Keith + Kari

September 15–December 12, 2021

Kari Marboe, a contemporary ceramic artist living and working in the Bay Area, creates site-specific work in response to the 19th century California landscape painter, William Keith. Kari explores how form, materials, and aesthetics can record a site's meaning and representation of truth. Through interviews and visits, Kari contemplates three Bay Area sites: Lagunitas, Stinson Beach, and Mount Tamalpais and how these locations, previously pursed, sketched, and painted by William Keith in the 1870s-1910s, appear over 100 years later. Kari reimagines Keith's interpretations of these physical and topographical terrains through molding materials of clay, soil, and earth. Her fourth location, the moon, redirects the focus from the physical site to an aesthetic mood, exploring a universally gazed upon subject in a nocturnal setting and light. Keith + Kari, on view from September 15 through December 12, 2021, uncovers and builds forth a physical layer of earth and representation, adding an exploratory dimension to the rhetoric and observations of the California landscape and how "truth of place" can shift yet remain the same. 

This exhibition is curated by the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art Director, Lauren MacDonald. 








About the Artist:

Kari Marboe takes on the role of an artist and detective, flattening as many data points as possible around the history of people, objects, and experiences in order to create new narratives that intertwine with our present moment. She presents her work in the form of ceramic sculptures, clay screen printed onto watercolor paper, archival images, accidentally stolen keys, and other site-specific elements. Marboe earned her BFA from California College of the Arts in 2008 and then her MFA from UC Berkeley in 2012. She has exhibited work at the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, CA, Mills College Art Museum, CA, A-B Projects (Nicole Seisler), CA, 500 Capp Street/Southern Exposure, CA, Berkeley Art Center, CA, Museum of Craft and Design, CA, Wave Pool Gallery, OH, Museum of Northern California Art, CA, Jacksonville University, FL, and the Waffle Shop Billboard, PA. She has also participated in residencies at Greenwich House Pottery, NY, Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, ME, Mutual Stores, CA, and Elsewhere Museum, NC. Marboe lives in the Bay Area and is currently an Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts.


Related Programs: 


Opening Celebration 

Thursday, September 16 | 4–8 p.m. 

Save the Date! Join the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of our Fall Exhibitions Keith + Kari and Collective Memories. More information to come. Explore the upcoming exhibitions here >>

View calendar listing >>


Healing the Earth: Environmental Art

Thursday, November 4 | 6–7:30 p.m. 

Join the Museum of Art for a dialogue that explores art as a medium to respond to environmental change and impact. Featuring ceramic artist Kari Marboe and Museum Director and Curator Lauren MacDonald, this conversation explores site-specific work speaking to how California landscapes have changed yet remained the same. 

Light refreshments provided. Keith + Kari exhibition open through 7:30 p.m.

This event will occur at the Soda Activity Center in partnership with SMC Sustainability Committee, Kalmanovitz School of Education (KSOE), School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA), School of Liberal Arts (SOLA), School of Science (SOS). 

View calendar listing >>


Third Thursday | Artist Dialogue + Art-Making 

Thursday, November 18 | 5–7: 30 p.m.

Join the Museum of Art and ceramic artist Kari Marboe in exploring ceramic as a craft and medium to investigate place. 

5–6:15 p.m. Ceramic art making workshop on MoA patio
6:30–7:30 p.m. Artist dialogue with Kari Marboe.

This Third Thursday is sponsored in collaboration with the fall exhibition Keith + Kari. 

View calendar listing >>


Re-narrating a Master: Craft Reflections on Keith + Kari

Wednesday, December 1 | 1–2 p.m.

Join the Museum of Art for an afternoon dialogue exploring the exhibition Keith + Kari through the research lens of Dr. Suzanne Schmidt.

Watch here >>

View calendar listing >>



Land Acknowledgement is meant to confront our place on Native Lands and to build mindfulness of our present participation in colonial legacies. Land Acknowledgement promotes greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights.

The landscapes and sites included in this exhibition are located on the unceded territories of the Coast Miwok peoples.

Saint Mary's College of California occupies the ancestral lands of the Saclan tribe of the Native American Coast Miwok community. We acknowledge the lands which we occupy, and intentionally recognize the indigenous communities whose lands we have settled.




Press Release