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News & Events

This is an outline of events produced by the Department for the current quarter. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter to keep up-to-date with these and other events from our Students, Faculty, and Alumni! Submit items for the newsletter by completing the Submission Form.

Winter 2024


MFA Preview Exhibition

Reception: January 11, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
January 11 - February 3, 2024
Mandeville Art Gallery, UC San Diego

The first MFA in Visual Arts group exhibition held in the Mandeville Art Gallery since 2015, NOT NOW BUT NOW features six emerging artists who reckon with the impossibility of now through urgent evocations of past and future. Spanning photography, film/video, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and performance, the works in the exhibition reimagine communal archives and ancestral histories, contest colonial narratives of progress and discovery, and portray the body as defiantly present, undergoing constant movement and transformation.

Because I came looking for Youposter thumbnail

MFA candidate Olivia Kayang Second Year Exhibition

Gathering: January 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Visual Arts Facility, Main Gallery, UC San Diego

Because I came looking for You is an act of remembrance, an attempt to materialize bodies lost throughout history, a process of reconciliation. Participants are invited to consider how their bodies are connected to each other, as well as to the past and a potential future.

if you weight a little while it will all make senseposter thumbnail

MFA candidate Coralys Carter Second Year Exhibition

Reception: January 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Visual Arts Facility, Performance Space, UC San Diego




A Visual Projection of a College Autistic Experienceposter thumbnail

Undergraduate student Anneliese Ball Exhibition

Reception: January 23, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
January 24 & 25, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Adam D. Kamil Gallery, UC San Diego

This exhibition is a personal telling of struggles as an autistic college student. The main inspiration for this work is to challenge the kinds of representations of autism we see on campus, and to introduce a completely new way for people to start becoming exposed to autism in a first hand way.

Madam Entropy: How to See the Worldvideo still from Eating Light

Meredith Tromble Performance and Talk

January 29, 2024
7:00 - 8:20 p.m.
Peterson Hall, UC San Diego

Madame Entropy is a persona who began participating, unannounced, in public lectures about contemporary art in 2011. Appearing intermittently over the past decade, she is intent on transmitting knowledge about art that doesn’t fit into words. Madame Entropy takes “lecture” into unfamiliar territory, using an interplay of image, text, speech, and gesture to unsettle the experiences of “learning” and “knowing.”

Zip Fileposter thumbnail

MFA candidate Maddie Butler Second Year Exhibition

Reception: February 1, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
January 29 - February 4 by appointment:
Visual Arts Facility, Main Gallery, UC San Diego

Maddie Butler presents a series of collages composed entirely of photographs excavated from her high school social media accounts. Uploaded between 2007 and 2011, the images depict a group of young people as they come of age alongside the Internet and its burgeoning digital gaze. Returning to these images 15 years after they were taken, Butler’s interventions transform the snapshots into uneasy landscapes of nostalgia, desire and suburban girlhood.

Love, Transformation, and Orchids: An Exploration of Spiritposter thumbnail

Undergraduate student Camila Knigge Exhibition

Reception: February 1, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
January 30 - February 1, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Adam D. Kamil Gallery, UC San Diego

This exhibition aims to create an immersive experience for visitors, inviting them to reflect on the transformative power of love and the resilience and elegance embodied by nature. Through a diverse range of visual art mediums this exhibition will celebrate the intricate relationships between these concepts and inspire viewers to delve deeper into their own journeys of growth and self-discovery.

Cut-Up The Guardianposter thumbnail

VIS175 Class Exhibition

February 7, 2024
1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
UpThere, Room 353, Visual Arts Facility, UC San Diego

Lecturer Dino Dinco asked students in his VIS175 media class, Editing: Theory & Practice, to create experimental texts using the Cut-Up method. The texts reflect diverse strategies not only for cutting and reconnecting words and phrases but working with (or against) language to achieve linguistic and narrative coherence and incoherence.

NATURE AS A SUBJECT: Researching The Territory In-between Bordersposter thumbnail

doc. dr. Boštjan Bugarič, u.d.i.s.

