The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art will be closed December 14 through February 14 for Chrismas Break and installation. Please join us for the opening of Enviromental Impact on February 14. Thank you. 

Environmental Impact

February 14 - May 1

Environmental Impact is an exhibition which aims to recognize, document, and share the work of leading contemporary artists who choose to focus their work on global as well as local environmental issues and to heighten public awareness and concern about the degradation of diverse environments through the power of art. Traditional art generally depicts nature in all of its glory, often in beautiful, pristine conditions. The 50 paintings, photographs, prints, installations, and sculptures in Environmental Impact are different because they deal with ominous environmental issues ranging from industrial scale resource consumption and development to oil spills, the perils of nuclear energy, global warming, and many other phenomena that impact people and other inhabitants which populate the planet today. The exhibition draws upon a diverse range of artists whose works are not only hard-hitting, but which also propel the Environmental Movement in the modern age.

Environmental Impact, produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director.

Opening panel discussion and reception:

Sunday, February 14, 2 PM Soda Activity Center

Please join the Museum for a panel discussion with curator David J. Wagner and exhibiting artists Chester Arnold (Sonoma, CA), Britt Freda (Burton, WA), Peter J. Goin (Reno, NV), Karen Hackenberg (Port Townsend, WA), Mary Helsaple (Sedona, AZ), Michael Meilahn (Pickett, WI), Martin Stupich (Albuquerque, NM) and Suze Woolf (Seattle, WA).


David Maxim: Points of View

February 14 – April 24

One point of view may be vastly different from another, but all are part of human experience. David
Maxim has spent his career pondering the stages and struggles of human life, and the eternal mysteries of metaphorical meaning and ambiguity.  His art is informed by his own point of view, enriched through his engagement with history, art history and theatre.   Through this selection of small sculptures paired with watercolor studies, David Maxim provides the viewer with insight into his creative process, while recognizing that viewers may respond in an entirely different manner.

David Maxim is a native Californian who travels and exhibits both nationally and internationally.  He received an MA in Art History from UCLA and taught at Cal State Los Angeles before going to South America to find himself as an artist.  In 1976 he moved to San Francisco, where he continues to thrive, both personally and professionally.  His work is held in numerous museums, notably The British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Collection, and the Oakland Museum of California, as well as Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art.  He has just published a comprehensive two volume monograph, STAGES: The Art of David Maxim.  


Instagael: SMC Student Instagrams

February 14 -April 24

Instagram has changed the art world. Now Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art examines this recent force with Instagael, a student Instagram exhibition. Instagael displays the best photographs the student community has to offer, but also provokes fundamental discussions about the identity of art.

Instagram boasts 60 million photos shared each day from a community of 300 million members. These photos, and this forum, represent the art world of the future. Indeed, since 2013, “Instagram” is searched more often in the search engine Google than “art” itself. Instagram is a uniquely democratizing force in the art world. Now, anyone can post their photographs and receive near immediate feedback. Likewise, anyone with an internet connection now has a gallery of billions of photographs at their fingertips.


William Keith and the Battle for Hetch Hetchy

Ongoing through May 1, 2016

In 1907, William Keith accompanied John Muir to Yosemite’s twin valley, Hetch Hetchy. The trip was not a lighthearted hike, but a determined mission to bring the rich colors and epic landscapes back to the Bay Area, where politicians schemed to dam the valley. This trip was a desperate last stand for the preservation of the valley. The plan to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley had brewed for decades, spiced with controversy and corruption. The fate of the valley was a national reflection, preservationist versus conservationist, municipal versus national authority, over the American soul.

This exhibit details the struggle, encompassing a Bay Area history not often told. Come explore how San Francisco’s expansion became central for a national debate; a debate that preoccupied two presidents and birthed the environmental movement. See how the Hetch Hetchy Water System came to exist and how you benefit from the modern marvel today. Finally, join William Keith and John Muir as they hiked to Hetch Hetchy in a mortal struggle for national preservation.  You must answer the question, does nature have a price? On display will be works by William Keith, including a rare painting from his 1907 trip, accompanied by photographs and documents courtesy of the Sierra Club, Restore Hetch Hetchy, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.


Verve Miniature Exhibit Coming Soon to the Library

In 1937, the French art magazine, Verve, appeared on the newsstands of Paris.  Verve was filled with color reproductions of art, ranging from medieval to modern, and essays by influential writers. Verve was a big, brilliant jewel amid newspapers whose growing focus was trouble in Europe.  Amazingly, this art magazine survived World War II, often displaying works that were related to the war and the emotions it evoked. The Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art has a few editions of Verve in its permanent collection. Some of these fantastic magazines will be on display in the Saint Mary’s College Library in the spring. This project will focus on the correlation between events leading up to and during World War II and the content of Verve.

 — Alisa Sakakura ‘19, Museum Intern






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