The AD&A Museum presents alumni artists and their work held in the Fine Arts Collection during April’s All Gaucho Reunion month. Thirty-four alumni and faculty artist biographies were produced by the Museum’s interns during Winter quarter 2021. Under the guidance of Leticia Cobra Lima, Internship Program Coordinator, and Susan Lucke, Collections Manager and Registrar, the undergraduate interns researched and wrote the pieces, exercising their art historical skills and contributing scholarship to further enrich the Collection. We will be sharing the alumni and faculty artist biographies and their works of art all month long. Check back soon for updates!
Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Mary Heebner’s work is rooted in the spirituality of ancient relics, land, and the emotional power they hold as they are weaved into foundational cultural narratives. Through fragmentation and collage in her abstract and figurative pieces, Heebner explores the intimate process of creating historical narratives by piecing together physical and fictional references. Grounded in an anthropological lens, Heebner draws subject matter from her travels, attentive to the local culture and distinct mythologies surrounding the ancient objects and landscape she reinterprets. Through reworking these physical articles, she expresses the intangible responses they elicit. Her range of mediums include handmade paper works, drawings and paintings, with overarching aesthetic qualities including muted colors and fluid brushstrokes. Graduating in 1973 with a BA from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara and later receiving an MFA in 1977, Heebner based her artistic career in Santa Barbara. Beyond art, Heebner is a writer as well, founding Simplemente Maria Press in 1995 and publishing over 15 multimedia books. Her works can be found in public and private collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art.
Written by Skylar Lines
Nathan Hayden is an American artist from West Virginia who began his art career as a child, drawing and carving the outdoors that surrounded him. He earned a BFA from Miami University in 2001 and an MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2009. His childhood experiences of woodcarving, as well as early interests in biology and engineering are present in his multi-media works which portray landscapes superimposed with organic psychedelic patterns. Hayden’s pieces are surrealist in nature, and his more recent works are minimalist depictions of alien worlds that are inspired by the American southwest. He constructs new environments which have been likened to Dr. Seuss and Grimm Fairy Tales because of the elements of cartoon and mythology displayed therein. While Hayden currently works and resides in Santa Barbara, his art has been on display in the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville, the David Shelton Gallery in Houston, and numerous galleries and museums throughout Southern California.
Written by Kristina Goetz
Harry Reese, one of UC Santa Barbara’s many pioneers, created and developed the university’s highly regarded Book Arts Program. With the intention to study Political Science at UC Santa Barbara in 1965, Reese eventually graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Brown University. During his time at Brown, Reese established his own publishing imprint Turkey Press and produced his own books. In 1977, Reese and his wife, Sandra Riddell Reese, decided to return to Isla Vista. After asking to serve UC Santa Barbara’s staff and being initially rejected, Reese started a class called “The Art of the Book” at UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies. After gaining much praise and popularity, this class transformed into the Book Arts Program, established officially in 1985. Reese served as the Book Arts Program director, as well as the Chair of the Art Studio (1996 to 2000; and 2004), retiring in 2018.
Written by Hanna Zorrilla
Yoshiro Ikeda was a Japanese contemporary ceramic artist born in 1947 in Kagoshima, Japan. As a child, he was taught Zen meditation and calligraphy, which informed his future artistic endeavors. His artistic career started in 1970, when he received his BA in painting and drawing from Portland State University. He went on to work under avant-garde ceramist Yagi Kazuo in Kyoto City College of Fine Arts, and later received his MFA in Ceramics from UC Santa Barbara in 1977. He soon became a professor at Kansas State University’s Department of Art, where he worked until 2012. Kazuo’s avant-garde influence is seen clearly in Ikeda’s ceramic pieces, as he was not afraid to experiment with asymmetricality, bold carvings, and nontraditional glazing techniques. His childhood experiences with Zen Buddhism, as well as the rise of modernist formalism in the 1970s, resulted in his compositions typically showing geometric forms and large fields of brushstrokes. He died in 2014 in Oregon at the age of 67.
Written by Daniel Ong
John Nava was born in 1947 in San Diego, California. He pursued undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara in 1969. He continued his artistic education, earning an MFA at Villa Schifanoia, Graduate School of Fine Art, Florence, Italy in 1973. Nava’s renowned work is held by both private and public collections in Japan, Europe, and the United States. His work includes paintings and original tapestries commissioned as public works. In Japan, he was commissioned to design and sculpt a mural and large fountain for the Tokyo Grain Exchange. His most celebrated works are the large tapestries he designed for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, entitled The Communion of Saints and The Baptism of the Lord. Commissioned in 1999 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the tapestries enhanced the musical quality and acoustics of the vast space. Nava perfected the balance of the tapestry medium with new work media, showing the beauty of faith in his Communion of Saints. Other tapestry designs include the Trojan Family tapestry for the University of Southern California. His recent exhibition Empathy Beneath the Surface (2019) was a collaboration with the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks.
