Re-historicizing and deep analysis of history is necessary especially in this moment of wide-spectrum green reframing. Speakers on this panel will look at California history, African American histories, and 17th century Landscape architecture history. Amanda Williams, Julia Parker, Katie Kurtz and David Gissen.
Moderator: Josef Chytry
Amanda Williams is an architect / artist in love with color. It has been an unmistakable formal and conceptual presence in all of her work. She was raised on the south side of Chicago and earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with an emphasis on Fine Art. Amanda is passionate about developing strategies that use art and architecture as catalysts for the economic, community and cultural revitalization of urban neighborhoods. Not bound by a single medium, she uses painting, photography, architecture, design and installation as her tools for exploration. Williams constructs her visual narratives by coalescing fragments of unrelated information together from sources as varied as historic and legal documents to rap lyrics, newspaper clippings and old family photographs. She has developed a signature style of vivid, layered compositions that are an interplay of two dimensional and three dimensional space. Recurring themes of personal freedom, memory and place appear in almost every piece. The continuing thread in all of Amanda’s work is the ongoing narrative that seeks to intertwine the viewer’s reality with that of her own. She has lectured and exhibited throughout the US, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago IL, the August Wilson Center for Art and Culture in Pittsburgh PA, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis MN and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco CA. Williams has been the recipient of many awards including the Eidlitz Travel Fellowship to Ethiopia, the Hennessy Cognac Emerging Artist Award, and the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s Heroes & Hearts Public Art Commission. Amanda lives and works in West Oakland and is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit her website: www.awgallery.com and www.lindafairchild.com
Amanda Williams (part one)
Amanda Williams (part two)
Julia Parker has spent most of her years living and working in Yosemite Village in California. Although she was born in her native Pomo territory, her early teachers were elder Indian traditionalists and basketweavers of the Sierra Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute people. After her mother's death when Julia was five, she and her siblings were placed in a foster home and later sent to Stewart Indian School near Carson City, NV. There she met her husband to be, Ralph Parker, and in 1948 they married and moved back to the Yosemite area. Ralph was employed by the National Park Service and Julia worked as a housekeeper for the Yosemite Park and Curry Company. In 1960, Park naturalist Douglas Hubbard wanted to revive demonstrations of Indian basketweaving at the Yosemite Museum and Julia volunteered. With master elders as her teachers, most significantly Ralph's mother, Julia soon was demonstrating basketweaving in the park. She also revived the practice of making acorn meal and mush, which in the traditional way uses a basket for the cooking process. Julia's work has been featured at the National Museum of the American Indian, the Heard Museum, and the National Museum of Natural History. In 1983 when Queen Elizabeth II visited Yosemite, Julia gave her one of her baskets and today it is in the Queen's Museum in Windsor Castle. Julia has been a central figure in the organization and ongoing activities of the California Indian Basketweavers Association.
Julia Parker (part one)
Julia Parker (part two)
Katie Kurtz is a 2007 graduate of CCA’s Visual & Critical Studies program. Her thesis, "Global Warming is Hot: Branding 'green' in the age of climate change," explored how the recent marketing-driven “green” is severed from the radical, ideological roots of the early green movement and is more invested in "better" consumerism than environmentalism. She has written extensively about visual art for publications such as the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Stranger (Seattle), Art Papers, and CMYK, among others. This August, Katie will give a public presentation at Headlands Center for the Arts on what she is calling “visual eco-criticism,” a methodology to perform an ethical reading of both environmental and non-environmental art in the age of climate change. Katie is currently a development officer with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards.
Katie Kurtz (part one)
Katie Kurtz (part two)
David Gissen is a historian and theorist of architecture and urbanism. He is assistant professor of architecture and visual studies and coordinator of the history/theory curriculum for architecture at the California College of the Arts. His recent work specifically focuses on developing a novel concept of nature in architectural thought and the parameters for an experimental form of practice in architectural history.
David is the author of the forthcoming book Minor Nature: Architecture and its Immanent Environments (Princeton Architectural Press); editor of a forthcoming issue of AD Magazine “Territory”; and editor of the book Big and Green (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003). His essays are included in journals and books such as Log (Anycorp), Cabinet Magazine, Volume, Constructs (Yale), The Journal of Architecture (UK), The Journal of Architectural Education, Grey Room, AA Files (forthcoming) Models and Drawings (Routledge) and Writing Urbanism (Routledge). His curatorial work has been staged at galleries including the National Building Museum, Yale Architecture Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art and The Museum of the City of New York. Design work includes installations, architectural/technical experiments and speculations for institutional and municipal organizations.
He is the recipient of two Graham Foundation grants, the Richard J. Carroll Lectureship from Johns Hopkins University, and the Chalsty Award at CCA.
He studied architecture at the University of Virginia, Columbia University, Yale University, and recently completed a PhD at the University of London under the direction of Matthew Gandy and Adrian Forty.