Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017 - 8:00 am

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) in collaboration with the University of California San Diego Department of Visual Arts presents A Step Away: Artists from the MFA Program at UC San Diego, an exhibition featuring work by eleven graduating artists.A Step Away opens at the Museum’s popular and free monthly program, Downtown at Sundown, held on Thursday, April 20, from 5 to 8 PM. The exhibition will remain on view at MCASD’s Downtown location through May 29.

Co-curated by MCASD Assistant Curator Anthony Graham and UC San Diego’s Art History, Theory, and Criticism PhD alumna Lara Bullock, A Step Away showcases a wide range of interests, from investigations in material, surface, and form, to concerns with of memory, labor, and the body.    

The exhibition's title is adapted from the 1956 poem by Frank O'Hara, A Step Away from Them. In one of his earliest Lunch Poems, O'Hara steps out into New York City for lunch--using his casual observations and experiences to write his intensely personal poetry. Bringing the everyday into his art, O'Hara's work prioritizes being in the world, narrating his walk through the streets, and points to the various ways of experiencing the city. This exhibition presents work by artists on the cusp of completing graduate study, a step away from the university campus and into MCASD's galleries. 

The artists in this exhibition are brought together through their time at UC San Diego and their work represents an exciting diversity of concerns and practices. A Step Away presents works made separately but alongside one another in the studios on campus, as a sort of landscape, offering surprising interactions and points of connection among a grouping of works--and peer artists--that are at once familiar and strange.

Participating artists include Trevor Amery, Michael Ano, Seth Ferris, Saúl Hernández-Vargas, Audrey Hope, Morgan Mandalay, Erick Msumanje, Amy Reid, Joshua Saunders, Patrick Shields, and Patricia Zambrano.

A Step Away: Artists from the MFA Program at UC San Diego is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the University of California, San Diego Department of Visual Arts. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.