On Dec. 5, Artsy, an online platform for discovering and collecting art, threw a party at Soho Beach House in Miami—during the 2013 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach—to celebrate the John Baldessari Art Studio Building at CalArts.
Baldessari, a renowned conceptual artist and Chouinard alumnus (59), taught at CalArts from 1970 to 1986. His first students are a veritable “who’s who” of the art world, and included Jack Goldstein (Art MFA 72), Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78), Tony Oursler (Art BFA 79), James Welling (Art BFA 72, MFA 74) and Barbara Bloom (Art BFA 72) among many others. Through his “infamous” Post Studio Art class, Baldessari taught his own mantra—”Make No More Boring Art” to his students. It’s a dictum that remains very much in practice at CalArts today.
The new educational facility features exhibition and instructional space as well as 16 artists’ studios. In support of the building, as well as urgently needed scholarship endowment for students in the School of Art, an unprecedented fundraising initiative, The CalArts Art Benefit and Auction, will kick-off with a preview exhibition at Regen Projects in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2014, continue with parallel shows at the Paula Cooper Gallery and Metro Pictures in New York opening on April 5, 2014, and culminate in a special auction of major works donated by CalArts alumni, faculty and friends at Christie’s spring auction on May 13-14 in New York.
More than 70 works donated by artists including Baldessari, Ed Ruscha (Chouinard 60), Carrie Mae Weems (Art BFA 81), Catherine Opie (Art MFA 88), Welling, Laura Owens (Art MFA 94), Kelley, Charles Gaines, Sam Durant (Art MFA 91), Matt Mullican, Oursler, Jennifer Steinkamp (Film/Video BFA 84) and many more will be presented for sale or at auction. Artsy has partnered with CalArts to be the exclusive online partner for the works at the Paula Cooper Gallery/Metro Pictures shows. Artworks to be auctioned at Christie’s will be available to view online at www.christies.com in early May, and also in the spring 2014 catalogue.
At the Artsy party, held surf-side under a huge tent at the Soho Beach House, dean of the School of Art Tom Lawson celebrated the new building and remarked upon CalArts’ lasting influence on contemporary art practice. Guests included prominent international gallerists and collectors and included CalArts’ trustee Jill G. Kraus, Chairman of the Public Art Fund and MoMA Board member, as well as School of Art faculty members Durant and Gaines, and alumnus Oursler.
We posted a slideshow of photos, above, from the gathering.