Past Exhibitions - 2018

Made by Hand Holiday Art Show

Opening reception: Thursday Nov. 29, 5pm – 7pm

On View: November 29 - December 29, 2018

Our annual affordable art show is back - with a new name. Join us for 'Made by Hand' a celebration of works by 48 local artists including: sculpture, ceramics, drawings, paintings, book arts, fiber, and jewelry. 

All priced at $100 or less and perfect for Holiday shopping. 

Shop local and support local artists!

made by hand_marketing_image

SPECTRUM: exploring gender identification



Rora Blue, Don't

image shown: Rora Blue, from the series "Don't"

SPECTRUM brings to MCLA Gallery 51 a reflection and conversation on the gender continuum—exploring cultural and social issues of gender roles, norms and identification. The work include in SPECTRUM examines masculinity, femininity and gender identifications between and outside of this binary.

The 29 national and international artists in the show have used their artistic voice to examine, question, confront and critique the relationships between gender and society.

"This exhibition turns to the ability of artists to confront the status quo and challenge cultural standards, providing a framework for discussion and change through visual arts." - Arthur De Bow, MCLA Gallery 51 Curator


Read the press release
See additional images from the exhibition

Additional Programming:

What We Ask of Institutions: Art, Race, and Protest Today

October 16, 6-7p MCLA Design Lab

Expanding on ideas presented in her recently published book "Whitewalling: Art, Race and Protest in 3 Acts," join Aruna D'Souza for a free, public lecture at MCLA Design Lab (49 Main St.)

The talk will be followed by a Q+A session. 

Parker Bright 

Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal,, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. 

Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She currently editing two forthcoming volumes, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson, and A Presence Which Signals Absence: Lorraine O'Grady Collected Writings 1977-2018.

This talk is made possible through the generosity of the Hardman Family Endowment.

Why Representation Matters: A conversation about the role of museums

November 8, 2-4p MCLA Gallery 51

(part of MCLA's Day of Dialogue events)

BCRC director Michelle Daly will lead the group in a conversation that explores how artists and art institutions are responding to the colonial legacy of the museum. Using recent controversies at the Walker Museum (Sam Durant's Scaffold) and the Whitney Biennial (Dana Schutz’s Open Casket) as our jumping off point – we will discuss how contemporary art museums and arts institutions are grappling with these questions. While also considering how an expanded understanding of art, which considers the cultural position of the artist, moves us away from the traditional neocolonial structures of (western) art history.

SPECTRUM: embodied

link to program

Co-curated by Bryanna Bradley '17 and Michelle Daly. 

with work by: Aye Eckersen, J. Bouey, Katy Pyle, Rina Espiritu, Malcolm Peacock, Amanda Romanelli, Don'Jea Smith, Heath Upton, Alyssa St. Franc, Billy Dean Thomas.

Spectrum: day 1

November 16-17 various locations

Schedule of Events (subject to change)

November 16 - link to fb event

2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Rina Espiritu: Daydreaming: The cop is studying - (Durational Performance, Freel Library)
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Malcolm Peacock:    A reading class called    Of what had I ever been afraid?   (   Bowman 319) utilizing the texts of Malcolm X and Audre Lorde to have participants consider how and reflect upon the ways in which speech/movement play potentially active roles in their lives.
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
MCLA Campus: Walking Performance Tour (meet at Freel Library)

November 17 - link to fb event

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Ballez Class taught by Katy Pyle at the Campus Center Dance Complex
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Guided Tour - Spectrum Exhibition - MCLA Gallery 51
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Open Mic - Design Lab
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Works in Progress Showing - Design Lab
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Closing Celebration - the Green

SPECTRUM:embodied surveys the different thoughts, feelings, and expressions of gender in relation to space and the body. As an extension of the SPECTRUM exhibition at MCLA Gallery 51.

Some questions we’ll be asking along the way:
can the performing body challenge Institutional space & culture?
how institutions persist or resists white/heteronormative bias? 
how gender is presented, mis- presented, or erased by institutions?
SPECTRUM:embodied invites performers and the curious to shift boundaries of creation, performance, and belonging. Performers will consist of both MCLA students and professional/ working artists.
SPECTRUM: embodied activities include a ‘walking performance tour’ of the MCLA campus, open mics, work-in-progress showings, movement classes and a closing celebration   Performers will inhabit different locations on and off-campus to make visible the often unseen pathways/entrypoints/windows into the unfamiliar.
CLOSING CELEBRATION featuring Billy Dean Thomas AKA “The Queer B.I.G” 
billy dean thomas



Collectively, the 19 regional and national artists of SHEL•TER present their work as a response to the multitude of conceptual, physical, emotional, political, and social interpretations of shelter.