February 8, 2024
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 149, UC San Diego

Doc. dr. Boštjan Bugarič is an architect, researcher, curator, critic and editor. Since 2014 he has been an editor at the open source community Architectuul in Berlin. He is a professor at the Visual art and Design department at the Faculty of Pedagogy in Koper.

Elliott Hundleyphoto of Elliott Hundley

Russell Lecture with MCASD

February 9, 2024
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
MCASD, La Jolla

Known for his dense multimedia compositions that reference both art history and mythology, Hundley’s work weaves together scenes from the past with familiar imagery taken from the contemporary world. Working in a variety of media Hundley fuses painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, photography, and performance into rich, multifaceted tableaux. Through a process ranging from gradual accumulation to spontaneous mark making, he builds up the surface of his works using quotidian found materials.

What Was Lost in the Floodposter thumbnail

Undergraduate student Jordan Cathcart Exhibition

February 13 - February 15, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Adam D. Kamil Gallery, UC San Diego

Throughout my portfolio, I’ve largely dealt with the imperceptible or unremarkable, such as hostile architecture, roadkill, and graffiti; these instances are potent symbols for larger societal and infrastructural issues, relating to the removal of public spaces, takeover of nature, and the dichotomy of private vs. public art.

Arkestra Landingposter thumbnail

MFA candidate Nykelle Devivo Second Year Exhibition

Reception: February 16, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
February 12 - February 16 by appointment:
Visual Arts Facility, Performance Space, UC San Diego


Grabado en una partitura / Etched in a Scoreposter thumbnail

MFA candidate Moe Penders Ramos Second Year Exhibition

Reception: February 16, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Sound Performance: February 15, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
February 12 - February 23
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 142, UC San Diego

Carmen Cuenca & Andrea Torreblancaside by side photos of the speakers

Guest Lecture

February 20, 2024
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 149, UC San Diego

Carmen Cuenca is Executive Director of INSITE Proyectos de Arte AC, the non-profit established to facilitate the development of INSITE in Mexico. Andrea Torreblanca is currently the Director of Curatorial Projects at INSITE and the founder and editor-in-chief of the INSITE Journal. Conceived as a binational initiative, INSITE was initially based in the Tijuana/San Diego border region at a moment of vigorous discussions about site-specificity, globalization, multiculturalism, and geopolitics.

Roots // Raízes // корени // ルーツ // ...poster thumbnail

Undergraduate collective En Route Exhibition

February 23, 2024
Adam D. Kamil Gallery, UC San Diego

This project explores personal interpretations, memories, and emotions associated with cultural identity. Our goal is to inspire a dialogue that celebrates our diverse student body through interactive displays.

Pablo José Ramírezphoto of gallery installation

Guest Lecture

February 26, 2024
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 149, UC San Diego

In this talk, Ramírez will set forth an introduction to brown artistic practices that put neo-colonial and liberal reason in crisis. Furthermore, he seeks to think about the paradoxical relationship between contemporary art and indigeneity as a creative entanglement that reshapes the repertoires of art history and museum collections. Pablo José Ramírez is an author and curator at the Hammer Museum.

Making as Critical Interrogationthumbnail

Simon Penny, UC Irvine

February 26, 2024
7:00 - 8:20 p.m.
Peterson Hall 108, UC San Diego

In this talk, Simon Penny will introduce some of his earlier work and speak about Orthogonal, an ongoing syncretic design project in critical making that seeks to deploy some of the unique qualities of traditional Micronesian ocean voyaging sailcraft design to create a new synthesis that is a viable solution for pressing economic, social and environmental needs of island and coastal communities.

Doctoral Research Colloquiumthumbnail poster

Keynote: Professor Jennifer Doyle, UC Riverside

March 1, 2024
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 149, UC San Diego

The Doctoral Research Colloquium features talks by PhD students who have recently advanced to candidacy along with a keynote lecture by a speaker who has influenced their practice. The colloquium is a public forum where the excitement and energy of newly launched dissertation projects are shared with the broader local community through sustained dialog with a senior scholar in the field.