Written by Ariana Cuevas
Ilene Segalove, a Los Angeles native born in 1950, is a conceptual artist best known for her work in videography. Segalove’s introduction to video art began with the guidance of Billy Adler, a professor at UC Santa Barbara. Segalove received her BA in Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara in 1972, before going on to receive a master’s degree in Communication Art at Loyola Marymount University in 1975. She continues to live and work in the Los Angeles area, and has presented her work in exhibitions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to contemporary art museums in Paris. Since the 1970s, Segalove has received several National Endowment for the Arts grants for her contributions to photography, video, and radio. Segalove’s love of these mediums developed as she watched television as a child, becoming infatuated with notions of projected façades and realities. In a 1990 interview with the Los Angeles Times, she stated, “I think the fine line between fact and fiction, that line was what I saw when I watched television.” In the midst of creating witty and self-reflective art, Segalove has also taught new generations of artists at several California universities, including her Santa Barbara alma mater.
Written by Olivia Thompson
Mary Heilmann is an American artist born in 1940 in San Francisco, California. She received a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara in 1962, and earned an MA from UC Berkeley in 1967. Her works range from abstract paintings to ceramics and furniture. A rich backstory exists in her work, woven from her imagination with references to musical and aesthetic influences. She sometimes draws inspiration from the saturated colors of cartoons, which is why her paintings and watercolors emphasize a rich sense of color. Her abstract works are often mixed spatial environments, combining several canvases into new pieces, or creating two-color paintings and photographs in the form of prints, slides, and videos. Heilmann sometimes displays her paintings and ceramic objects next to chairs and benches she designs, openly inviting viewers to socialize and reflect on her work.
Written by Haoyue Li
Wolfgang Stoerchle was a conceptual artist born in 1944 in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany. Stoerchle would relocate to Toronto and then Los Angeles. He attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate degree and UC Santa Barbara for graduate studies, receiving an MFA in 1968. His works that followed employed the media of performance and video, many of which were made in Southern California. He performed in a group called California Time Machine, which included artists Miles Varner and Daniel Lentz. In 1970, Stoerchle was enlisted by Allan Kaprow to teach in the Post-Studio Art program at the California Institute of Arts. Known for his new perspectives about what constitutes art, Stoerchle also used technological visuals of his own body as works. Many of his artworks and public displays also engaged themes of sexuality and psychosexuality. Even after his death in 1976 while he was living in New Mexico, Stoerchle’s impact on art was honored through various exhibitions, such as Art on Camera: Photographs by Shunk-Kender, 1960-1971 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2015.
Written by Alice Taylor
Mark di Suvero, born Marco Polo di Suvero on September 18, 1933 in Shanghai, China to Italian parents, is an American artist who welds scrap metal into monumental sculptures. Di Suvero’s family immigrated to San Francisco after the onset of World War II, and he went on to attend the San Francisco City College and UC Berkeley. Moving to New York in 1957, during his early years as an artist he worked in construction, and rubbed shoulders with Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg. He built dynamic sculptures that matched the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists in exuberance and size. His early works were large outdoor pieces that incorporated wooden timbers from demolition buildings, tires, scrap metal and structural steel. Often visually off-balance and asymmetrical, Di Suvero’s works lend themselves to the idea that they are “drawings in space” and related to the gestural abstraction that became prevalent during the mid-20th century. No matter how large or heavy his sculptures are, Di Suvero often allows a certain degree of motion to be possible within the finished works. The moving elements, while weighty because of their industrial materials, are meant to give the illusion of ease and suspending gravity. Furthermore, Di Suvero is a politically committed artist: in 1966 he designed the fifty-five-foot-high Peace Tower (now destroyed) in Los Angeles as a protest against the war in Vietnam. Soon after, he left the United States for several years, in voluntary exile as an act of anti-war protest – he is back in New York now and living with his wife and daughter.
Written by Misha Farrahi
Famed photographer Jesse Alexander was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1929 where he continues to reside. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 1953 with a degree in Political Science, he has earned worldwide recognition for his motorsport and nature photographs. Alexander’s photographs are known for capturing movement with utmost precision. He uses silver gelatin for photographing movement and presenting a nostalgic tone through the image. His image of Phil Hill racing in the Grand Prix in Germany captures the car and driver in still motion while a blurred crowd cheers in the background. His photographs of nature are similar in that he creates a world of birds in mid-flight on a background of sunny Southern Californian skies. Whether the Grands Prix or the crashing waves along Santa Barbara’s coast, Alexander’s photographs bring the viewer to the heart of the action in its stillness.
