You are here

The 2018 Irwin Scholarship Award Exhibition Examines Identification

Melissa Ortiz

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery is delighted to present IRWIN 2018, the 32nd annual Irwin Scholarship Award exhibition entitled Identification, which opens on May 30 and runs through June 16, 2018. The opening reception will be held on May 30, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Sesnon Art Gallery, and is free and open to the public.

The exhibition showcases the work of a select group of UC Santa Cruz’s most promising young artists: Irma Barbosa, Krystal Barrera, Patricia Garcia, Jorge Gomez-Gonzalez, Tom-Jhon Hamouzas, Kelly Leung, Ishmael Lipman, Soren Neumeister, Melissa Ortiz, Thovatey Tep, Veronica Wang, and Vincent Williams.

Drawing from personal experience, IRWIN 2018: Identification investigates the gray area between identity and being identified. The link considers the role of history, culture, trauma, and institutions and how they can form one’s identity through a personal or collective experience. The artists use their bodies or allude to the figure in their art as a way to explore and question the markers of identity.

The show will display an array of paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture and video installations as well as a live performance scheduled during the opening reception.

Identification examines the process of imposing identity on another and how the body is central to how we understand and express the fluidity of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. What happens when those constantly being identified choose to take back their bodies and dissect the categorization process?

“The Irwin Scholarship award recognizes promising young artists whose hard work, focus, passion, and achievement have been profoundly expressed in their artistic creations,” says  UC Santa Cruz Professor of Art Jimin Lee. “This exhibition shows the proud fruits of the labors of many and not just the winners. The UCSC Art Department is proud of our twelve recipients. We look forward to their important future contributions as leaders of the next generation of young artists.”

About the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery encourages interdisciplinary discourse through the lens of the arts. The gallery is located at Porter College above the koi pond at UC Santa Cruz, and is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free and metered parking is available at Porter College.  Gallery hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, 12–8:00 p.m. Group tours are available by appointment at 831-459-3606, or via email Please visit our website for more information:

Instagram: @sesnon.ucsc

Identification opens on Wednesday, May 30 and runs through June 16, 2018 at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, Porter College, UC Santa Cruz. Opening reception: Wednesday, May 30 from 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm; free and open to the public.