Triton Arts – Winter 2015 to Summer 2018
An arts and humanities community of UC San Diego students & alumni was built through workshops, exhibitions, general body meetings, and new opportunities for all members with like-minded artistic and humanitarian passions.
Open to students from every discipline, TritonArts has aimed to share the arts and humanities with a community where the majority of students are preparing for careers in STEM fields. Oftentimes, students outside of the Division of Arts and Humanities do not get the experience of being around artists or creating art in the classroom. TritonArts aims to fill that gap by breaking the barriers imposed by the traditional lecture setting and establishing a space in which members are comfortable to create, critique, or simply talk about art. The TritonArts team is composed of event attendees, active members, and board members who come together in a friendly, fun, and academic organization.
Founded in Winter 2015 and over the past three school years alone, TritonArts has had 50 events such as social events, workshops and art exhibitions. TritonArts’s events have hosted a total of around 1000 people, from undergraduate Computer Science majors to Fine Arts Students. The only requirement for membership is an appreciation for art and the events are open to anyone who is interested. TritonArts also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and leadership within an organization and its necessity in order to achieve a well-rounded community.
As an academic organization TritonArts strives to bring learning opportunities to students outside of the classroom. Where many classes teach theory, workshops can be useful in developing practical skills that would be helpful in reinforcing and building upon the classwork and art practice of the students. Many of the workshops are taught by graduate students enabling them to share their experiences and pass on their knowledge to the undergraduate students.
Art Grant Writing Workshop
The Visual Arts Department offers a number of grants for student artists to use towards their projects. The Russell Grant and the Class Project Grants are great resources available every year for young artists to realize their art works.
However, there are not many resources available to help students write and apply for grants. Triton Art held a grant-writing workshop open to all members of the UCSD art community, led by Visual Arts MFAs Trevor Amery and Michael Ano as well as PhD candidate Stephanie Sherman. These leaders provide invaluable resources concerning how to write successful grants and what the steps applying for funding entail. The workshop walks students through the process of starting, editing, and finalizing an artist statement, creating a CV or resume, planning a budget. These skill are applicable to all artists for the entirety of their careers even after their education.
Art Internship Workshop
Internships in the art field can be immensely helpful in developing careers for Visual Arts students and can often be used towards academic credit at UCSD. Triton Art, in collaboration with UCSD’s Academic Internship Program hosted an event on Arts Internships in San Diego. The event brought together the Event Coordinator from Sparks Art Gallery, the Education Coordinator from MOPA and the head of Libraries Archives and Digitization at the Mingei International Museum to present on their internship opportunities. A representative from UCSD AIP gave an information session on how these internships could count towards students’ Visual Arts degrees. The students who were in attendance were able to discover what internship supervisors are looking for and network with important institutions.
Life in the Media Arts After Graduation
The media emphasis is one of the largest majors in the Visual Arts Department and most students want to be ready to pursue careers in their field right after graduation. Triton Art in collaboration with UCSD Career Services held a professional development workshop lead by Adriene Hughes, Director and Manager of the UCSD Media Teaching Lab. At this workshop students learned how to create strong resumes and cover letters for positions in the field of media arts.
Zine making Workshop and Exhibiting the zines at the ARTifact Gallery
Triton Art hosted a zine workshop providing creative strategies for individuals interested in small press publications. The workshop, led by MFA candidate Michael Ano, covered a brief history of Zines as well as the basics of Zine creation. The materials used were old brochures, flyers, and other publications from the Visual Arts Department and the University. This gave attendees the opportunity to demonstrate their Zine creation skills as well as connect with fellow members of the art community. After the workshop, the zines created were shown at Sixth College’s ARTifact Gallery.
While normally a space for Graduate students, the ceramics lab in the Visual Arts Facility was the site of two Ceramics Workshops for undergraduates led by MFA candidate Amy Reid. In the workshops the students were exposed to the creative and relaxing process of working with clay. The students who attended varied in skill level, some were absolute beginners interested in shaping clay for the first time while others had more experience and wanted to throw on the wheel. Some who came to both workshops were able to sculpt a piece at the first workshop and glaze it at the second one.