Written by Stephanie Ando
Penelope Gottlieb is an American artist born in 1952. After completing her studies at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena, Gottlieb earned her MFA from UC Santa Barbara. She currently lives and works in Santa Barbara and continues to create her unique modern art-inspired paintings. Gottlieb reinvents the classical floral still-life by incorporating her background in graphic design. Organisms are shown stylized in a way which brings attention to the ecological crises they are facing; many of the botanicals painted are even extinct. Gottlieb has also completed realist pencil portraits and abstract enamel and aluminum compositions as part of the series Trans-Ethnic and 10,000 Memories. While her work is distinctly modern, it has been stated that they are clearly related to works of Kandinsky and Lichtenstein in their color and stylistic choices. She had also won an Emmy in 1993 for motion picture title design. Today, Gottlieb’s paintings and murals may be seen in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, and the AD&A Museum.
Written by Kristina Goetz
Born in Petersburg, Virginia in 1943, Jerry Kearns received his MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 1966. Since the 1980’s Kearns has created “psychological pop” paintings, which have been exhibited in the United States and internationally, focusing on the impact of consumerism and mass media on people’s conceptions of themselves and reality. His artistry draws on his own experiences growing up in the United States and witnessing the blending of politics, entertainment, and truth in the media. He personally saw this transformation occur first-hand beginning with the Reagan administration. The subject matter is also based in personal tragedy, as his wife passed away in 2016 due to pancreatic cancer caused by the toxic air in New York City, an environmental crisis denied and covered up by the Bush administration. His sought-after pop art pieces juxtapose famous images and figures from Western iconography in violent scenes of conflict but without a clear victor. Sometimes humorous, sometimes morbid and often both, these acrylic on canvas artworks reflect the hypocrisies and absurdities that lie within the confusing landscape of American cultural politics and ideologies.
Written by Skylar Lines
Laura Krifka, born 1985 in Los Angeles, incorporates cinematic elements borrowed from modern film in the composition of her paintings. In 2008, Krikfa received her BFA from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and, in 2010, she earned her MFA from UC Santa Barbara. Her portraiture often depicts figures in the intimacy of domestic spaces, gazing out at the viewer and inviting our gaze in return. Her figures “occupy various states of undress, preparation, or play, expressing an ease with intimacy and an acknowledgement that the act of looking is a central component of desire.” Krifka’s psychologically-charged paintings construct and deconstruct the shifting tensions between subject and object, observer and observed, powerful and powerless. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum, and the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. She has also exhibited individually and collaboratively at the Torrance Museum of Art, CB1 Gallery, and BravinLee Programs, among many others. In 2017, she was awarded the Davyd Whaley Artist Teacher Grant for her professorship at California Polytechnic State University, and has been reviewed in The L.A. Times, ARTPULSE Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
Written by Mina Nur Basmaci
Californian artist Eric Beltz was born in the city of Orange in 1975. After graduating with a BFA in art from California State University, Fullerton, Beltz received his MFA in Art from UC Santa Barbara in 2004. His post-graduate education at the university transitioned into a teaching position, which he has held for over fifteen years. Working primarily in graphite on Bristol paper, Beltz’s drawings pulse with activity, fusing nature with geometry and history with mythology to create darkly charming scenes with a psychedelic slant. Many of his drawings also have a distinctive political element, incorporating decorative text to caption satirical portraits of American culture and history. Beltz’s work figures in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Kansas’s Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Appearing in gallery exhibitions across California and the United States, he has also been featured twice in Flaunt magazine, and in 2015, was awarded PULSE Art Fair’s annual PULSE Prize.
Written by Grace Miles
Mary Miss is a trained sculptor specializing in site-specific art and architecture as well as installation art and landscape design. She was born in 1944 in New York City and spent much of her childhood moving around, particularly in the Western United States. In 1966, she graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Art, and obtained an MFA from the Rhinehart School of Sculpture within the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1968. From the 1970s onward, Mary Miss has worked with the subject of art in the public sphere and addressed relevant issues, such as environmentalism and feminism. In her art. South Cove (1984), in Battery Park City, New York, and Framing Union Square (1992-2000) at the Fourteenth Street Union Square Subway Station, New York, are just a couple among many significant engaging works she has created in public areas for viewers to interact with. She has also been featured in exhibitions including Weather Report: Art and Climate Change (curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007), Twenty-Six Contemporary Women Artists (Aldrich Museum, 1971), and many more in museums, universities, and other artistic institutions. Her work highlighting pressing issues in tangible artworks has received a considerable amount of attention and she has been presented with awards such as the Urban Land Institute’s Award for Excellence.
