* This event is being sponsored by the ARTS Obispo (the SLO County Arts Council)
and the Cuesta College Art Department. *

Ruth Fash Art TalkAndrea Zittel presents this year’s RUTH FASH ART TALK in the Cuesta College Humanities Forum, Room 6304, on Sunday, September 28, 3:00-4:30-p.m. This public event, including parking on the SLO campus, is free of charge, with refreshments and reception to follow.

Zittel’s experimental and remarkable work transforms acts of living into acts of art. She is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work includes paintings, architectural “living units,” handmade clothing, recycling systems, breeding projects and A-Z West, a 35-acre desert site near Joshua Tree, California.

Zittel’s creations have been featured in exhibitions throughout the world including the New Museum in New York City and MOCA/Geffen in Los Angeles. This artist has transformed natural landforms in Central Park, in the Art and Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and in the Mohave Desert. Zittel’s work has been shown in Florence, Stockholm, London and Berlin. In addition, her art was featured in Artforum magazine, on the cover of Art in America and in the book Andrea Zittel Lay of My Land.

After studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design, Zittel settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and began experiments to determine exactly what is and is not art. These investigations led to the conclusion that “There is really no such thing as a non-creative gesture.”

Since that time she has been creating art by consciously applying creative gestures to where and how one lives, even down to the clothes one wears. Zittel has designed “living units” that dot the landscape at A-Z West in Joshua Tree. Rather than spending time buying and choosing what to wear each day, she simplified the process by making clothing to be worn for three consecutive months at a time. The result is that she wears an elegant uniform of her own design for each season.

As LA Weekly wrote, “…it’s the problems presented by everyday living, lifestyle and modern life in general that are the essence of Zittel’s work.”

Several local people were inspired to organize a lecture series to honor Ruth Fash after her death in 2004. Ruth believed that bringing vibrant visiting artists into our midst enriched our lives and connected us to the culture at large. Thus the RUTH FASH ART TALKS were conceived to continue her involvement in this community with a lecture series that brings an important person from the art world to SLO County to give a public talk. Since 2005, the RUTH FASH ART TALKS has brought seven innovative speakers to San Luis Obispo County.

Ruth Fash held a key volunteer position in the 1990s at the SLO Art Center (now known as the SLO Museum of Art or SLOMA). She worked alongside curator Arne Nybak as his assistant. Ruth’s main legacy from that time is that she wrote the guidelines and headed up the committee that hired the first paid curator for our most established local art institution. Although Ruth has been gone now for nearly 10 years, her generous spirit is still felt and continues to inform life on the Central Coast.

Besides her works of art in public places that included banners on the streets of San Luis Obispo and the sculptural tapestry “Firecracker” that hung in the entrance to the SLO branch of the County Public Library for many years, she taught in the Department of Art and Design at Cal Poly, curated exhibitions for SLOMA and her artwork is part of their permanent collection.

Rachel Rosenthal, an icon in the world of performance art was the first speaker in the series, followed by successful young visual and new media artists Andrea Bowers and Amy Franceschini. American Crafts curator Jo Lauria spoke in 2012, and Ruth’s very own accomplished son and daughter-in-law, William and Barbara Fash, took time off from Harvard University’s Peabody Museum to speak to us about their important archeological work in Copán, Honduras.

RUTH FASH ART TALKS is collaboration among ARTS Obispo (the SLO County Arts Council), Cuesta College Art Department and a volunteer committee comprised of Lorraine Conlen, Elizabeth Johnson, Marta Peluso and Stacy Williams. For more information, including how to make a donation in support of this ongoing lecture series, visit the Ruth Fash Art Talks Facebook page, email RuthFashArtTalks@gmail.com, call ARTS Obispo at (805) 544-9251 or Marta Peluso, Ruth Fash Art Talks committee chair at (805) 543-2336.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / Lauren_milbourne@cuesta.edu / Posted: 8/21/14