For me, one of the highlights of a year full of them was definitely the two-day student workshop we had at Lick Observatory in May. It was called "Seeing and Knowing in Art and Astronomy." The program emerged from Russell Crotty's residency at Lick and the exhibition we are working on for the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, which will open this November. During Russell's time here we wanted to bring a group of undergraduate students up to Lick to experience the unique flavor of this historic and still scientifically significant observatory.
What a thrill to learn last week that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the architects selected to design the Institute of the Arts and Sciences' future facility, have also been selected to design the new Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. We're in good company.
Congratulations, Tod and Billie!
Happy New Year from UC Santa Cruz! 2015 was a whirlwind of activity at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. As we work frantically to complete our first big exhibition project, I’m pausing now to share what we accomplished in 2015 and highlight some of the exciting things coming up in 2016.
I am thrilled to report that our artist residency and exhibition project with Russell Crotty, Lick Observatory, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has been awarded a prestigious, $30,000 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant! This is great news. Warhol grants are highly competitive, and in fact only seven institutions west of the Rockies received a Warhol grant this year, so we have been high-fiving since we got the news last month.
Alumni Weekend 2015 was a lot of fun. We had around 2500 alums and family come back to campus, and the weather was typically perfect. (We were actually hoping for some rain, but it never showed up.) The IAS did two events—our third campus walk with Harrell, Molly, and Nolan from Public Doors and Windows, and an Open House reception following the curatorial panel organized by Jock Reynolds '69. Our Open House was crowded and festive, but mostly I want to talk about the campus walk.
Happy New Year! We just wrapped 2014, which we are calling “Year 0” at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences because it has been our first year with regular programming, the launch of a full fundraising effort, and much more. Looking back, Year 0 was a wonderful success. I’m using this post to share some highlights from the past year and bring you up to date on where we stand with the building for the Institute, our programming, and of course our fundraising progress.
In August we commenced the next phase of architectural planning when Tod Williams, Billie Tsien, and Brent Buck from TWBTA joined us on campus for three days of intense meetings conducted together with Alyosha Verzhbinsky and Laura Allen, their colleagues from TEF in San Francisco. We walked the site, considered issues central to green building strategies and other technical and logistical issues, and spent a day in conversation with faculty and our building and program committee.
Congratulations to Tod Williams and Billie Tsien for receiving the National Medal of Arts. We are thrilled for you and your colleagues at TWBTA.
It's June and the Big News here is that we have selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) as designers of the Institute's permanent home! They will collaborate with TEF of San Francisco and landscape architect Cheryl Barton. Along with picking our architects, the past two months have been jammed with events and activities for us. So this post is a quick catch-up as the academic year winds down.
April was a busy month for the Institute. We started off with the architect search public event April 3 (which was terrific, see my last post), and the next week we had the Portland-based art collective Public Doors and Windows here for three days of planning, interviews on campus, and a terrific "art walk" with students, faculty, and staff trekking all across campus. All of this is part of the innovative and eye-opening two-year residency we are embarking on with Harrell Fletcher, Molly Sherman, and Nolan Calisch of PDW.