You are here

Irwin 2019: Present/Tense

Opening Reception
Wed, May 29, 2019, 5:00 pm to Thu, May 30, 2019, 4:59 pm
Sesnon Gallery

Irwin 2019: Present/Tense

Come and celebrate with this years Irwin Scholarship Award recipients! Enjoy refreshments and live music while viewing the exhibition and getting a chance to talk to the students about their work.

Opening reception:
May 29, 2022 5-7pm; Awards Ceremony and Remarks 6pm

The 2019 Irwin Scholars are:
Ella Boker
Lizzy Choi
Jesse Collins
John Contreras
Marcus Cota
Kaleigh Fleischmann
Jamie Franks
Sophie Lev
d Lynch
Gregory Shilling
Oliver Stoops
Ashley Rose Tacheira
Yu Zheng.

In this present age, information is distributed virally through online digital platforms. As emerging artists, “How do we anchor ourselves to our personal understanding of the world when we are constantly being bombarded with images of false advertising and propaganda?” The Irwin scholars ask, "How does the role of the artist evolve in a generation where content creation and self-publishing have become increasingly accessible?”

Present/Tense features thirteen artists whose works both process and challenge these questions and the insecurities of a constantly shifting socio-cultural landscape.  Examining the personal impact of structural inequality, environmental destruction, technological anxiety, globalized alienation, and the commodification of the self, Present/Tense explores the position of the artist in an unsustainable world. It is an attempt to navigate the 21st century maze of institutional boundaries, powerful corporations and exponentially-progressing technologies with candid self-expression and humor.

Showcasing a variety of approaches to contemporary art practice, the exhibition includes drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, stop-motion animation, artists’ books, performance, and video installation.

In the face of blatant structural corruption, an increased need for honesty is placed upon the voices of the next generation. “I look forward to the Irwin scholar exhibit each year,” says 2012 Irwin scholar and local Santa Cruz artist Louise Leong. “It’s interesting to see the work of these emerging artists’ transform or conform to a formal art space and hear the student perspectives of if and how a space influences their practice.”

About the Irwin Scholarship
The William Hyde and Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund was established in 1986, with a modest donation by Sue Irwin, and now generates 12 annual merit scholarships to further the education of selected UC Santa Cruz students for proven excellence in the arts. The William Hyde Irwin and Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship is our most prestigious student scholarship in the Art Department. The scholars are nominated by faculty to submit a portfolio of work and then are selected by an all faculty vote. This annual, professionally organized exhibition has become a tradition in the art department and for the Sesnon Gallery for over 34 years. This scholarship shows the far-reaching effects of support for the arts. 

View past Irwin Scholars exhibitions