FALL 2009: Barbara Benish

Barbara Benish was raised in the U.S. and moved to the Czech Republic in 1993, after completing a year as a Fulbright Lecturer-scholar in Prague. Her installations and sculptures look at the crucial histories of the West and it's empires, the environment, and images femaleness in hybrid stories. Benish’s work has been shown at P.S.1 Museum in New York, U.N.E.S.C.O. Headquarters in Paris, the Venice Biennalle in Italy and a survey exhibition at Pomona Museum of Art, at the Claremont Graduate University in California. Her work is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Stadtgeschichtliche Museen in Nurnberg, Germany. She has had over 30 solo exhibitions in Europe and the U.S., and been included in over 100 group shows.

The Giving Tree
December 4– 12, 2009
Reception: Friday, December 4, 5-6:30pm
Barbara Benish installation (Visiting Artist in Residence)
Saturday, December 5, 2-3pm: Talk on ArtMill International School
of Creativity for Youth in the Czech Republic (
and reading of The Giving Tree in the gallery

The installation, especially created for the Sesnon Gallery,
is based on the classic children's story by Shel Silverstein.
The story opens up questions about our environment and the
balances of need and want in human nature.


Since 2003, Benish lives with her family in the Bohemian countryside, raising organic food, and running ArtMill, a school for creativity and sustainability, featuring a gallery and artist-in-residency for international visitors.

Related Links:



WINTER 2009: Adia Millett

Exhibition Project at UCSC: Sesnon Art Gallery

ADIA MILLETT received her BFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997 and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2000. Upon completion, Millett continued her post-graduate career as a resident at the Whitney Museum’s ISP, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem‘s studio program.

A recent NYFA recipient, Millett’s work has been featured in venues such as the Barbican Gallery in London, The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, The California African American Museum, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California and her work can be seen at &



FALL 2008: Charbel Ackermann

Charbel is a Swiss born artist who works and lives in London. His work involves drawing, painting, installation and digital media, and deals with spatial visions, urban topography, geographies, and imaginary and real architecture and landscapes. Collaborations with visual artists, architects and musicians are essential to his practice. In the US he has shown at The Drawing Center in New York, the Pasadena Museum of California Art etc. He is a graduate of SFAI and Goldsmiths College London.

Student projects will be at the center of his class. Participants will reflect on the role in their work of the “real” which may be sampled/collected or otherwise referred to or documented. This will be contrasted to the place the gestural, constructed or narrated artefact has in their practice, in the form painting, drawing, sculpture etc. The aim of the class is to make individual and collaborative work while members clarify their artistic preoccupations. The collaborative effort will be accompanied by the publication of a joint manifesto. Students will be asked to read selected texts and to participate in regular slide shows featuring the work of contemporary artists mainly from Britain and Europe.

artist's website



SPRING 2008: Brad McCallum & Jaqueline Tarry and Matthew McGuinness

Three Visiting Artist in Residence (UCSC Art Department Course ART-127A and 127B)

Brad McCallum & Jaqueline Tarry artist's website

A collaborative artist team since 1998, Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry have worked and exhibited globally, seeking to surface and discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. Their work, which moves fluidly between large-scale public projects, performative sculpture, painting, photography, video and self-portraiture, challenges audiences to face issues of race and social justice in communities, history, and the family. Embedded within their work, whether it is of an historical, personal, or civic-based nature, is their standing as an interracial couple.

Matthew McGuinness artist's website


Secondly of inspiration is our environment. There is an ever more growing concern regarding the collaboration between fossil fuels and environmental pollution. It is more and more obvious to the casual observer the earth is in a genuine crisis. It is not the case exactly, that “The sky is falling” (1) but there has been found a significant hole. So I will deploy the umbrella of alternative fuel to keep it from further recess and allowing any and all things to land on our heads. It has been said that “London’s Burning” (2) despite a visible blaze, the earth was still reported by the E.P.A recently to have heated 1°. I intend not to throw any more proverbial gasoline on the fire. I am not going to encourage outdated and dangerous notions like that of petroleum, to be explicit and necessary to enjoy life and all it's encompassing contemporary luxuries. I will demonstrate a charming and heavenly time, knowing that for my new found trips, my 10-12 mile per gallon guzzler, will be burning 75% - 95% cleaner emissions. We will not entirely be contributing, to the possibility of a human induced global warming of the planet.



SPRING 2007: Philip Ross

Many of the artworks that I make are created through the design and construction of controlled environmental spaces. In these environments I nurture, transform, and refine a variety of sculptural artifacts much as one might train the growth of a Bonsai tree. My desire is that a person encountering this artwork will consider the idea of nature within a frame of social and historic contexts.

Below is an image of Juggernaut, which is a self-contained habitat for one living plant. Three blown glass enclosures provide a hydroponic environment; the plant's roots are submerged in nutrient-infused water, while LED lights supply the necessary illumination. I have drawn on two culturally divergent traditions for Juggernaut- Chinese scholar's objects and Victorian glass conservatories, which share the belief that nature is best understood when seen through the lens of human artifice.

Juggernaut- 2004 24" x 36" 10"

artist's website




Resident Visiting Artists 2006-07

Julian Myers, Winter 2007

Jeannene Przyblyski Fall 2006

Tirza Latimer Spring 2006