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Delta Center for the Arts Gallery presents Delta Waters | Arts & Culture

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Delta Center for the Arts Gallery presents Delta Waters
Delta Center for the Arts Gallery presents Delta Waters

STOCKTON, CA  – Delta Center for the Arts L.H. Horton Jr Gallery presents Delta Waters, March 1 – 29, with an opening reception March 1, 5 - 7 p.m.
This event is Free & Open to the Public!

DELTA WATERS is a contemporary art exhibition that explores environmental issues related to the San Joaquin Delta waterways. Site-specific artworks are presented in a diverse range of mediums that focus on human impacts in the Delta region, as well as its beauty and the preservation of this highly impinged natural resource. The exhibition is meant to build cultural ties with the communities living at the edges of the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast in California.

The exhibition concept was conceived by Gallery Director Jan Marlese with the intent to present students and the community with works that engage and educate viewers on two concepts:  (1) As consumers we need to be aware of and respond to the preservation needs of this important natural resource. (2) The arts can play a vital role in education on any subject matter, inspiring audiences to contemplate and dig deeper into ideas and issues being expressed through the arts.

In the search for artists to create site-specific works about the San Joaquin Delta for this exhibition, curator Patricia Watts’ work came to the forefront. She was contracted to guest curate the exhibition with the Gallery Director, bringing valuable connections to artists addressing issues of sustainability.

Ms. Watts is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, a bicoastal nonprofit art organization specializing in artists who engage the human-nature interface. She has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994. She received her MA in Exhibition Design/Museum Studies from California State University, Fullerton.


Exhibiting Artist

Linda Gass makes art informed by the wilderness, maps, aerial photography and her activist passions. The artwork for the Delta Waters exhibition is part of her latest series of work about confluences of bodies of water that no longer exist due to human intervention. Depicted is the confluence of the San Joaquin and Merced rivers paired with a species endangered by the disappearing confluence, Chinook salmon. Her work  is made by painting on silk and then stitching it, and uses beauty to encourage people to look at the hard issues we face.

Cynthia Hooper creates videos, paintings, and interdisciplinary projects that investigate landscapes transfigured by social and environmental contingency. She has worked with Tijuana’s complex urban environment and infrastructure, as well as contested and politicized water issues along the U.S./Mexico border. Showing for Delta Waters is a two-channel video installation, Westlands. The Westlands water district in California's San Joaquin Valley is undisputedly the largest and most powerful in the nation. Because of the vast quantities of water needed to grow crops, Westlands has long exerted an outsized influence on the politics and the shifting environmental dynamics of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Bay Delta to its north. Ms. Hooper has an MFA in painting, San Francisco Art Institute, and a BFA in Studio Art from UCBerkeley.

Basia Irland is Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico, where she established the Arts and Ecology Program. She is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist, and activist who creates international water projects featured in her book, Water Library, University of New Mexico Press, 2007.  On exhibit is Clandestine Calaveras, a boxed set of nine postcard images of the Calaveras River overlaid with molecular structures of the chemical pesticides found in the river. A compact disk is part of this set for which Irland commissioned a musical score by Andrew Ardizzoia, played by cellist Scott Halligan, and sung by mezzo-soprano Laurelle Mathison. This work was originally produced for Aquatopia: A Confluence of Art, Science and the California Watershed, while Irland was artist-in-residence at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, 2004.
Kimberlee Koym-Murteira works with video and kinetic sculpture inspired by her past work as a scenographer (theatre designer) and film worker. For the Delta Waters show, she “hands the process of creation over to the gallery visitor, where participants augment and enhance my videos about the San Joaquin Delta using water, screens and plastics. I encourage participants to engage their own creativity in relation to the problems of the Delta.” Ms. Koym-Murteira has an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College.

OPENrestaurant is the project of a collective of restaurant professionals who moved their environment to an art space as a way to experiment with the language of their daily activities. This displacement turns the restaurant, its codes and architecture, into a medium for artistic expression that is made available to cooks, farmers, artists, educators and activists as a way to explore issues around food and society. Two of the groups’ regular collaborators, Valerie Imus and Travis McFlynn, will present tap water tasting in clay pipe cisterns appropriated from four municipal water pipe systems. Tags identifying the origin of water and a water system map will be displayed.

Esmeralda Ruiz received her BFA and is currently completing her MFA in fine art photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. On exhibit are ten photographs of the Delta, taken over the past five months through several visits. Ruiz states, “I went to the Delta for the first time for this project, and as soon as I got there I regretted not visiting this area sooner. It is a magical place filled with incredible wild life. I learned that it is a unique place with strong character that lends itself for beautiful imagery. The Delta is a place like no other.”

Tao Urban (b. 1970 Walnut Creek, CA) investigates the space between art and design by creating objects and installations that directly engage the viewer and how they imbue products with meaning, both cultural and personal, concrete and abstract.

He received his B.F.A. in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1993 and his M.F.A. from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2000. He has had solo and group exhibitions across the United States, and has lectured and been a visiting artist at a number of institutions including Carnegie Mellon University, Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He currently teaches in the Integrated Learning department at the Otis College of Art and Design and lives and works in Los Angeles.

His exhibited sculpture, “San Pablo (waterbar 2)” was originally created from the Source, Resource installation at Acuna-Hansen Gallery. “San Pablo” is a wooden hand-built wall mounted refrigeration unit, and for this exhibition contains water gathered from the headwaters of the San Joaquin River. The shape of “San Pablo" is based on the shape of the San Pablo Bay and the coloration is based on diagrams of how water temperature is distributed within that body of water.  The San Pablo Bay can be considered the terminus of the San Joaquin River.

Jane Wolff is Associate Professor and Director for the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Toronto. She studied landscape architecture and documentary filmmaking at Harvard. Before she began her academic career, she worked as a designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her project experience ranged from private gardens to urban design guidelines for the Main Post of the Presidio of San Francisco. She has taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts and UC Berkeley. Ms. Wolff is the author of Delta Primer: a field guide to the California Delta, a book and deck of cards designed to educate diverse audiences about the contested landscape of the California Delta. The Delta Waters exhibit presents fifty-four illustrations and accompanying maps from her book, along with the deck of cards.  

Horton Gallery admission is free and open to the public. Tours are welcome and gallery talks may be addressed by contacting gallery director, Jan Marlese, at (209) 954-5507, or jmarlese@deltacollege.edu.

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