Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

SDSU Downtown Gallery Looks Into the Future

“Futures Past and Present” showcases student and faculty work that considers artists’ unique visions of the future

SDSU Downtown Gallery Looks Into the Future

Caselle Reinke, Elements of Life, 2018; copper, 5 x 4 x 2.25 inches; courtesy of the artist

By: Elizabeth Allison

The SDSU Downtown Gallery presents Futures Past and Present, Saturday, February 9 – Sunday, April 7, 2019. The exhibition is comprised of artwork created by faculty and students from the SDSU School of Art + Design. Futures Past and Present showcases works that consider not only how the future has been previously predicted to be, but also how our present reality will inform what is yet to come.

Collectively, the selection imagines areas such as environmental degradation and sustainability, urban growth, personal ambitions, technology, and cultural transformations linked to gender, race, sexuality, and nationality.

Inspired By SDSU’s Common Experience

Futures Past and Present is the fifth in an annual series of juried exhibitions inspired by SDSU’s campus-wide initiative, Common Experience. Common Experience aims to increase interactions among students, faculty and staff through an array of academic endeavors, including lectures, seminars, and activities. This year’s theme is “Experience Time.”

“The exhibition title, Futures Past and Present, prompted artists to consider their own visions of the future, and how previous thoughts about the future have influenced where we are today,” said Chantel Paul, director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery. “These manifested in artworks that speak to themes of tradition, inter-galactic travel, technological advances, and what societies of the future might look like.”

Selected works in Futures Past and Present are made from a wide variety of media, including ceramics, traditional woodworking, and metalwork, as well as digitally fabricated materials, and digital media artwork. There are also several interactive works in the show.

“Because the theme of the show is the future, there isn’t a single tone, but rather a multiplicity of views,” said Bridget Gilman, SDSU assistant professor of art history and co-curator of Futures Past and Present. “Some of our artists have very optimistic visions of the future and the possibilities of new inventions, while others caution us about our relationships to the environment and technology. We’re excited that the exhibition offers room for contrasting moods and ideas: no one knows precisely what the future will hold, but we all have hopes and concerns.”

Ties to the Curriculum

The SDSU Downtown Gallery has collaborated with SDSU Library’s Special Collections and University Archives to include cased objects for this exhibition. This is the first time that SDSU Love Library’s holdings have been brought into the Downtown Gallery.

“As part of the School of Art + Design and SDSU, it is our mission to be a vital link between campus and the greater community,” said Paul. “We do this in many different ways with public programming throughout the year, but this opportunity to bring in artwork created by students and faculty very directly allows visitors the opportunity to see what kind of artwork is produced in our School.”

The exhibition is divided into four specific categories: personal subjects, alternate realities, inventions, and the built environment.

Where and When

Futures Past and Present runs Saturday, February 9 - Sunday, April 7, 2019 at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. The SDSU Downtown Gallery is open to the public and admission is free. Hours are Thursday through Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

Exhibition Events:

As part of the exhibition, the SDSU Downtown Gallery will host evening events, which are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 14, 5:00 p.m.: “Seeing the Future,” Lecture by Colin Marshall: SDSU Campus, Check for updates on the event location

Thursday, February 21, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Opening Reception with the Artists, SDSU Downtown Gallery

Thursday, March 21, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.: *Downtown at Sundown, SDSU Downtown Gallery

*Downtown at Sundown is a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD). It is held on the third Thursday of each month. Downtown at Sundown is a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD). It is held on the third Thursday of each month.

Futures Past and Present is co-curated by Professor Bridget Gilman and organized by the SDSU Downtown Gallery with collaboration from the SDSU Love Library. The exhibition and events are sponsored by the SDSU Common Experience, the School of Art + Design, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and Arts Alive SDSU. Additional support is provided by the San Diego State University Art Council Ambassadors.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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