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Alumnx Residency

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This summer, from June 3 to August 5, the CCA Hubbell Street Galleries in San Francisco will be activated as studio spaces/laboratories for two recent alumnx (’09-’19) to develop and publicly present projects, performances, readings, workshops, or collections of work. This year, the Alumnx Residency coincides with the 2019 CCA Alma Mater exhibition, which will feature a multidisciplinary selection of work by CCA alumnx from the past ten years. Connecting the residency and alumnx exhibition offers an exciting opportunity for large-scale public interaction: the two selected alumnx, Jamee Crusan and Zachary Royer Scholz, kicked off the residency by presenting work-in-progress during Alma Mater’s opening reception on June 15 from 3:00-6:00 pm, and will participate in an open studio event at the residency’s culmination on July 27. Each alumnx has been awarded a modest honorarium to assist in supporting their project(s).

The prompt for this residency is Methods of Acti(ng)on. This residency is structured to support artists and curators who are investigating some of today's most pressing social, political, environmental, and economic issues.

Jamee Crusan is an interdisciplinary artist and writer in Oakland, California; their practice encompasses sculpture, video, and photography. Crusan encourages viewers to re-examine emotional and physical acts of labor within the realm of self and other through sculptural installations. Their work has been exhibited nationally, including at SOMArts, Root Division, Southern Exposure, and Aggregate Space Gallery. Crusan graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2013 with BFAs in both Photography and Graphic Design, and California College of the Arts in 2017 with an MFA in Studio Practice and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies.

Nautical knot tying has been a pastime for sailors for centuries and was often used to keep their minds occupied during long travels away from their families or lovers, at least until they saw land again. Crusan's ongoing project “Hopeless Acts of Mourning” examines individual and collective experiences of loss, what it means to survive and move through grief or end up in a space that must be lived with, absence. By creating and evoking protective talismans with the intimate gesture of knotting, the hands and body make objects that can oscillate between both passive and active states while also functioning as physical and psychic protectors. Although this project was started over a year ago as one individual's act of survival, it now has transformed into something that is collectively shared and experienced.

Zachary Royer Scholz is an artist, designer, critic, theorist, and occasional curator based in San Francisco, California. In his material practice he generates works by reworking discarded objects and altering existing structures. Scholz has exhibited at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, the K2 Contemporary Art Center, The San Diego Art Institute, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, as well as with numerous commercial and nonprofit art galleries. He holds a BA from Stanford University, and an MA and MFA from California College of the Arts.

Scholz has been salvaging material from mattresses and box-springs discarded on the streets of San Francisco. These abandoned beds come from evictions and people being forced to move onto the street. But ironically, these materials also come from displacers; tech employees and investors, who are dumping lightly-used bedding on the street and replacing it with compressed smart foam mattresses that new industry “disruptors” ship directly to their doors. Old mattresses used to go to recycling facilities where 90% of the material was reclaimed. Those that end up on the street quickly become unrecyclable. During this residency Scholz is exploring the unsustainability of the forces reshaping San Francisco. 

Image courtesy of Jamee Crusan.