We're really excited to have Andrea Voinot from Kala Art Institute curating a selection of works here on the walls of our shop for the month of July! In case you're not familiar with Kala, they find talented artists who work in all different mediums, help them to develop their skills through residency and fellowship programs in their amazing studios, and exhibit their work to appreciative audiences. They also hold a bunch of inspired art classes for locals. Here's a Q&A with Andrea to give you more of a sense of what they're up to.
What's hanging on the walls at Marion and Rose right now, and how does it represent Kala's work?
An eclectic mix of works by Kala artists Amanda Knowles, Kathryn Clark, Nora Pauwels, Emily Payne, Lisa Solomon, and Seiko Tachibana. (It wasn't intentional, but I just realized they're all women!) These artists work in a variety of media including traditional and digital printmaking, mixed media, drawing, and embroidery.
What's the Kala Art Institute all about?
So glad you asked! Kala has been around for almost 40 years, and it was started by two printmakers – Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano – as a place for artists to come and work in a supportive and encouraging environment. We're located in the old Heinz Ketchup Factory on the corner of San Pablo and Ashby in Berkeley. Our artists have 24 hour access to the building, and are given total freedom to do whatever they want with our collection of arts equipment.
Downstairs we have a wonderful gallery with rotating exhibitions. Enrique Chagoya's show "Freedom of Expression" just ended, and next up is a show featuring works by our current Fellowship artists. We also offer classes to the general public, and educational programs for school children. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's always something interesting going on at Kala – lectures, kids camps, calls for entries, etc.
What are your artists-in-residence working on right now?
So many different things… One of our fellowship artists, Clint Wilson from Canada, just built a kayak in our classroom! It's part of a three year project called Finding Morris, and you can read more about Clint in this interview in SFAQ. Once he got the boat all put together, he screened William Morris' "Strawberry Thieves" pattern on the top and inscribed excerpts from John Ruskin's writings from the 19th century on the hull. To top it off, he attached his watercolor easel to the front so that he can paint while at sea.
At the beginning of July, another of our fellowship artists, Margaret Leininger, led a free Indigo Dye Potluck. And there's always great work being done in the studios where we have equipment for both traditional and new print processes including intaglio, monotype, woodblock, lithography, screen printing, letterpress, black and white photography, digital photography, design. large format printing, and digital video editing.
How can locals get involved with Kala?
The best way to hear what we're up to is to get on our mailing list, which you can sign up for on our website: www.kala.org. We're constantly posting information about new classes, lectures, exhibitions, residencies, and family art days.