Thursday, April 14, 2011

Art students in the Vista

It comes as a surprise to a lot of people when I tell them that part of the USC art department is located in the the Vista.

They call it "The Zoo" because each studios is closed off from the others by nothing more than chain link.

Several years ago, running out of space at its home at Senate and Pickens streets, a bunch of students moved into a university owned warehouse space near Blossom and Huger streets. If you drive on Blossom much, you've almost literally passed over top of it.

Most of the students working in the space are painters, although there are those working in printmaking, and most are also exploring where they can take their art. So someone might be concentrating on painting, but what they end up making looks like sculpture.

As part of Artista Vista, the department has agreed to have an open house at the nearly hidden Zoo on Saturday, April 30 from late morning to late afternoon.

But before that happens you can see some shows by artists who work at The Zoo. Chris Johnson has an excellent show of his prints (and a few more things) at the art Department Gallery for a few more days.  Tobin Cagnoni's exhibition of his paintings/sculptures (I don't know what they are but I like them) opens at the gallery April 20.

Also just behind The Zoo it the recently constructed wood burning kiln used for making ceramics. If all goes well that baby will be fired up April 30 as well.

These are not the easiest places to find. If you are around Gervais and Huger, head south on Gervais. (On this journey consider stopping at One-Earned Cow Glass where some artists will be making drawings of other artists that day and Lewis and Clark for furniture and a photos show.)
A block before Blossom Street is Devine (take a left, which is the only way you can turn.) Go past the sporting goods store, past the BBQ place (or get some take out), past the giant brick cotton compress building and over the railroad tracks. You'll see an official USC sort of sign with with 718 Devine on it. Turn there. The studios are on the side and toward the back of the building. (If you get to Gadsden you have gone too far.) 

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