Written by Alice Taylor
Ann Diener (MFA 2005) earned her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her Masters of Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara, where she also taught. Through drawing, Diener maps the layered history of place, charting ways that spaces are changed over time by those who inhabit them. Diener’s artworks investigate, record, and trace the diverse elements that comprise the complicated history of place. Often large in scale, the works are multi-layered narratives. By incorporating maps, charts and printed materials, the artist examines the social and political ramifications of how land and urban spaces are cultivated, manipulated, developed and controlled. Through references to land, culture, time and memory, her complex works move beyond mere geographic representations and engage with the anthropological layers of place. They chart the way a location is inevitably changed by its inhabitants over many generations and are often informed by the changing sociological and topological landscape of Central California amidst agricultural development. In 2016, she expanded her practice to include lithographs and tapestries.
Written by Misha Farrahi
Macduff Everton was born in 1947 in Pearl River, New York. He received both his BA and MFA at UC Santa Barbara in 1981 and 1984 respectively. His interest in photography was sparked by a spontaneous trip he took at the age of 19, soon after landing a job at an educational film company. Everton’s photography breakthrough involved a deep interest and inspiration garnered from Mayan culture. His 2012 book, The Modern Maya: A Culture in Transition, was influenced by travels to the Yucatan peninsula and centered on the age of globalization and crucial change in the region. Through his photographs, Everton showed that the heart and soul of the culture is the ordinary people in it. Everton is praised for his use of panoramic photography and his spotlight on rural areas. He has made several writing contributions to archaeological publications, including The Code of Kings and The Language of Seven Sacred Temples & Tombs. Everton’s work is showcased in many public collections such as in the British Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Musée de l’Elysée.
Written by Ariana Cuevas
American sculptor, Richard Serra, was born in San Francisco in 1939. He is well known for his abstract, large-scale steel sculptures reaching up to 14 feet in height. Serra studied at UC Berkeley and Santa Barbara, and later attended Yale University to study painting. He was introduced to metalworking as a child through his father’s occupation, and worked in steel mills during his college years. Serra is not concerned with pictorial representation, but rather the sheer materiality of sculpture and how it interacts with real time and space. There is a timeless quality to Serra’s work, considering how it depends on the environment in which it inhabits. His large installations are unapologetic: blocking off a space or demanding viewers to alter their path of walking. Tilted Arc, one of Serra’s most controversial installations, occupied the New York City Federal Plaza from 1981 to 1989. It garnered so many complaints from civilians forced to walk around it, that it was ultimately removed. This instance exemplifies Serra’s intention to challenge viewers’ perceptions of space, gravity, and weight.
Written by Summer Haddaway
Adam Ross was born in Los Angeles, California in 1962. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Art in 1984, Ross began his career as a painter. His work balances abstraction with realism by layering bold explosions of color, texture, and shapes, resulting in landscapes reminiscent of urban cities falling into chaos. Ross’s meticulous and labor-intensive process of layering paint often results in incredibly nuanced, intricate variations of saturated color that lend his surface an immersive, almost vortex-like quality. In 1988 Ross became a fellow at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He then returned to UC Santa Barbara in 1988 to receive his MFA. He currently works and resides in Los Angeles, and has since become a William Dole Fellow and research grant recipient at the UC Santa Barbara. His artwork has been featured in exhibitions in the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, and all across the United States in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C, and Seattle. In addition to his artistic achievements, Ross has also been a major contributor and featured author in multiple books and articles on contemporary art.
Written by Haylee Rosso
Visual artist Joyce Lightbody was born in 1954 in Providence, Rhode Island. She studied art at Kalamazoo College and the University of Rhode Island, until her junior year of college when Lightbody and her family moved to California. There, she earned her BA in Art at the UC Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies in 1975. Lightbody is best known for her unique collage work, often presenting central elements of cartography, stamp use, and notation systems, both phonetic and musical. She has been included in group exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art and the Art Museum of South Texas, and spotlighted in solo shows at ACME Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Beyond visual arts, Lightbody has a notable passion for music, focusing on experimental, contemporary, and world beat genres. She has pursued this passion through a decade of a capella choral composition, as well as the release of her LP, Bear Ears and Other Songs. Lightbody has also had a career in teaching, at both UC Los Angeles and Otis College of Art and Design.
