On an evening characterized by candy and costumes, artists from the Department of Visual Arts at UC San Diego are taking a creative approach to the traditional Halloween fun.

As part of a new artist-in-residency program, M.F.A. alumni Joe Yorty and Matt Savitsky are collaborating to spookily transform the split-level residence of Professor Anya Gallaccio and Lecturer Kelly Eginton into “La Mesa Charmer,” an inaugural exhibition free and open to the public, Saturday, Oct. 31, 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

“I’m both excited and yet nervous to see what they have planned as they are disrupting our home by building new spaces for us to occupy,” said Gallaccio.
According to Gallaccio, the new residency program addresses the challenge of finding exhibition venues for artists who create work grounded in community, discussion and critique. She explained that as his former professor and advisor, she was very familiar with Yorty’s art practice and his interest in utilizing domestic spaces. His year-long residency will include three exhibitions that take into account the character of the house and the surrounding half-acre property.

“We wanted to offer him the possibility of working for an extended period with a space that is inhabited and to have to deal with, not only the issue of what objects to bring into the space, and where to insert them, but to negotiate it being an active living space.”

For the first iteration of the program, Yorty chose to work with fellow alumnus Savitsky, a performance artist and sculptor whose work is considered psychologically charged.

“It is an experiment, an exercise in trust,” admitted Gallaccio. “I am guessing it will be a bumpy ride, but ultimately rewarding and a learning experience for both me and those who participate.”

The Halloween-night exhibition takes place at 9364 Edgewood Drive, La Mesa. Street parking only.

Image courtesy of Joe Yorty and Matt Savitsky