Art Critique Workshop
As artists it is always important to learn and improve upon our craft. After a General Body Meeting, one of the principal members Dmitri Mikhnev lead a workshop to help the attendees improve and better understand the art of the critique. The ability to critique and receive critique is crucial in learning and in improving upon one’s artistic abilities. The difference between constructive and destructive criticism was discussed and applied during a group critique.
From its inception in 1967, the UC San Diego Visual Arts Department has been a hub of collaboration between media, class levels, and discipline. Nowadays, with five different undergraduate majors and strong MFA and PhD programs, UC San Diego’s Visual Arts department has fostered the collaborative effort that has made it the program it is today. In recent years, undergraduate students have created work by partnering with MFA and PhD candidates as well as with undergraduate students in vastly different fields, such as Structural Engineering and Urban Studies. Triton Art wanted to celebrate this legacy and foster interdisciplinary co-operation, an effort which led to the Let’s Collaborate event. Let’s Collaborate was a conversation exploring methods and opportunities for activating participation in the UC San Diego visual arts community across all levels: BA, MFA, and PhD. This event attempted to answer tough questions such as: “What are the ways we can engage in each other’s practices, from group shows, to events, to collectives, to projects and initiatives? What forms of collaboration can make us stronger, both individually and collectively?”
Triton Art Gallery
In the past year, Triton Art has hosted a number of artist talks on the UC San Diego campus. These talks were created in order to allow current Visual Arts students to learn from the experiences of artists who had previously been in their position. These events featured young artists active in and around the San Diego community, creating work in various media.
Triton Art hosted an event empowering young artists, by encouraging them to be more active and explaining that their youth is not necessarily a disadvantage. This event included Anna Huemmer, a young sculptural artist, who gave a talk about her own work and her experience as a young artist.
Walkthrough and Q&A of Oikeiosis, Michael Ano
During MFA candidate Michael Ano’s exhibition, called “Oikeio￣sis” Triton Art organized a walkthrough and conversation between Michael Ano and of the exhibition. Additionally, the organization planned an event in which artist Michael Ano walked through objects such as “Meanwhile” (a photograph), “will you wait for me” (a slide show), “A journey into the Jungle” (a video), “Siendo Dado” (a peep show), “The Fountain,” and “The Internet, you and I” (a collection of zines) with a group of students. During this walkthrough, he discussed his thoughts surrounding the jungle, intimacy, and affection with an intimate audience. After this tour, Sara Solaimani, who wrote additional essays for Ano on Oikeio￣sisi, led a Q&A section with Ano. During this time, the audience had the chance to directly interact with the artist, discussing their interests and questions, providing a deeper understanding of the work.
April 4th, 2015
Every April, UCSD holds an event called Triton Day, an opportunity for prospective students to visit the campus, learn more about academics, and get a taste of student life. Triton Art has participated in this event since its founding, in 2015, to provide information on its mission, upcoming events, and to provide personal experience on living at UCSD as an arts student.
Triton Art Triton Fun
Triton Art and Triton Fun was a recreational social event aimed at bringing new interesting creative experiences to the students. Through expressing their creativity with the variety of art supplies students were able to meet and get to know more of their art oriented peers. To inspire new ideas and demonstrate the possible directions in which art can go in the future, the VR club held Virtual Reality demos to the attendees. Entertainment was provided through creative expression by UCSD’s very own improv comedy group Foosh and a special experimental audio/visual performance was given by Young Ben, made up of two talented Visual Arts MFA students.
Weekly Screen Test
The Visual Arts: Media major is a program which offers courses that students to produced a large amount of video and film projects that are only ever watched in a lecture hall or classroom then discarded; as a result, Triton Art created the Screen Test. Screen Test aims to pursue the main objective of Triton Art and instill collaboration in addition to discussion over the arts outside of the classroom but inside of a casual setting. This setting provided by the historical Che Café, allows students to bring in projects that are either in development or are already completed for a soft critique of their works and grant an audience perspective of the work before it is abandoned. Students of all majors are welcome to watch or present their works for discussion and establish connections between those who have similar interests.
Artumnfest is an annual event presented by Triton Television. In the Fall of 2015, the event was put together by three organizations in order to bring the best experience to students. The three organizations that collaborated on this event were Triton Television, KSDT Radio, and Triton Art. Artumnfest featured live music and a submission based gallery of student work, including photography, painting, sculpture, and video. With over sixty attendees, this event was a fun chance for students to get to know each other as members of the arts community.
