PARADOX: New Ceramics by Arturo Araujo, SJ
September 23–December 13, 2013
Kalmanovitz Hall Sculpture Terrace
"You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
The act of waiting as a compassionate answer to people's suffering as well as my experiences with loss and grief have emerged as central sources of inspiration for me, and are reflected in the body of my work, my life and my experience as an artist.
Artist Reception & Performance by USF Liturgical Choir
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 12-1 p.m., Sculpture Terrace*
Co-sponsored by University Ministry
I continue this meditation with "Paradox." Here, the poetry of Psalms 16 led to a series of large-scale ceramic globes and bowls that link the ways in which our humanity is shaped with experiences of being full and empty, broken and whole, surrendered and glorified.
In this Psalm joy and pleasure come in the last stanza of a lament, suggesting that God's path guides us through purifying experiences of loss, sacrifice and sadness-experiences that have the power to unveil an inner paradise.
Only six psalms contain the Hebrew word, miktam. No one is quite sure what it means, but all six of these are psalms of lament. Psalms 16 reminds me that God is good, yet there will be times when I can't reconcile His goodness with my circumstances.
Ceramics is a process-oriented art and craft that forces me to be in close contact with material, emotions and memories that fold and unfold with the spinning of the wheel or with the pounding of clay. The ceramic craft pushes me to be present with the material and myself. Each piece is the materialization of the centrifugal force of the wheel and the centripetal force of the artist. Both forces constitute the container. Moreover, this spiral movement-the key force of the universe-is materialized in each object, connecting to my inner experiences and the idea of an ever folding and unfolding universe.
—Arturo Araujo, S.J., 2013
Born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1967, Araujo joined the Jesuits in 1986 and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1999. Twelve years ago he moved to United States and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts, and a MFA from the University of New Mexico. Currently he teaches art at the University of San Francisco, and works in his own studio, "Inside River Studio," located in Fairfax, CA. Inspired by nature and by the work of Japanese sensei Manji Inoue, Native American master Clearance Cruz, and the British artist Mary White, Araujo creates work that expresses a contemporary spirituality with a blending of different ceramic traditions and styles. His work has been shown in Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Special thanks to Arturo Araujo's assistants Julia Kelley Ballenger and Max Kaindl as well as the gallery crew: Venezia Acosta, Leah Belcher, Jeffrey Chen, Camellia Eid, Suzanne Kincaid and Bennet Song.
We are also grateful to Paul McWilliams and the USF Liturgical Choir.
*Weather permitting; a new location will be announced if necessary.
2000-2003, the Thacher Gallery sponsored an annual outdoor exhibition and now
continues this tradition with biannual exhibitions on the Kalmanovitz Hall
rooftop sculpture terrace. It opened in the Fall of 2008 with "The Puma
at the End of Fulton Street: San Francisco Sculptor Arthur Putnam"
featuring five figurative bronzes from the de Young Museum's
When visiting the sculpture terrace, be sure to
view the two historic portals located in Kalmanovitz Hall. The
Romanesque Portal located in the Lou and Suzanne Giraulo Atrium dates
to around 1175-1200. It came from Northern Italy, and shows Adam and
Eve at the Tree of Knowledge. A gift of the Fine Arts Museums of San
Francisco, the portal was raised through a generous gift of Diane
Wilsey in honor of her late husband Alfred Wilsey.
Maria de Ovila Portal (ca. 1575) in the outdoor amphitheater between
Kalmanovitz and Cowell Halls comes from a monastery approximately 90
miles northwest of Madrid, Spain. It features fine renaissance
carvings of Saint Catherine and Saint Mary Magdalene, and God the
Father. Brought to the United States by William Randolph Hearst, it
stood for many years in the former de Young Museum building in Golden
Gate Park, and was given to USF by the Fine Arts Museums of San
Francisco. It serves as the backdrop of the Ovila Amphitheater, a
vibrant new performance space at the center of the USF campus.
The Rooftop Sculpture Terrace is located on the campus of the University of San Francisco on the third floor of Kalmanovitz Hall. The USF campus can be easily entered at Fulton and Cole, Parker and McAllister, and Golden Gate and Temescal. Directions to USF.
The sculpture terrace is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Strange Attractors: New Work by Mark Baugh-Sasaki
Jan. 18 – Aug. 4, 2013
Baugh-Sasaki’s sculptures use a combination of industrial and natural materials and processes to create fantastical objects that make the viewer aware of their environment and their connection to it.
more information, please contact Glori Simmons, Associate Director:
Phone: (415) 422-5178
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