deYoung and the Restless
CSUMB film students and alumnus will be featured at one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
The deYoung Museum in San Francisco, which began life as the Fine Arts Building in 1894, has in its collection thousands of paintings, sculptures, textiles, clothing, artifacts and other art objects from the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. That collection reaches back centuries and propels the museum’s mission of education, scholarship and preservation. At the same time, its more recent mission of showing contemporary art looks into the future. (Its Chuck Close exhibition of prints ended Oct. 14, two weeks before the Monterey Museum of Art’s Close exhibition opened.) The deYoung is the fourth most visited art museum in the U.S.
An exhibition there is a statement of quality and an imprint of substance. Students and alumni from CSU Monterey Bay’s Teledramatic Arts and Technology (TAT) Department have created a film that will be showing there that, fittingly enough, reaches back with a piece on ancient arts by young students who will carry art forward. (Full disclosure: My partner Enid Baxter Blader is the chair of TAT.)
It began with Ed Carapezza, a returning TAT student set to graduate this semester, who made a capstone graduation film project in 2011 called Shared Vision, a 5 ½-minute visit to San Francisco’s live/work artist co-op Project Artaud. He and a crew of TAT students shot and produced the short, which screened at the capstone film festival last year and was used in the CSUMB Summer Arts program. But that’s not the film that’s screening at the deYoung. It’s the sort-of sequel.
One of the artists profiled in Shared Vision is Javier Manrique, current president and resident of Project Artaud. Earlier this year, he was chosen as the deYoung’s November artist-in-residence to head their exploration and exposition of fresco painting, Frescomania: Bay Area and Beyond, which links ancient Teotihuacan wall paintings to the Sistine Chapel to modern frescoes around San Francisco. And Manrique called on Carapezza to make a companion film for the exhibition, Prepping for Frescomania, a gorgeously, crisply shot short that finds Manrique at his studio, preparing the pigment, plaster and canvas of a fresco painting, narrating about the process, set to a poppy instrumental.
“The desire to work with artists is at the core of who I am,” Carapezza says. “I love art. Where do you find the most freedom? For me, true expression of human thought comes through in art. It’s where I find joy.”
To capture that fidelity to the spirit of art, writer-director-producer Carapezza assembled a team of TAT students and recent alum like current TAT Community Outreach Coordinator Juan Ramirez, who’s won two international awards for his documentaries; Joshua Fryou, who’s shot actor John C. Reilly (Walk Hard, Boogie Nights); and 2011 grad Matt Bage, who did bumper animation for Carmel Art & Film.
“At CSUMB I watched my fellow students,” Carapezza says. “I came up with men and women who are extremely competent.”
In Carapezza’s first few years as a TAT major, he created films which were accepted into nine film festivals, including Mill Valley (several TAT students would get into Sundance).
“What we do in TAT, which is different from other schools, is create real world [scenarios],” media professor Steven Levinson says. “Equipment needs, process, finding locations, finding actors, legal work for locations, funding, writing a script, distribution. All of that gives them an understanding that allows them to do real world work. TAT creates students who are effective and aware artists. This is an incredible example. It’s really exciting to have [TAT] students involved in that.”
Carapezza seconds that.
“It’s a great petri dish of technical equipment,” he says. “at a small enough school that you get access to the tools you need to learn your craft, at an affordable price. Filmmaking is craft; you learn by doing it.”
Though the talent for this project came from TAT, the equipment, like the various models of Canon DSLRs they shot with, did not. (It’s reserved for sanctioned uses.) The film will loop at the deYoung for a month.
“It’s like fishing hooks we’re throwing out into the ocean,” TAT student and Prepping editor Rachel Kellum says. “We hope that people will see our work, like it and hire us.”
PREPPING FOR FRESCOMANIA runs concurrently with the Frescomania exhibit Oct. 31-Dec. 2, at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco (there is a “Fresco Painting and Orthodox Church” presentation Nov. 10, and artist/filmmaker reception Nov. 23), and screens at TAT in December. Shared Vision is at