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ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
Jan. 21, 2010 

LOTS OF ACTION IN SAVANNAH
The Savannah College of Art and Design, which boasts 9,900 students, already operates 11 art galleries in three cities (Savannah, Atlanta and Lacoste in Provence) -- and is opening a 12th in Hong Kong in March with a show of works by SCAD grads. According to Laurie Ann Farrell, SCADís director of exhibitions -- who visited New York City recently to brief a handful of art journalists over lunch at Tipsy Parson on 9th Avenue -- SCAD plans to open a full-blown Hong Kong branch in the fall, offering 14 degree programs (and specializing in digital media), that should be the sole U.S. college in Asia to grant an art degree. The site is the historic, seven-story-tall North Kowloon Magistracy Building, and Farrell hazarded that SCADís extensive architectural preservation program helped the school close the deal with Hong Kong officials.

With so many spaces, SCADís exhibition lineup is a busy one. "Point of Entry," a show about art and architecture presenting works by Scott Ingram, Lucy Williams and Josef Schulz, opens at Galerie Pfriem in Lacoste on Jan. 22, 2010. Currently on view is Erick Swensonís "Caught Captive" at SCADís Trois Gallery in Atlanta, and "NO LAB on Tour" by artists Cao Fei and Map Office at the ACA Gallery of SCAD at the Woodruff Arts Center, also in Atlanta. Next month, California artist Clare Rojas opens "Through the Woods" at the ACA Gallery, while in March 2010 the Cuban-born Alexandre Arrechea, a former member of Los Carpinteros, presents "The Rules of Play" at SCADís Gutstein Gallery in Savannah. And if thatís not enough, the SCAD Museum of Art officially launches an 18-month-long renovation on Jan. 21, 2009.

But Farrell, the former curator at the Museum for African Art in New York, is especially happy with "Africa on My Mind: Contemporary Art, Home and Abroad," a series of three exhibitions held in conjunction with SCADís "Third Biennial Art History Symposium," which takes place Feb. 26-27, 2010. One show, dubbed "Wild Is the Wind" after Nina Simoneís 1964 ballad of the same name, is already on view at the Gutstein Gallery, and features works (many new commissions) by Ghada Amer, Lara Baladi, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Nicholas Hlobo, Odili Donald Odita, Zineb Sedira and Penny Siopis. As for the symposium itself, "Africa on My Mind" features a keynote address by independent curator, critic and novelist Simon Njami. For more info, see www.scad.edu.

MEXICALI BIENNIAL AT OTIS
The Ben Maltz Gallery at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles opens the "MexiCali Biennial 09/10," Jan. 23-Mar. 20, 2010, featuring works by artists from California and Mexico selected by artist-curators Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez -- who founded the event in 2006 at La Casa de la TŪa Tina in Mexicali -- along with Amy Pederson. Emphasizing both the "hybridism" and the "transgressive" nature of the international boundary, the show promises a "soccer intervention" at the Mexicali/Calexico border (the border serves as midfield, with a team in each country) by an art group named Homeless (artists Cristian Franco and Felipe Manzano, based in Guadalajara). For more info, see www.mexicalibiennial.org

Artists in the show include Skip Arnold, Juan Bastardo, Bordermates, Anibal Catalan, Pablo H. Cobian, Jeff Chabot, Michelle Chong, Fernando Corona, Fidel HernŠndez, Luis G. Hernandez, Rebeca HernŠndez, Homeless, I.C.E., Nicholas Kersulis, Ryan Lamb, Ivan Limas, Albert Lopez, Matt McFarland, Txema Novelo, Susana Rodriguez, Michelle Romero, Ernesto Rosas, Joaquin Segura, Gustavo Siono, Francesco X. Siqueiros, Sergio Torres-Torres, Jason Wallace Triefenbach and Fundaciůn Wanna Winnie.

SKOWHEGAN ALUMNI AT 92YTRIBECA
92YTribeca, the downtown Manhattan entertainment venue (at 200 Hudson Street at Canal Street) recently opened by the 92nd Street Y culture powerhouse on the Upper East Side, is hosting a special exhibition of works by alumni of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. "Skowhegan at 92YTribeca," Jan 21-Mar. 3, 2009, features works by 11 artists spread throughout the Yís ground-floor space: Katarina Burin, Asuka Goto, Heather Hart, Courtney Jordan, Noah Klersfeld, Bennett Morris, Matthew Northridge, Carol Pereira, Julia Randall, Adam Parker Smith and Mary Temple. The show is curated by Grace Evans, director and partner at Zach Feuer Gallery; Christina Ray, founder and director of Glowlab in SoHo; and Marisa Sage, founder of Like the Spice Gallery in Williamsburg.

"RITES OF PASSAGE" AT 41 COOPER
Cooper Unionís new 41 Cooper Gallery, located on the lower level of its muscular new Thom Mayne-designed academic building at Cooper Square in the East Village, opens "Rites of Passage," Jan. 21-Feb. 11, 2010, a group exhibition devoted to "the transition between generations, of young people as agents of change as well as witnesses to the passing of obsolete ideas." Curated by Thomas Micchelli, the show features mostly custom-made works by 1995-2009 Cooper School of Art grads. For a complete list of exhibitors, plus info on an upcoming panel discussion, click here.

ETHICS & ESTHETICS IN FASHION?
"Sustainability" is a new buzzword in the fashion business, and Pratt Manhattan Gallery is getting to the root of the matter with a free panel discussion set for Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, in the lecture hall at its space at 144 West 14th Street. "The Sustainability Equation: Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Fashion" promises to look at issues surrounding the use of "recycled, renewable, organic fibers and the employment of fair labor" in the world of couture. The panel is moderated by Francesca Granata and Sarah Scaturro, guest curators of Pratt Manhattan Galleryís current exhibition, "Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion"; panelists include Barneyís New York fashion director Julie Gilhart; designer Mary Ping, and Uluru founder Caroline Priege.


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