IMAGE: Raina Jia, 2 AM, Yarn, fabric, tufting, ArtCenter College of Design

NOW TRENDING: 7th Annual Alpay Scholarship Exhibition

June 10 – July 8, 2023

Opening Reception Saturday, June 10, 6-9 pm

Palos Verdes Art Center / Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education is pleased to announce Now Trending: 7th Annual Alpay Scholarship Exhibition, opening Saturday, June 10 with an artists reception six to nine pm. Current art and media students from Southern California colleges and universities were invited to submit engaging new work to be showcased in Palos Verdes Art Center’s Alpay Scholarship Exhibition, Now Trending. One $5000 cash prize will be awarded. In addition, the scholarship winner will be considered for inclusion in future PVAC exhibitions. This call was open only to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students in Southern California. This year’s juror, Jeanne Medina Le, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at California State University at Long Beach and Fiber Program Area Head. She received her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Award.

To imagine the transparency of Relation is also to justify the opacity of what impels it. The sacred is of us, of this network, of our wandering, our errantry.

– Poetics of Relation by Édouard Glissant

To be an artist in Southern California is to be engaged in one of the most vibrant, diverse, creative communities in the world. Geographically expansive, the region sprawls from the desert to the ocean over mountain ranges and valleys. It is the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native American tribal nations. Palos Verdes Art Center sits on the Palos Verdes Peninsula extendinginto the Pacific, the world’s largest and deepest of the Earth’s ocean basins.

This exhibition comes upon us at a moment: Post Covid-19 pandemic, and fraught withawareness of anthropogenic changes in the earth’s land, ocean, biosphere and climate,(geo) political tension, and skepticism of AI-technology and social media. Many of these students spent some part of their education in remote learning environments and this was the first full year of in-person learning. In that transition and this environment, comes a grappling with relation — reaching out and being in community, understanding how one sees themself, and how others see them. At the same time, they are locating and contextualizing their practices and identities in broader conceptual discourses.

It has been a great honor to serve as juror and to have the opportunity to witness the spectrum of artwork being produced by Southern California’s art schools. In reviewing the work, I was struck by the way students are exploring themes of identity, relationship to nature, and broader systems of ecology and society. A strong throughline is the exploration of identity through materiality. I also saw themes of human and non-human representation through figuration and photorealism. Ideas around the body and abstraction are also emergent. But above all, I found feelings — of hope, gratitude, and excitement — in how these artists are allowing themselves to be vulnerable and build trust with their processes to tell their own important stories.

The artworks selected here push the boundaries of their disciplines to arrive at a feeling and mirror something about our collective human experience — how meaning is embodied through artmaking. I would like to thank Palos Verdes Art Center, Dr. O. Allen Alpay, and all of the incredibly talented students who submitted work for the Now Trending: 7th Annual Alpay Scholarship Exhibition

Jeanne Medina Le