sfai news

December 17, 2010

SFAI Alumni Mauricio Ancalmo and Colter Jacobsen receive 2010 SFMOMA SECA Art Award

San Francisco Art Institute alumni Mauricio Ancalmo and Colter Jacobsen are among the recipients of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s biennial SECA Art Award for 2010. Presented by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), the award honors Bay Area artists who are producing accomplished work but have not yet received substantial recognition. The four winners—Ancalmo and Jacobsen, along with Ruth Laskey and Kamau Amu Patton—were chosen from more than 250 artists nominated by Bay Area art professionals, and will be featured in an exhibition at SFMOMA opening in fall 2011.

Ancalmo received his MFA from SFAI’s New Genres department in 2006, and works in the New Genres and Film departments as a studio coordinator. He creates installations and kinetic sculptures from discarded objects and machines such as turntables, 16mm film projectors, sewing machines, and word processers, pushing these mechanical instruments to their material limit so that chance, physical breakdown, and erosion become incorporated into his working method. By re-combining and re-imagining media, he generates a structural dialogue that is poetically and philosophically inspired. He also draws on his upbringing in both El Salvador and the United States to explore cultural and personal themes such as assimilation and isolation.

Ancalmo’s show Lux vs. Lumen is currently on display at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, and runs through January 22, 2011. The show comprises two new installations that deal with the subject of perception as sight and sound. Ancalmo’s work will also be featured in the upcoming Bay Area Now 6 exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, which opens in February, 2011.

Jacobsen received his BFA from SFAI in 2001. Primarily culling ephemera and debris from the streets to use as source material, Jacobsen creates graphite drawings, watercolors, and collages that often embody his strategy of searching for, finding, or creating nearly identical pairs. Recent subjects of his found images—vintage portraits of sailors, digital profile shots from online gay dating sites, newspaper obituaries—are charged with longing and desire, while the depictions of nature scenes such as seascapes and waterfalls nod to Romanticism and human identification with the natural environment.

Jacobsen’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Corvi-Mora, London; Tibor de Nagy, New York; and Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco.

Numerous other SFAI alumni have been honored with SECA Art Awards, including Barry McGee (BFA 1991), Kota Ezawa (BFA 1994), Andrea Higgins (MFA 1995), Leslie Shows (BFA 1999), and Sarah Cain (BFA 2001).