Press Release

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 2:08pm
Oakland Museum of California Presents New Exhibition UNEARTHED: Found + Made
Exhibition Juxtaposes Contemporary Sculpture by LA-based Artist Jedediah Caesar with Traditional Japanese Suiseki from Bay Area Clubs, Opens December 12, 2015 in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art

(Oakland, CA)—The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents UNEARTHED: Found + Made, a new exhibition intermixing work by Oakland-born, LA-based contemporary artist Jedediah Caesar with the creative practices of two local amateur clubs—California Suiseki Society and San Francisco Suiseki Kai.  Referring to an interest in geology as well as to the literal act of discovering and gathering materials from the California landscape, UNEARTHED: Found + Made draws new connections between distinct works of art and creative practices, highlighting process and shared appreciation. On view December 12 through April 24, 2016 in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art, the exhibition is curated by Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture Christina Linden.

The exhibition includes six new works by artist Jedediah Caesar, who imitates geological processes in the process of making his sculptures, sometimes casting found material from the urban environment in resin and slicing these cast pieces to reveal the aggregated material within. Alongside Caesar’s artworks, 21 works by members of the California Suiseki Society and the San Francisco Suiseki Kai, two Bay Area clubs, reflect the art of suiseki—a traditional Japanese practice of carefully collecting, appreciating, and displaying stones from nature on carved wooden platforms.

This unique mash-up highlights the parallels in creative process and sensibility shared by the club members and the artist: each collects loose material from the landscape, and reworks and presents it for shared appreciation, creating something extraordinary from the ordinary. Through comparison, the exhibition generates conversation and mutual understanding around these two distinct yet similar creative processes.

“On a recent stone collecting trip with the San Francisco Suiseki Kai one of the members told me that when she is out searching she tries not to look for anything, but rather just to look. We hope the exhibition will reward those who come looking for either artwork or special rocks—and also those who just come looking—with the experience of finding something new and unexpected as they draw their own connections between the intriguing and compelling works on view,” says OMCA Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture Christina Linden.

About Jedediah Caesar

Jedediah Caesar received his BFA from the Museum School, Boston/Tufts University, and his MFA from UCLA. He has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bloomburg Space in London, UK, D'Amelio Terras Gallery in New York and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture, at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. Writing about his work has appeared in Mousse Magazine, Art in America, Frieze Magazine and Artforum. He is currently the director/curator of the Todd Madigan Gallery at California State University, Bakersfield.

About the San Francisco Suiseki Kai

The San Francisco Suiseki Kai’s primary activity is stone collecting, hosting several group collecting trips each year to various northern California locations. They also organize base-making workshops, meetings featuring lectures on suiseki and related topics, and group critique and lively discussion of stones collected by members. They hold regular meetings at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland, and an annual exhibit at the Japan Center in San Francisco. San Francisco Suiseki Kai was founded in 1981 by a group of issei (first-generation) Japanese-Americans. Their first teacher, Keiseki Hirotsu, helped to introduce suiseki to California in the 1960s. Several members of the original group of Japanese speakers continue to participate, but the membership also includes native speakers of a variety of languages including English, Mandarin, Russian, Tagalog, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese, and the club now conducts all activities in English. sfsuisekikai.wordpress.com

About the California Suiseki Society

The California Suiseki Society was founded in 1993 to bring together individuals who shared a passion for suiseki. Originally, the California Suiseki Society was the only local club to hold all meetings in the English language, playing an important role in helping to spread enthusiasm for suiseki to a diverse group of Californians, as did the book Suiseki: The Japanese Art of Miniature Landscape Stones, which was written by its founder and longtime instructor, Felix G. Rivera. Through group stone collecting trips and with monthly meetings and annual exhibits at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland, California, the Society seeks to educate those who are new to landscape stones and build camaraderie among longtime enthusiasts. facebook.com/CaliforniaSuisekiSociety

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA's groundbreaking exhibits showcase multiple voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California's cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in its history and future. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California's dynamic heritage.

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum. museumca.org

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