Graduate Open Studiosposter thumbnail

March 2, 2024
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Visual Arts Facility and SME Gallery, UC San Diego

This is our opportunity to share with you and the San Diego community our research, scholarship, and artistic practices. Open Studios will feature over 25 MFA & PhD artists' open studios, exhibitions, screenings, and publications produced in the Department of Visual Arts. The artists will be present in their studios throughout the afternoon and excited to talk about and share their work with you.

Contained Visions: John Thomson (1837-1921), Photography, and the Chinese Export Imagethomson peepshow

Roberta Wue Guest Lecture

March 5, 2024
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Structural & Materials Engineering Building, SME 149, UC San Diego

This talk will address photographer John Thomson's (1837-1921) reproductions and imitations of the fanciful and fictive export image, and his engagement with the imagined Chinese artist. Roberta Wue is associate professor of Art History and director of the PhD Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Painting: Practices and Genregraphic thumbnail

VIS 106B Class Exhibition

Reception: March 12, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
March 12 - March 15, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Adam D. Kamil Gallery, UC San Diego

A studio course in which the student will investigate a wider variety of technical and conceptual issues involved in contemporary art practice related to painting.

Recent Publications

Beyond the Sovereign Selfbook cover

By Professor Grant Kester

In Beyond the Sovereign Self Grant H. Kester continues the critique of aesthetic autonomy begun in The Sovereign Self, showing how socially engaged art provides an alternative aesthetic with greater possibilities for critical practice. Instead of grounding art in its distance from the social, Kester shows how socially engaged art, developed in conjunction with forms of social or political resistance, encourages the creative capacity required for collective political transformation.


The Sovereign Selfbook cover

By Professor Grant Kester

In The Sovereign Self, Grant H. Kester examines the evolving discourse of aesthetic autonomy from its origins in the Enlightenment through avant-garde projects and movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Kester traces the idea of aesthetic autonomy—the sense that art should be autonomous from social forces while retaining the ability to reflect back critically on society.


AutodriveAutodrive book cover

By Professor Jordan Crandall

Autodrive is a work of literary fiction that melds techno-scientific inquiry and storytelling, critical theory and comedy, speculative fiction and satire. It is a road novel of sorts, an odyssey along the highways at a time when a new form of superintelligence has emerged.


Royal Book Lodgebook cover

By Professor John C. Welchman

A study and a guidance device, the first book on the Royal Book Lodge (RBL) is the culmination a three-year exploration by art historian and cultural commentator John C. Welchman. It examines the contribution of the RBL to an array of art, film and performance practices including photography, ceramics, writing, and publishing—centered on the creation of artist books and the powerful and wide-ranging dialogue and material experimentations they engender.

Spatializing Justice: Building Blocksbook cover

By Professor Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman

With these thirty short, manifesto-like texts—building blocks for a new kind of architecture—Spatializing Justice offers a practical handbook for confronting social and economic inequality and uneven urban growth in architectural and planning practice, urging practitioners to adopt approaches that range from redefining infrastructure to retrofitting McMansions.


Michael in Blackphoto of the book cover

By Associate Professor Nicole Miller

This first monograph on artist and filmmaker Nicole Miller focuses on a single sculpture by the artist: Michael in Black (2018). This book brings together a cohort of writers and other artists through newly commissioned texts and works for the page, as well as republished texts and images that exist as their own whole.


Field Journal #24Field Journal logo

Founded & Edited by Professor Grant Kester

We are living through a singular cultural moment in which the conventional relationship between art and the social world, and between artist and viewer, is being questioned and renegotiated. FIELD responds to the remarkable proliferation of new artistic practices devoted to forms of political, social and cultural transformation.


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GRAD Exhibitions


This site includes documentation of solo thesis shows from graduating MFA students as well as First Year Reviews. Past exhibitions include the 2022 & 2021 Open Studios and the 2021 & 2020 graduating MFA exhibitions.

Kamil Gallery


The Adam D. Kamil Gallery is now also online. This gallery is a site for undergraduate art shows and hosts the annual reception and exhibition for students that participate in the Adam D. Kamil Media Awards. Visual Arts majors and minors at the junior or senior level are eligible to submit a proposal to show in the Kamil Gallery for one week during the academic school year. Past online exhibitions remain viewable with the artists' permission.