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A Building Named For An Artist, Not A Donor

Here’s a refreshing development: Last week, the School of Art at the California Institute of Arts said that it was naming its new building of artists’ studios for John Baldessari, an artist. not for a major donor.

JohnBaldessarStudioI can’t think of a parallel, but I’d like to hear of others if they do exist.

Baldessari is both an alumnus (of Chouinard) and a long-time faculty member of CalArts. The school plans to raise money for the Baldessari building (pictured at right) with a benefit auction that will feature “more than 70 important works of art by CalArts alumni and faculty” next spring. Funds raised in this initiative will also endow scholarships for students at CalArts.

CalArts hints in the press release that it can do that because it counts “an exceptional number of influential artists” among its alums, and many of the most influential will contribute to the fundraiser. Here’s what that entails:

  • More than 40 works donated by CalArts alumni artists will be presented in an exhibition and sale at Paula Cooper Gallery and Metro Pictures in New York from April 5th to April 19th, 2014, with a preview to take place at Regen Projects in Los Angeles in March 2014. Clara Kim, most recently Senior Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center and former Gallery Director and Curator of REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) from 2008-2011 will organize the exhibition, providing a rich context that illustrates the history of CalArts.
  • Artsy, the premiere online platform for discovering, learning about, and collecting art, will be the exclusive online partner for the presentation and sale of the works.
  • On May 13, 2014, Christie’s will auction works by more than 20 artists including John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Vija Celmins, Matt Mullican, Catherine Opie, Tony Oursler, Ed Ruscha, Carrie Mae Weems, and James Welling, among many others.

CalArts expects to raise $5 million from the sales. More details here.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of CalArts



  1. TheWhomas says:

    Would it kill you to credit the architect of the building?

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