A New Fall

image: A New Fall 17, Stephanie Serpick

Exhibiting Artists: William Archer, Deborah BouchetteDoug BreaultValerie CarriganLaura ChristensenMichelle Daly , Julia DixonPeter DudekMar GomanHeidi KirkpatrickMelanie Mowinski, Linda and Opie O'Brien, Sara Farrell Okamura, Thomas Orr, Stacey PiwinskiJackie Sedlock PotteryStephanie Serpick, and Max Spitzer

“The work in SHEL•TER will ask the viewer to consider different connections and interpretations to the meaning of shelter. My hope is that the work will promote intellectual and emotional engagement between the viewer and the exhibition” - Arthur De Bow, MCLA Gallery 51 curator.

Charles Giuliano: Heads and Tales

July 26 – Aug. 25, 2018

Opening reception Thursday July 26, 5pm - 8pm

Artist talk Wednesday Aug. 8th 6pm – 7pm

Rolling Stones, Image courtesy of the artist

The exhibition Heads and Tales is a retrospective covering four decades of images. They were created to illustrate newspaper, magazine, and on line articles focused on all aspects of the arts from jazz, rock and the fine arts to theatre. Each photo will have accompanying text about it’s moment in time and Charles' relationship to the subject.


June 28 – July 21, 2018

Opening Reception Thursday June 28, 5pm – 8pm

Artist Talk Wednesday July 11, 6-7pm


read the press release

see additional images from this exhibition

"Urban environments are full of abstract designs created accidentally or intentionally by human activity. Scuffs and scrapes, stains, grid lines, surveyors’ markings, and graffiti fascinate me.  There are surprising juxtapositions of materials and texture in the urban environment. I like to create artwork in direct response to what I see." - Betty Vera

Betty Vera, security

image shown: Security, Jacquard tapestry Cotton
Photo: Carin Quirke de Jong


On View: May 24 – June 22, 2018

Opening reception: Thursday May 24, 5pm – 7pm

Artist Talk: Thursday May 24, 5pm - 6pm


pride, (Acrylic and Flashe on panel) 24x36 inches, image courtesy of the artist and Gallery 6/67 

Sheffield draws propositional interventions between ancient and contemporary history as a tool to provoke skepticism of the hierarchal forms, shapes, and language embedded in western hegemony. Each mark made is preceded by a rhetorical gesture sourced from his personal experience serving in the US Army and being deployed to Baghdad, Iraq.

Artist Statement

The politics of recognition stands at the intersection of race and empire. It requires the subordinate to acknowledge, learn, and demonstrate their assimilation to the standards of the more powerful, in order to gain certain ‘privileges’ and ‘inalienable rights' granted to those in charge. I draw propositional interventions between ancient and contemporary history as a tool to provoke skepticism of the hierarchal forms, shapes, and language embedded in western hegemony. Each mark made is preceded by a rhetorical gesture sourced from my personal experience serving in the US Army and being deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. I collage text, drawing, print, and include official army documents to represent the institutional language used to move human bodies in support of military operations - the prologue to training for war. Other mediums of language take the form of drawing and construction sourced from used and discarded materials in order to occupy visual and physical space to represent tensions between empirical influence and interpretation.

I am interested in standards of rhetoric disguised as rational and objective. I reserve skepticism toward the inherited assumptions of the terms ethical and neutral. From my experience within the military - both globally and within the United States - these terms inherit a history in violence of erasure, exclusion, and invisibility through dehumanization. Through the process of constructing paintings and installations, I am trying to engage with the audience a mechanism for identifying a specific residue of western hegemony - language and perception. Skepticism plays an important role in the work through the use of obfuscation of text, figurative representation, and the structural integrity of form. It provides the viewer the opportunity to determine blind spots - to resist or refuse the urge to validate forms of perceptions through naming. Ultimately, I am interested in the potential collapse of ‘standard’ interpretations of representational forms, as well as the geopolitical consequences of America's military interventions and occupations abroad.


The Human Condition

Human Condition Image Collage

April 26 – May 19, 2018

Opening reception Thursday April 26, 5pm – 7pm

A collaborative exhibit created, curated and advertised by seniors at MCLA,THE HUMAN CONDITION showcases the work of art students finalizing their undergraduate creative careers. Led by Melanie Mowinski, seniors Molly Gurner, Jackie Smith, Halie Smith, Nicole Stearns and Samantha White each explore current states of condition through analyzing affecting factors. The exhibit brings together sculptural pieces, paintings, drawings, digital media and poetry.

Honoring Communication Through Advocation

Molly Gurner honors the speechlessness experienced by ALS sufferers, while creating a platform to further inform and educate on the disease. 


Jackie Smith develops a collective self-portrait through exploring intimate relationships that have impacted her. Through these paintings, she outlines her personal perspective for viewers.

Who I see, who they know

Hallie Smith counteracts the societal attitudes towards women by creating an encouraging light in which she portrays the inspiring women around her.


Nicole Stearns shares her narrative of what it means to be an American that is both a woman and biracial. Her self-portraits and collages create a layered identity for viewers to experience.


Samantha White displays the mathematical phenomena that occurs in nature and the human figure . Tapping into roots of words and culture, she creates bridges between common gaps of separation.