Two Faculty Artists Take Part in Tomorrowland Exhibit

Two design foundation faculty members from the School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD) will be exhibiting their own artwork as part of a group exhibit of well-known Los Angeles artists. The exhibit, Tomorrowland, which opens on April 14 at CB1 Gallery, explores the relationship between visual form and social ideas about futurity.

Keith Walsh, will be showing two large furniture-scale sculptures, originally produced in 2007. He’ll also have one new text painting on paper in the show as well.

“The sculptures are titled The CABs and combine the visual grammars of neoclassical furniture, automobile design, and Sci-Fi,” Walsh said. “Their drawers or sections expand in novel ways that shift the reading of forms and their function. I constructed them by hand over many months using Baltic birch plywood and had a furniture shop paint them metallic white with black beltlines similar to a luxury car.”

Keith Walsh
Keith Walsh
Patrick Nickell
Patrick Nickell

Walsh’s new text piece expands on the sculpture’s modularity through its scheme of clustered and cantilevered graphic word blocks. “It’s a mode of handmade visual writing that is composed through a process of positioning prototype versions of each word,” he said. Titled The Souls of White Folks/Clouds, this work comes from a series of drawings and paintings about the history and futures of racial politics in America.

Walsh’s colleague, Patrick Nickell, will be exhibiting sculptures that are part of a series that was produced in 2015 at the Tomorrowland exhibit.

“Modeled with plaster and burlap these surreal abstract sculptures transform the human body, animals, and common everyday objects,” Nickell said. “Hyper imaginative forms to provoke new ways of looking at the familiar.”

Both Walsh and Nickell believe strongly that their work as artists contributes directly to their work as educators.

“The art that I make is a complex blend of training, work, and interests in fine art, performance, architecture, graphic and industrial design, semiotics, and history,” Walsh said. “I recognize how all of these disciplines have shared or relational grammars, ways of thinking and making, and ways of interaction. I try to impart the importance of this world-view to my MCD Foundation Drawing students, and have them gain an appreciation for the pleasures of process, analysis, patience, and lifelong learning.”

Keith Walsh CAB sculptures exhibition view at Long Beach City College in 2015
Keith Walsh CAB sculptures exhibition view at Long Beach City College in 2015

For Nickell, the foundation design area of MCD is a critical intersection where the school’s core values merge to create a platform for students to have life-long success as creative professionals. “The faculty within foundation are all practicing fine artists with excellent public visibility and recognition,” he said. “We embody the educational values that we teach to our students.”

Both Walsh and Nickell have been a part of the L.A. art scene for years, and both encourage that their students get involved with the vibrant scene too.

“The L.A. art scene is vast and diverse,” said Nickell, who has directed Woodbury’s Nan Rae Gallery for the past three years. “Non-profit exhibition spaces of all types and sizes provide essential programming in neighborhoods throughout the city. Various smaller artist-directed exhibition spaces continue to emerge and provide valuable platforms for emerging and established artists.”

Nickell continued: “The art scene is also very user friendly and entrepreneurial with a long history of diverse exhibition venues. Tortilla trucks, back alley garages, and shipping containers are historical examples of artists challenging and re – contextualizing traditional notions of public spaces to exhibit art.”

“The LA art scene is ranked second worldwide—so it’s important for Woodbury students to step out of their boxes a bit to experience some of it,” Walsh said. “It’s also a great place to make art. The L.A. scene has all kinds of things that are happening everyday in just about every part of town.”

“The quantities of institutions, galleries, and artist-run situations keeps expanding here,” Walsh added. “Allowing for better and more diverse representation of art and artists, and experimental or cross disciplinary approaches.”

Learn more about the exhibit:

Tomorrowland
April 14- May 26, 2018
Curated by Rory Devine
CB1 Gallery
1923 Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021
1-213-806-7889