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Johanna Poethig
Social Architecture and Public Space: Projects in the Field

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Translocalities/transmodernities: Panel Discussion, Seminar Room, Townsend Center

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Polycentric sessions, UC-Berkeley, Townsend Center for the Humanities
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This presentation by Johanna Poethig will focus on local, national and international public art projects and exchanges. From collaborative works with the incarcerated in California to International Mural Projects in Cuba and Mexico and the recent expedition to the Philippines on the “Galleon Trade” this work builds connections and addresses the issues of visual culture, mural and street art traditions, contemporary public art practice, media art, gender issues, colonialism, activism, globalism, art education pedagogies and curriculum and definitions of community. The work spans from the early 1980’s to present and will explore the way this form of artistic communication is the same and has changed over the years in relationship to the politics and available technologies of the times,

Participant's Bio:
Johanna Poethig has exhibited internationally and has been actively creating public art works, murals, paintings, sculpture and multi-media installations for over 25 years. She was raised in the Philippines through highschool and has lived in Chicago, San Francisco and Oakland since coming to the United States. She received her BFA at University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Poethig’s work crosses the private and public realms. Her paintings, sculpture, video and installations reflect her interest in symbol, satire, society and our consumerist culture. She has shown this work at the Togonon Gallery, New Langton Arts, The Luggage Store Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, The Bronx Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. She produces and participates in performance events that mix feminism, global politics, costume, props, cabaret, experimental music and video. She recently produced and performed in the “Extreme Insecurity Forces” at 21 Grand in Oakland. Her video “Barbaric” was shown in the Netherlands and in Manila at the Mag:net Gallery this summer as part of the “Galleon Trade” exchange.

Johanna Poethig’s public art works intervene in the urban landscape on public buildings, along freeways, in parks, hospitals, schools, Universities, homeless shelters, and advertising venues. She has received numerous commissions and awards for this work. She was recently selected to do a major public art work for Glide’s new housing development in the Tenderloin, Her recent projects include mural on a 24 story historic building for downtown Chicago’s loop district, an interior public art work for the new Clark Center in Vancouver,Washington , and the artwork for San Francisco’s new Juvenile Hall created in collaboration with Julio Morales and for Youth Uprising in Oakland created with Mildred Howard.

Johanna Poethig is on the faculty of the Visual and Public Art Department (VPA) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). As an arts educator and community artist she deconstructs traditional "art world" boundaries in a collaborative artistic process grounded in a process of research, production, critique, improvisation and reciprocal learning. As one of CSUMB's pioneer faculty she contributes this experience to VPA's innovative and socially engaged arts program. Her interest in the dialogue between the public and personal, politics and aesthetics, the ridiculous and the sublime and an inclusive cultural life informs her process and inspires her work.