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Art of Change Podcast: UCSC Irwin Scholars

2020 Irwin Scholars Talk About Their Virtual Exhibition

The Irwin 2020: Collective Solitude exhibition went virtual this year, and the outstanding student artists talk about the challenges of not only doing their work in isolation, but also coming together to produce a virtual show using a 3D tool called SketchUp to create a virtual gallery experience.

Produced, edited, written and hosted by Maureen Dixon Harrison, Asst. Director of Communications, Arts at UC Santa Cruz.

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery presented IRWIN 2020: Collective Solitude, the 34th annual Irwin Scholarship Award exhibition, which showcases the work of a select group of UC Santa Cruz’s most promising young artists. The virtual exhibition took place during June 2020.

Collective Solitude features thirteen artists whose works speak to this extraordinary period in history characterized by tremendous isolation and yet also incredible communal action. Their art addresses the many effects that distance has on individual, group, community, and worldwide levels. With confidence that such great constraints generate new and creative ideas,Collective Solitude aims to explore our present, estranged world where everyone is experiencing some form of loss and separation while working diligently and finding unique means to come together and support one another. 

Showcasing a variety of approaches to contemporary art practice, the exhibition included drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, artists’ books, and video installation. Due to county and statewide health ordinances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, these works were shown virtually through a 3D model of the Sesnon Gallery and accessible online, 24/7.

The 2020 Irwin Scholars are Aaron Martinez, Anastasia Oleson, Angel Gonzales, Chloe Murr, Dominic Ramirez, Edgar Cruz, Emma McWaid, Jocelyn Lee, Joshua Zupan, Morgan Tomfohr, Natalie Del Castillo, Rodrigo Ramos, and Veriche Blackwell.

About the Irwin Scholarship and the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
As a way of ensuring that others would have the kind of art education that allowed her to flourish in the art community, the late Sue Irwin established the William Hyde And Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund in 1986 in honor of her husband. The Irwin Scholarship and group show is granted annually to undergraduate UCSC students for proven excellence in the arts.