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Public Affairs

Students display digital art at Oakland show

May 7, 2004

"Reflections," a work by Jonah Copi displayed in the showIf you're in the mood for an art show and appreciate current technology, "Conversion" might be just the show for you.

Eleven students from a course called "Ways of seeing: digital world," taught by art Professor Lewis deSoto, will be the featured artists at Magnolia Editions Fine Arts Press Gallery in Oakland next week.

"Conversion," a name decided on while the class was "floating around ideas, free associating," according to deSoto, will feature works created with digital processes, converting pixels into images.

Jonah Copi, photography major and contributing artist to "Conversion," said the two pieces he will display are an attempt to "capture chaotic images and sounds of construction." Both are digitally enhanced images of Centennial Village, where Copi lived while a construction project was under way nearby. Each morning during the construction project, Copi awoke to the sounds of jackhammers. "Every morning sounds," said Copi, who likes shooting live concerts as well as architecture.

Graduating photography major Brianna Heard combined commercial and personal images in her project. "The inspiration for the piece came from photographing the eyes of my friends," said Heard, whose work includes more than 100 sets of eyes, those of friends as well as eyes from women's, teen and pornographic magazines.

"I looked for something interesting in the eyes, a look that really conveyed some type of emotion -- disdain or joy or disinterest."

Heard, who describes her piece as combining a million different voices into one, started making digital art in fall 2003.

"Conversion" will be the fourth annual "ways of seeing" exhibit by students at Magnolia Editions, and is a result of the friendship and partnership of deSoto and Donald Farnsworth, co-director of printmaking at Magnolia Editions. deSoto has worked professionally with Magnolia Editions for a decade, and for the past four years, Farnsworth has invited "ways of seeing" students to the gallery for a talk on digital output and publishing art. Farnsworth has also offered the class use of the printmaking facility and taught "ways of seeing" while deSoto was on sabbatical last semester.

"We like to keep our hand in the educational community," said Farnsworth -- even the year when a student's contribution to the exhibit was a Tupperware container of lamb brains, which started to smell.

deSoto, an internationally recognized artist, is known for large-scale works that include the 12,000 square foot terrazzo floor in the international terminal at the San Francisco International Airport and an installation in the Jury Assembly Room in the San Francisco Court House.

Artists participating in "Conversion" include: Jon Barcan, Steven Bird, Jonah Copi, Brendon Dillon, Norah Ellis, Masooda Gardizi, Briana Heard, Ron Ishihara, Arisa Kasai, Stacy Mc Kenzie and Sadie Mellerio.

Magnolia Editions Gallery is located at 2527 Magnolia St. in Oakland. The exhibit will run May 8-17 with an opening reception 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 8. The gallery is open 10-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and admission is free.

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Elizabeth Davis with Matt Itelson


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications