The VPA program is very unique in its integration of studio and theory courses. This has direct application for the fields of public and community arts as well as teaching and museum professions.

"OUT" Lauren Frazier -VPA Capstone Spring 2014 →
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Devon Johnson

Belike Water

I define art as the creation of form to evoke thought.  For this exhibition, Belike Water, I have installed a mural and a sculpture within a depiction of a segment of the universe.  Both the mural and sculpture utilize the following as symbols: human figure, the four elements, our earth, and the sun and moon.  Some major themes intended behind these symbols are the promotion of sustainable thinking and management, the importance of understanding human’s responsibilities to Earth, and spreading the idea that water should be held sacred.  My main goal is to persuade the public to re-evaluate their current treatment of this vital resource.  Water is the most essential of all life’s needed resources and should be respected as such.  Ultimately, I am asking for the public to research local and global water issues, and to be involved in them.  In turn, this will cause the management and allocation of water to be determined by the public rather than self-interest groups driven by agriculture, industry, and commerce.  An informed public leads to a community with greater public participation on its issues.  Also, I am asking the public to understand the importance of sustainability – especially with regards to water.  We must stop building communities that are blindly over-consuming.  Instead, communities must research ways to set up communal infrastructure that allocates water in a way that will sustain Earth’s yearly hydrological cycle.  As of 2009, humans are taking 14% more water than what the hydrological cycle replenishes each year – and the percentage grows. I envision a future that combats this; a future where sustainable practices are the backbone of human communities.  Getting the public to believe, research, and be involved is the first step towards this future.  I feel art has the ability to inspire such actions, and this is why I decided to create Belike Water. It is the human interaction with Earth’s essential resources, i.e. water that creates a positive or negative outcome for our future.

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Kirsten Jane Brown


This collection represents a connection between the Central Coast’s Art and Military histories and provides an unusual glimpse at military training from a psychological point of view. It presents the formal display of Fort Ord’s surviving collection of handmade items in collaboration with The National Steinbeck Center.  Additionally, it follows my own creative development as a curator from idea inception to exhibition execution.

As a lifelong resident of Monterey County with far reaching family ties to the United States military, I developed a sense of pride and ownership in the collection and became inspired to narrate this element of local history for the public as part of our local collective heritage. I discovered the underground collection of soldier’s artworks while studying museum preservation and conservation at CSUMB.

The “Arts and Crafts Program” was a section of the Special Services established in 1944 to address the matter of morale and as a response to soldiers’ interest in creative arts recreation.  Its goal was to stimulate, develop, and maintain the mental and physical well being of the military community by facilitating participation in a variety of recreation activities during off-duty hours. Initial class offerings included drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. In 1951, the program was renamed the “Army Crafts Program” and expanded to include ceramics, metalwork, leather crafts, model building, woodworking, and automotive repair in addition to previous offerings, all of which were available on Fort Ord as choices within its 2,500 classes per year. All artwork in the exhibit was created by Vietnam War era soldiers who participated in the Fort Ord “Arts and Crafts Program”. Most of the artists and the exact dates of creation are unknown. It is likely that many of these pieces were created by soldiers who were in transition on their way to war, some of whom never returned.

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By Rachell Hester

Perception is what makes the human race so unique. When facing our own perceptions of others, we gain information through visual cues. People from a young age are engrained with stereotypes. Upon first impressions of people, individuals label others with certain characteristics. I encourage you to challenge your ideas about stereotypes. I have given you “first impressions” through portraiture.

Grayscale seemed appropriate given my portraits represent a diverse group of people as subjects. The large scale of the installation forces the viewer to step back in order to fully appreciate the magnitude of each subject and combined expressions. My portraiture is focused specifically on the subject’s expression. These people are my friends, people I’ve met, people I love, and people that took a great picture.

Imperceptions, though visually shared by viewers, is uniquely perceived. We are all stereotypes that you may not immediately understand or recognize. Recognizing stereotypes, and then realizing that people are more than what is perceived is my intention. By responding emotionally to these amusing portraits we are able to cross the boundaries of our imperceptions.

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Time lapse video

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Isaac Salume 

Quarantine Zone

Artist’s Statement

Our creations take on a life of their own. Despite the politics of our time, the situations we create, and the purpose for which we create, what we make is truly wild and not wholly our own. Shapes change, materials decay, and time makes strings of our own work. It’s an evolutionary process and it will continue for long after we have passed, and our creations lie abandoned, adopted, or discarded, waiting to take the next step forward along the path of evolution. Insects are appealing to me. Their modular construction and simple behavior calls to mind the simple mechanics of the devices used in our everyday lives. It’s the fusion of biology and technology, of our technological world emulating biological forms have designs prototyped millions of years before human beings fashioned the first novel implements. While we consider ourselves master of technology, we often lose control, powerless before nature. The ultimate expression of this is for technology to integrate with nature itself, adapting and subject to nature’s laws. These machines, possessing their own methods of reproduction and adaptive evolution, lose their dependence on humanity for creation. We no longer consider these creations our subjects, but as rogue entities, the other instead of the familiar, a threatening prospect as much as a fascinating evolution from artificial creation to true synthetic life-forms. 

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