PASADENA-Hoping to showcase experimental art by young Southern California artists, the California Institute of Technology has created a temporary outdoor art space on campus. The site, which is an undeveloped area, will allow emerging artists to display large-scale sculptures; environmental, site-specific work; and other projects.
The site will be inaugurated on October 23 at 4 p.m. with the opening reception for the first show, Metonym Ocean Size by Los Angeles-based artist Jeremiah Day. A graduate of UCLA's School of Fine Arts, Day is concerned with the social value of recreational space. His work, conceived through photographs and text, will be on display until December 22. The site is north of the Holliston Avenue parking structure, between San Pasqual Street and Del Mar Boulevard.
"We hope that this art space will not only give artists a chance to show innovative work, but will also be welcomed by the community," said Robert Rosenstone, Caltech professor of history and chair of the Institute Art Committee, which is providing funds for the operation of the site. "Historically, there has often been strong synergy between creativity in art and science, and we hope that the site will also encourage a dialogue between the artists and Caltech faculty, students, and staff."
The idea for the outdoor art site was developed by Caltech staff members Dustin Ericksen and Mike Rogers, who received their master's of fine arts degrees from the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles and who are practicing artists. They are also serving as curators of the site. Rather than create a pristine sculpture garden, they decided that a location that had not been landscaped might inspire artists to create more imaginative work and would provide fewer constraints. "Los Angeles is one of the world's most vibrant centers for contemporary art," said Rogers. "But while many young artists work on a large scale, ripe for outdoor exhibition, Los Angeles offers no opportunities for the display of such work. We hope that the Caltech site will fill that void."
Given the climate of experimentation among the faculty and students at Caltech, said Ericksen, "the campus is a logical place for showing the experimental art being produced today."
The art site will mount four shows annually, each show lasting for a period of two months. Each show will be devoted to an individual artist.
Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and an academic staff of about 280 professorial faculty and 130 research faculty. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL
Over the years, 28 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-four Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award. On the Caltech faculty there are 77 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 69 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 49 members of the National Academy of Engineering.