Press Releases

're:connections'—CalArts 2021 MFA Postgraduate Exhibition

're:connections'—CalArts 2021 MFA Postgraduate Exhibition

July 29, 2021—Valencia, CA—After almost two years apart, Art MFAs at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) present the postgraduate exhibition, re:connections, opening in Tin Flats Los Angeles. The show is peer-organized and curated by Audrey Min of the Koreatown, Los Angeles gallery, Commonwealth and Council

re:connections features work by 17 artists, all graduates of the CalArts programs in Art, Art and Technology, and Photography and Media. Participating artists include: Kendra Le Bault de la MoriniereAmanda Bauer, Fía Benitez, Juan Herrera, Eleanor Francis, Jing DongAimée DopaBenjamin S. GordonDanielle TrentLois BielefeldRichard NamRuoyi ShiYaozhi LiuCaleb CraigDongpu LingSeongeun Kim, and Dana Carly Eitches.

“It’s exciting to bring together for the first time a cohort whose practices were thus far physically separated by necessity of the pandemic,” shared Min. “As members of the next generation of practicing artists, the 17 participants identify and follow to their source the fault lines in an increasingly unstable present, clearing space for equitable futures. They span critical meditations on site and inherited legacies—from Caleb Craig’s prints and sculptures of post-binary environments informed by the separation of syncretized Celtic symbols; Fía Benitez’s archive-based drawings, collage, sculpture, and online index investigating Southern California’s colonial histories; to Juan Herrera’s interventions onto the Venezuelan currency.” 

The MFA cohort also produced a limited edition book which shares its name with the exhibition. The prompt to reflect on their artistic practice in the past two years—before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—elicited 19 responses from participants. Introduced by Tatum Howey (MFA 21, Writing), the artist book re:connections offers unique insights into process: from research materials and correspondence, to in-progress and finished works. The publication is made in collaboration with Courtney Loi (MA 21, Aesthetics and Politics) and CalArts Visiting Faculty Zoe Strauss, who crucially helped bring it to fruition. re:connections will be released in September and is available for sale.

In their introduction, Howey offers theoretical propositions as well as analyses of select works. Using somatechnics, political flesh: its mechanics of porosity and resistance, they describe material and affective entanglements in re:connections

That the World is covered in [flesh] was something that only occurred to me as I drove through the Foothills outside of Los Angeles. Everything exists on the surface here, like a splayed-out ephemeral skin, all the synapses, points of entry, every surface trembling. This illustration of the contemporary political flesh is the nominal thread throughout the works featured in re:connections. Whatever we touch is in turn in command of our touch. This entanglement with material form, or perhaps re-entanglement with material form, is the basis for the exhibition, more a dialogue (perhaps ongoing), the ‘re:’ signaling a response.

Tin Flats will host several public programs for re:connections including on-site screenings of time-based works. The gallery, housed in the artist-run space in the Frogtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, was founded in 2017 by Stephen Neideich (MFA 13, Art). Programs will also take place on Zoom every weekend throughout the run of the show in August, including guest-moderated panels with the exhibiting artists. Moderators include CalArts faculty Ashley Hunt, and visiting faculty Kandis Williams and Zoe Strauss. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog featuring essays by Min and Loi. 

“This show is a testament to the collaborative nature of our CalArts graduates,” shared School of Art Dean Thomas Lawson. “Despite not being together they are courageously putting their artwork forward in this highly ambitious project spanning an exhibition, artist book and catalog, programming, and more.” 

Several of the aforementioned CalArtians exhibited thesis works at 7313 Melrose Avenue, and contributed to the digital Art School Project Archive and internationally-organized online platform MFA Index.

Audrey Min is a Los Angeles-based arts worker and curator. From 2015-17 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She currently works at Commonwealth and Council.

re:connections is co-organized by Audrey Min, Aimée Dopa, Amanda Bauer, Juan Herrera, Lois Bielefeld, Kendra de la Moriniere, Yaozhi Liu, Caleb Craig, Ruoyi Shi, and Fía Benitez.

Website design and graphic identity by Amy Fang, development by Jing Dong. Coordination by Ruoyi Shi.

Calendar Editor Please Note:

re:connections—CalArts Art MFA Postgraduate Exhibition:
Aug. 5-31, 2021
Tin Flats
1989 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

re:connections Opening Reception:
Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, 5-8 pm PST
Tin Flats
1989 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Guest-Moderated Artists Panel:
Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021

Guest-Moderated Artists Panel:
Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021

Including works by Dana Carly Eitches, Juan Herrera, Jing Dong, Kendra de la Moriniere, Lois Bielefeld, Ruoyi Shi, Seongeun Kim, and Yaozhi Liu: 

Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, 7:30 pm PST 
Tin Flats
1989 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Guest-Moderated Artists Panel:
Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021

re:connections Closing Reception:
Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, 5-8 pm PST
Tin Flats
1989 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Gallery Hours:
Thursdays–Sundays, 12-6 pm PST
Free Admission (schedule appointment to visit)

Street parking available. To ensure the safety of gallery visitors, the number of visitors in the exhibition space at any one time will be limited. We will observe State guidelines for COVID-19. Masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged.

Please address inquiries to

re:connections press kit: 

#CalArtsMFA #CalArts2021 #reconnections2021

CalArts School of Art
A sanctuary for cross-disciplinary training, the School of Art actively promotes both the creative environment and the intellectual context for artistic experimentation. The Programs in Art, Photography and Media, Art and Technology, and Graphic Design prepare graduates to thoughtfully challenge the prevailing conventions of artistic expression, develop new forms and become innovators and leaders in their chosen fields. Each unique Program offers specific courses of study and yet none is isolated from the others. True to the Institute's founding ethos, students are highly encouraged to collaborate with one another across disciplines and to investigate hybrid art forms—not only within the School of Art but also throughout all of CalArts. This accumulation of varying expertise provides an invaluable foundation on which students can build an independent practice and expand upon the boundaries of artmaking

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.