2012 Theme & Guest Artist
For residents of California’s Central
Valley, the well-being of the natural environment has a direct
bearing on their professional and personal lives. The
Valley’s largely agricultural economy relies on an adequate
fresh water supply. Substandard air quality threatens Valley
dwellers’ respiratory health. Far from isolated,
sustainability issues such as these reach beyond the region; for
example, as a breadbasket for the nation and world, the success of
the Central Valley's agricultural production impacts tables home
and abroad. Recognizing the importance of environmental
sustainability, the Center for Creativity and the Arts has chosen
Consumption and Sustainability as its 2012-2013 theme.
More than just scientific and political, discussions related to
sustainability—particularly those involving
consumption—include culture. Contemporary society defines an
individual’s lifestyle not only by his or her role in
production (i.e., occupation) but also patterns of consumption:
which goods and services a person purchases, how much and how often
someone purchases them, etc. These individual choices create and
reflect trends, and consumer trends in turn have a large bearing on
the relationship between humans and the natural environment.
CCA's upcoming guest artist, Jonathan Brilliant, creates large, site-specific sculptures based on what he calls the "to-go coffee culture." Brilliant weaves massive structures out of 30,000-50,000 coffee stir sticks, without any glue. His sculptures, which can also include straws and cup sleeves, are meant to immerse visitors in Brilliant’s “sense that the coffee shop and related materials are more organic and nurturing and the ‘real’ natural environment.” Provocatively working in the tradition of artists who create from found natural materials, Brilliant challenges the notion that the natural world is still natural for the modern consumer. Jonathan will be in residence at Fresno State September 7-20, 2012 constructing unique sculptural work in the Henry Madden Library Ellipse Gallery that will remain on view until September 30.
Funding provided by the John and Madeline Perenchio Arts Exhibition Endowment