5 design things to do this week: June 3 - 9, 2019

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This week, you can: see how hybrids of science and art are MADE at UCSB; discover art and architecture in Pasadena; go to an electric opening of Japanese Pop art by Takashi Murakami; hear fiber artist Karyl Sisson talk about her work; and have a cocktail with master ceramicist Akio Nukaga and friends.

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1) MADE [at] UCSB

MADE [at] UCSB is the Media Arts and Technology Program’s (MAT) End of Year Show at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Showcasing graduate student work that connects media art, design and engineering, the show represents hybrid work that informs both scientific and aesthetic discourses. Over 50 installations, performances, concerts, and technical presentations will be staged by artists, scientists and engineers from the MAT community and beyond.

The selection of work spans themes such as virtual reality, robotics, quantum physics, machine learning, electronic music and many other trans-disciplinary practices. This year, two special tracks will present work at the cutting edge of art and engineering: the artificial intelligence special track, curated by Fabian Offert, will investigate the recent intersection of machine learning and the arts. The fabrication special track, curated by Mark Hirsch, will feature new modes of fabrication with novel materials and machines. You can read more about the event and see more images here.

When: Friday, June 7, 5 - 9 pm

Where:  California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), University of California, Santa Barbara, Elings Hall, Santa Barbara 93106

Tickets: Free

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2) BoldPas: A Day of Art & Play in Old Pasadena

It’s bold and colorful, fun and playful, large in scale, and on the streets of Old Pasadena.  Returning for its third year, BoldPas is an intersection of local design, architecture, art, history, and public space, featuring selected site-specific installations in Old Pasadena’s unique historic setting. Visitors are invited to spend the day walking the district and encountering artistic interventions at every turn. Gather with friends, stroll the historic 19th century alleys, meet artists and local business owners, snap and share your photos, and connect with Pasadena’s creative community.

When: Saturday, June 8, 12 - 8 pm

Where: Throughout Old Pasadena. You can explore an interactive map here.

Tickets: Free

3) Gallery Opening: Takashi Murakami 'Electric Exhibition'

Known as "the Andy Warhol of Japan" for his contemporary pop synthesis of high and low art, Takashi Murakami is recognized for his "superflat" style, a term he coined to describe the flat, post war 2-D style of Japanese art (manga, anime) and the flattening of Japanese social classes. 

In accordance with this "superflat" concept, Murakami's practice involves repackaging elements usually considered "low" or subcultural and presenting them in the "high-art" market. He then further flattens the playing field by repackaging his "high-art" works as merchandise, such as plush toys and T-shirts, making them available at more affordable prices. Martin Lawrence Galleries' Takashi Murakami:  Electric Exhibition, featuring Murakami's signature flower works, will showcase the colorful paintings and graphics that are emblematic of the artist's work. You can learn more about Murakami here.

When: Saturday, June 8, 6 - 8 pm

Where: Martin Lawrence Galleries, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear St, Costa Mesa 92626

Tickets: Free

4) Karyl Sisson Artist Talk 

Fiber artist Karyl Sisson finds inspiration in the the beauty and simplicity of ancient, indigenous, and animal architecture, organic growth, and patterns found in nature (as with the coral-like sculpture in the photo above). Using recycled or repurposed materials (like old cloth tape measures, wood clothespins, vintage paper drinking straws and vintage zippers), Sisson explores in her own words "the physical and psychological properties of holes, cavities, insides and outsides." You can hear more of the artist's words about her work this week at the Craft in America Center, and see pictures of more of her work here.

When: Saturday, June 8, 4 - 5 pm

Where: Craft in America Center, 8415 W 3rd St, Los Angeles 90048

Tickets: Free. You can reserve a seat here.

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5) Opening Reception: Akio Nukaga and Friends

Since 2009, Heath Ceramics has been championing the "staggeringly elegant, simple, and beautiful designs" of Japanese Master Potter Akio Nukaga and bringing them to the United States. His signature line, “pleated work,” is described as "rustic and modern, simple and beautiful, tactile and practical." Nukaga believes that '[his] works are meant for everyday use even if it means them getting chipped or worn out,' a natural changing of appearance and materials with age and use that is respected in Japan.  A master of technique, Nukaga says that "the creativity and personality will shine through your work naturally, and it is up to the end users to decide whether or not they appreciate your work." Well apparently, many people do.  You can join Nukaga and his friends Hideki “Taka” Takayama, Tung Chiang, Cathy Bailey, and Robin Petravic for a public cocktail reception.

When: Saturday, June 8, 5 - 8 pm

Where: Heath Ceramics, 7525 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Tickets: Free