Written by Chloe Babcock
Dimitri Kozyrev lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his BFA from Ohio University in 1997 and his MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2000. Having been born and raised in Leningrad, U.S.S.R., his paintings consider the covert and overt remains of war and trauma on landscapes, while also nodding towards the capacity for our landscapes—and hence us—to heal. Kozyrev’s style is characterized by dynamic bursts of color and by Modernist and Constructivist arrangements of space. His work has been displayed in solo exhibitions in Modern West, The Mark Moore Gallery, Cirrus Gallery, and Perception Gulf Coast Museum of Art, and he has been featured in The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, and Artweek, among others. In addition to producing art, he has served as a Lecturer at UC Santa Barbara and as a Professor of Painting at the University of Arizona.
Written by Mina Nur Basmaci
Dinh Q. Lê was born in Hà Tiên, Vietnam in 1968. His family immigrated to the United States in 1979 where he would graduate with a BA in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara in 1989. Lê continued his studies at The School of Visual Arts, New York where he graduated in 1992. His photography series focuses on the concept of memory by highlighting its relationship to the present and often relays the stories of those lost to history through photographs and video installations. Specifically, he is known for his elevation of Vietnamese stories and art by creating installations of family photographs and stills from films surrounding the Vietnam War. The photographs are often accompanied by texts and handwritten messages from Vietnamese families affected by the diaspora from the Vietnam War. Dinh Q. Lê continues to promote Vietnamese voices through his art and Sàn Art, a space for Vietnamese artists to be seen and heard.
Written by Stephanie Ando
Image: Leslie Wayne, One Big Love #58, 2011. Oil on panel. 12 3/4 x 10 x 2 1/2″ overall. Gift of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; UC Santa Barbara.
Leslie Wayne was born in Germany in 1953, and later moved to California where she attended UC Santa Barbara. She then moved to New York and received her BFA in sculpture from the Parsons School of Design in New York, where she settled, taking advantage of the city’s artistically stimulating environment. Wayne is well known for her highly dimensional oil paintings. With many of her pieces taking a three-dimensional form, her work challenges traditional painting and sculpture by combining aspects of both disciplines. Using various colors, she builds up paint layer by layer to create visually interesting and organically shaped works. In an interview with Figure/Ground Communications, Wayne mentions that her work is inspired by geological forces such as compression, subduction, and morphogenesis. Her more recent work plays with ideas of illusion by portraying realistic scenes of three-dimensional objects in a two-dimensional manner.
Written by Summer Haddaway
Stephen Westfall was born in 1953 in Schenectady, New York. Westfall attended UC Santa Barbara for eight years, receiving his BA in 1975, followed by his MFA three years later. In 1984, Westfall’s first solo exhibition at the Tracey Garet Gallery in New York was wonderfully received by critics for his particular, dynamic style of abstract geometry. This gave way to numerous future group and survey exhibitions as well as a number of solo shows, in the United States and internationally. He has received awards and grants including, but not limited to, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Westfall’s style is geometric, vibrant, clean, and consistent. He draws inspiration from architecture and its bold, ever present nature, as well as colors, and the way in which the two elements collaborate. Since 2007, wall painting has become an essential genre of Westfall’s work, effectively combining his favorite aspects of both architecture and painting. Along with his career as a visual artist, Westfall also teaches at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, as well as the graduate program at Bard University. Additionally, Westfall is a contributing editor for contemporary art magazine Art in America.
Written by Chloe Babcock
Jane Callister, born in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, in 1963, is a highly respected and valued artist and professor at UC Santa Barbara. Callister has received a BA from the Cheltenham School of Art in 1987, an MA from the University of Idaho in 1990, and an MFA degree from the University of Nevada in 1994. She has been a professor of painting and drawing in UC Santa Barbara’s Art Department for more than 20 years. As a synesthete, or someone with the ability to hear color, Callister uses this to create her artistic masterpieces. In the making of her artwork, Space Rocks, exhibited in the Vielmetter Los Angeles gallery in 2006, Callister used accidental spills, brushstrokes, and globs of acrylic paint. Featured in over 35 exhibitions, Callister is a well-established artist. Her art can be found in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New Museum, and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara. Callister also has been the subject of multiple publications and catalogues, such as “Vitamin P: New Perspectives on Painting,” curated by David Pagel in 2002, and “Jane Callisters’s Artificial Elegance; Beyond the Pleasure Principal,” curated by Colin Gardner in 1999.
Written by Hanna Zorrilla
Blog Post and Images Compiled by Olivia Thompson