Virtual Reality Club, Triton Television, KSDT Radio and Art Power.
After Triton Art’s inception many other organizations that were involved in the arts had reached out and wanted to collaborate in some way. One of the first was the Virtual Reality Club at UCSD which is a student organization centered on the uses of virtual reality and its development. Triton Art was invited to one of their general body meetings where they had university faculty and startup companies discuss the current uses of VR and AR in addition to how students could already participate in on campus opportunities or company internships. The org. Also gave live demos of VR devices such as the HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift where student made projects could be tested.
The next org, the Black Arts Collective is a fairly new org at UCSD that works to center black voices in the arts. Due to the lack of black students in the university, the group hopes to counter that fact and create environments and platforms for students of color. Ultimately, their goal is to make art practices at UCSD more collaborative and supportive. The organization has hosted amazing Artist Lectures, promoted campus activities, and is run by a dynamic group.
UCSD PRO is a student org with a mission to bring worthwhile music production knowledge to the San Diego electronic music scene, as well as build a community of musicians that can work together and grow together. They welcome people from all backgrounds and pursuits, including singers, songwriters, classical musicians, and everything in-between. Their meetings consist of training sessions for beginners that break down certain components and genres when making music; in addition their more advanced members do sample and beat challenges, share tips/tricks, have alumni come and give talks. PRO is open to all students open to learn and due to their talented members they usually host events where they perform.
Art Happy hour
During the fall of 2015, UCSD’s Visual Arts Department began the year with an event bringing visual arts undergraduate students together to expose them to all the available resources. This was held by the Visual Arts Department and included a presentation by Triton Art to show incoming undergraduates the opportunities being a part of Triton Art could provide them. The audience started off in the Adam D. Kamil gallery, and later moved to the Structure Mechanical Engineering building for an information session where Triton Art, speakers for other programs, and graduate students shared available opportunities and their personal experiences. This event was established as a way to create a community for visual arts majors and minors and to introduce them to the many opportunities offered at UCSD.
Triton Art has hosted four General Body Meetings so far, one during every quarter. These meetings are a great opportunity to catch up with peers and hear about upcoming opportunities. Each meeting starts with every student introducing themselves and sharing their majors, as many non Visual Arts majors have gotten involved with the organization. Triton Art is a club that is open to all students, aiming to promote the arts on campus by providing information on the many talks and exhibitions taking place on campus, inspiration, and a place to create with others.
Our GBMs are often followed by a workshop helping students to engage with art outside of the classroom. After the Spring 2016 GBM, there was a short Constructive Art Critique Workshop designed to help students understand the process and the value of critiquing each other’s work. We have also had two Zine Workshops led by the talented MFA candidate Michael Ano, where students used provided materials to create their own zines.
Facebook and Emails and announcements
The facebook page, facebook.com/ucsdtritonart with over 600 likes, has been a powerful platform for reaching the student community. Each of the events hosted by Triton Art can be found on the page as well as a variety of other art related events on and off campus that students would be interested in. There is a high number of opportunities provided for students by the department, faculty, and student organizations, one of the goals of the page is to get more information out to students about fantastic opportunities they may not have heard about.
In the Fall Quarter of 2015, Triton Art launched the Triton Art Collaborative Student Group, facebook.com/groups/UCSDTritonArt/. The Facebook group is intended for students interested in art and art collaboration, it is a platform for students to communicate with one another about projects or events. Notes from general body meetings can be found on the page to help students who missed them, catch up on the latest information.
Triton Art was an invaluable resource during my undergraduate career. It provided a welcoming community of students from many different disciplines who were passionate about art. It was here that I was able to find excited and passionate volunteers for the Undergraduate Art Show Committee, hear from MFA students about their experiences, and keep up to date with the many events and shows that were happening around campus. As an active member I helped organize the Arts Internship event and participated on the Let’s Collaborate Panel.
The Department of Visual Arts ReView Publication highlights significant research, exhibitions, events, and accolades by UCSD Visual Arts faculty, students, and alumni.