In early 1998, hundreds of young artists applied to the MFA program at UC Davis, hoping to attend one of the top art departments in the country; only seven were accepted and enrolled that fall. Those seven artists would share an intense and formative experience together for the next two years, pushing themselves creatively and conceptually, and bonding personally. That cohort graduated and received their MFA in the spring of 2000; this exhibition at the Elliott Fouts Gallery celebrates the 20th anniversary of that right of passage.
Against the odds, all seven artists are still practicing twenty years later, though the forms of what they create has changed for some. Six of the seven came into the Davis program as painters, one as a sculptor. That sculptor, Robin McCauley, is now painting. And one of the painters, Anya Ulinich, has become a successful writer and illustrator of books and stories.
The other painters: Jose Arenas, Loretta Bourque, Jeff Leake, and Vonn Sumner are all still actively painting and exhibiting their work. After graduating twenty years ago, they have scattered across the country, currently living in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, and the Bay Area. The members of this unusually successful MFA class have shown their work nationally and internationally, have their work included in many private and public collections, and have been featured in numerous prestigious publications.