Alumni In the News

Marcia Hafif, Painter of Monochromatic Works, Is Dead at 88

Marcia Hafif, an artist best known for monochromatic paintings that explored the intersection of color, brush stroke, surface and light, died on April 17. She was 88.

In 1969, Ms. Hafif returned to the United States to attend the University of California at Irvine, where she earned a master of fine arts degree in 1971.

“I took those two years at U.C.I. to explore other things, to see, read, study, meet people, make work,” she told The Orange County Register in 2011. “That was extremely useful to me and changed my way of thinking about painting. Afterward, I went back to painting, but I was painting with a different view.”

Brian T. Vernon (MFA, Dance 1994) Dean at Western Connecticut State University

Brian T. Vernon (MFA, Dance, 1994) is in his second year as Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT.

Noritaka Minami MFA 2011 and Ashley Hunt BA 1994 awarded Graham Foundation Grant

Graham Foundation awarded over $530,000 in grants to individuals which included Noritaka Minami MFA 2011 and Ashley Hunt BA 1994.

Ashley Hunt - Degree of Visibility

Degrees of Visibility tackles the politics of erasure and camouflage that allow mass incarceration to take place through photography, text, and community partnership. Starting with an unprecedented survey of the architecture of mass incarceration, the project juxtaposes photography of over 250 prisons across all 50 US states and territories with histories, anecdotes and numbers—presenting a meditation on race, vision, photography, history, language, and space. Following ongoing research into the post-War shift toward camouflage in contemporary prison architecture, each facility is photographed from a publicly available point of view, seeing how it is situated among architecture, land uses, and with varying degrees of visibility and concealment. The exhibition includes a national tour that partners with...

Guilty or not guilty? That is the question as UCI law school deans face off in a mock trial of Hamlet

Zak Houston, MFA 2015, played Hamlet during a mock trial of Shakespear's fictional Danishi prince at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on April 11, 2018.

Kori Newkirk, MFA 1997, Artist in Residence at Pasadena City College

Alumnus Kori Newkirk (MFA 1997) is currently Artist in Residence at Pasadena City College. A solo exhibition in the Boone Family Gallery accompanies this appointment. 

Center Stage with UCI Alum Jacob Ben-Shmuel

UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts has trained and molded many rising stars and artists of today, who have taken their talents to live out their dreams. The New University was able to talk with one of these alumni, Jacob Ben-Shmuel. He is currently starring in the touring cast of “The Book of Mormon,” which recently visited the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. In his national tour debut, Ben-Shmuel is the stand-by for the character of Elder Cunningham. He joined the company during late October in 2017. The New U talked with Ben-Shmuel about UCI, his journey to the stage, and what he learned along the way. 

Ken Gonzales-Day, MFA 1993, "Unseen: Our Past in New Light: Ken Gonzales-Day and Tituts Kaphar" exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

Ken Gonzales-Day, MFA 1993, is in a major 2-person exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery , "UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light: Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar." The exhibition will be on view from Friday, March 23, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

As the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery marks its 50th anniversary, it will not only honor the past with special exhibitions but also shape the museum's next chapter. The first contemporary exhibition of the museum's anniversary season, "UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light: Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar" examines how people of color are missing in historical portraiture, and how their contributions to the nation's past were rendered equally invisible. Focused around two contemporary artists, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, the exhibition brings to the forefront African Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans to amend America's historical narrative. Reworking traditional art presentations, Gonzales-Day and...

Grace Morrison (MFA 2016) will play the role of Viola in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Pioneer Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, running Friday, March 30 through Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Grace Morrison, MFA 2016, plays Viola in her first PTC role. Her favorite regional credits include Kate in The Taming of the Shrew and Horatio in Hamlet with New Swan Shakespeare Festival. New York City-based ZACH FIFER plays Viola's twin Sebastian in his first Utah production.

The Art Department congratulates Liat Yossifor, MFA 2002, on the exhibition of her most recent paintings

The Art Department congratulates Liat Yossifor, MFA 2002, on the exhibition of her most recent paintings at Miles McEnery Gallery, opening in New York on Saturday, March 17. The exhibition will run from March 17 - April 14. 

In 2011, Liat Yossifor definitively turned her painting practice toward abstraction, and has since been making works that adhere to a specific formal approach. Limiting herself to three days to complete a painting, the time pressure turns into a kind of psychological pressure. In this way, her work becomes a self-conscious performance. Yossifor chases an elusive composition around the canvas, though she does not seek to achieve a composition that is thoroughly “resolved.” Her struggle to locate something creates contradictory forces that simultaneously push and pull the viewer.

The resulting monochromatic paintings are equally pictorial and physical. Using an alla prima (“at first attempt”) technique, Yossifor works within the durational...

Hong-An Truong MFA interviewed in Artforum about her recent work

Hương Ngô and Hồng-Ân Trương’s (MFA) work The Opposite of Looking is Not Invisibility. The Opposite of Yellow is Not Gold, 2016, pairs vernacular photographs of the artists’ mothers with texts from 1970s-era US congressional hearings regarding Vietnamese refugees. It is featured in “Being: New Photography 2018,” which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from March 18 to August 19, 2018. Here, the artists discuss the political and personal impetuses behind their approach and how race, gender, and labor are often made invisible in cultural narratives.

Excerpts from an interview with Huong Ngo and Hong-An Truong