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Work of UC System's MFA Grads Exhibited

UCR Hosts Exhibition of UC System Artists

The work of 13 MFA graduates will be displayed at ARTSblock venues beginning July 28.

(June 25, 2007)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — An exhibition of art from the University of California’s Master of Fine Arts programs opens Saturday, July 28 in the UC Riverside ARTSblock in downtown Riverside and continues through Sept. 22.

“Compass 2007: New Art from the University of California’s MFA Programs” is a survey exhibition of work by 13 MFA students who graduated in 2007 from the eight UC campuses with art departments: Riverside, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Davis and Santa Cruz.

UCR graduates Jason Lutz and John Sisley are among the artists whose work will be on display.

“Compass 2007” organizers Ciara Ennis, curator of exhibitions at UCR/California Museum of Photography, and Tyler Stallings, director of UCR Sweeney Art Gallery, will conduct a gallery walkthrough of the exhibition from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 28. The opening reception will follow from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition will be presented in both the UCR/California Museum of Photography and Sweeney Art Gallery, two of three venues that form ARTSblock. The third venue is the future Culver Center of the Arts, which is scheduled to open in 2009. ARTSblock is located in the 3800 block of Main Street.

Most of the works in “Compass 2007” are sculptural installations or single-channel video productions. Paintings and photographs also are featured.

“Twenty years ago New York was the uncontested hotspot for young artists in the country,” said Shane Shukis, assistant director of the Sweeney Art Gallery. “Today, thanks to the excellence of the UC system and its faculty of significant practicing artists, California lays an equal claim to producing some of the most innovative and original artists in the nation.”

“Compass 2007” is the first exhibition in recent history to survey all of the UC’s art departments, said Stephen Cullenberg, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

“Appropriately, it follows close on the heels of UC Riverside’s first class of graduates from its new MFA program,” Cullenberg said. “The artists in ‘Compass 2007’ represent the crème-de-la-crème coming out of the nation’s premier state university system.”

“Compass 2007” proves that California has retained its commitment to pursuing its own aesthetic vision, Ennis said.

“It is an unexpected celebration of the work of a few talented artists that resisted immediate diagnosis and divination and by doing so has provided an enduring and inspiring vision of art across the state,” she said.

The exhibit is sponsored by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts and is supported by the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Exhibition hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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