria Wagner and 15 of her CCA students, invoking the overall spirit of the show.

Through site-specific installations, sculpture, painting and mixed-media assemblages, the artists examine the elemental spirit of the American West.

I look for Clues in Your Dreams includes works that are informed by a spirituality that is influenced by the mythology of the American West and, specifically, Northern California. These six artists, who Marx also views as seekers and explorers, represent a continuation of the area’s rich visual and social history, including elements of psychedelia, community and a reverence for the local landscape. Following the lead of the utopian idealism and the beauty and freedom of the 1960s and 70s, each exhibiting artist reshapes and re-vitalizes the world around them in the pursuit of visual magic.

Curator Heather Marx explains her desire to create an exhibition with the rich history of Northern California in mind:

“By looking for clues in these artists’ works, I hope to tell a story about this powerful and complex ‘dream’ of Northern California and its bewitching hold on our collective imagination.”

gia on the move art
Kristin Farr, Magic Hecksagons, sizes vary, gouache on wood, 2015.

Chris Duncan, Kristin Farr and Jenny Sharaf, will each create site-specific installations, embodying exhibition themes. Duncan will install a large fabric window in the high-ceilinged cupola of the gallery, incorporating symbols that speak of a utopian state, referencing mother earth and the cycles of the seasons.

Farr’s work will be featured outside the gallery walls, displaying a series of hexagonal paintings and a mural on the face of the building. Harnessing the colors and patterns associated with psychedelia, Farr’s work is playful and exuberant.

Sharaf’s installation will occupy a corner of the gallery, incorporating vintage Playboy magazine pages (mapped with the artist’s signature swirling of bright acrylic paint) into a large-scale and boldly-colored floor-to-ceiling design. Here, she explores California myth making and its relationship to femininity.

Artists Leo Bersamina, Victoria Wagner and Amber Jean Young will address the Northern California landscape. Bersamina sources materials from beaches in Marin County to weave the abstracted driftwood sculptures that will be included in I look for Clues in Your Dreams. This particular series will incorporate an array of painted marks and hand etchings on the wood, creating a psychedelic, spirited quality while casting a dense spider web of shadows across the gallery walls and floor.

Wagner will exhibit a group of 3 Woodrocks—harvested from fallen trees in Northern California forests—which explore transitions of abstracted sound and light inspired by the sun, music and vibrational pull of the forest. Young’s work will present a series of large-scale quilts, paired with natural elements resting below the wall pieces. The artist includes rocks and sticks with her reconstructed quilts—which she stitches together using photographs she takes of the landscape—to create a connection or clue between the initial inspiration she felt in nature and its final shape in the form of the artwork.

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Victoria Wagner, Woodrock (too heavy), approx. 13” diameter, oil on Coast Live Oak, 2016.

About Heather Marx
For over 20 years, Heather Marx, Principal of Heather Marx Art Advisory, has lived, collected and worked with art in both academic and professional contexts. She received her Masters of Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara and worked in the flourishing Los Angeles and San Francisco art scenes of the 90s. In 2001, she established what would ultimately become Marx & Zavattero, a leading contemporary gallery in San Francisco known for a strong, cutting edge program. HMxAA continues in this spirit, developing art exhibitions for organizations as well as providing clients with unparalleled access to the art world and an insightful eye.

Photo (above): Jenny Sharaf, Untitled, 11″ x 9″, acrylic on found paper, 2015