Straddling the Boundaries

May 7, 2016 - July 8, 2016
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday - Friday
Fellows of Contemporary Art
970 N. Broadway, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90012


In the contemporary art world one could easily think that every “medium” is in crisis. There is constant shifting and borrowing among disciplines. This is not a new way of approaching art-making, but artists are increasingly embracing diverse creative and presentational possibilities in order to enhance their ideas and concepts. The idea of layering and juxtaposing images with materials has been practiced since the “readymades” of Marcel Duchamp. But contemporary artists continue to explore the blurring boundaries between images, objects, process, and media in new and exciting ways.

This exhibition showcases the work of Colin Gray, Melissa Manfull, and Ricardo Rodríguez. Though they all grew up in different countries, there are commonalities in their approach to their work and conceptual interests. Paper and wood form elements of many of the works displayed – either in relation to drawing in the case of Manfull and Gray, or photography in Rodríguez’s work. At the same time, each explores landscapes in one way or another; either by investigating the structure of their media, or by deconstructing the location in which they live.

Melissa Manfull, Colin Gray and Ricardo Rodriguez’s works compose a distinctive exhibition which showcases a hybrid approach to creating and presenting artworks. By borrowing from various different media – two-dimensional and three-dimensional – these artists are straddling the boundaries between them, and liberating themselves from medium-specificity.


Colin Graydeparted England’s shores for Santa Barbara 35 years ago, and since that time has exhibited in solo shows locally as well as in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Primarily working in sculpture, drawing, and installations of drawings, he has also completed three permanent public art projects, two in the Santa Barbara area and one in Los Angeles. His artwork has been described as being 'monuments to the imagination', 'simultaneously horrific and ecstatic', ‘whimsical', ‘wild', ‘funny', ‘scary', 'improvised but ancient', and ‘undeniable'. He has been awarded several grants, including the Santa Barbara County Individual Artists Award, as well as a Pollock/Krasner. He taught sculpture at the College of Creative Studies, UCSB, for nine years, and still teaches drawing at various places including Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Lifelong Learning, and VITA art center in Ventura.
Melissa Manfullis a Los Angeles based artist who has exhibited in California, Montreal, London and Boston. Her awards include the Armory Center for the Arts Teaching Fellowship, Palm Springs Art Museum Summer Teaching Residency, and Los Angeles Printmaking Society Scholarship. Manfull received her MFA from Concordia University Montreal, Canada. She participated in the Fellows Curators Lab show "Witty and Urbane" curated by Kristi Lipirre in 2015.
Ricardo Rodríguezwas born and raised in Puerto Rico where he studied art at the University of Puerto Rico. In 2010 Rodríguez earned his Master’s in Fine Arts at Brooks in Santa Barbara, California. Rodríguez utilizes photography, installation, and video to explore the different ways he can approach reality. Since the beginning he has been interested in creating conceptual work, and he is particularly interested in blurring the line between reality and representation. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California and he has exhibited nationally and internationally. As an art educator Rodríguez taught photography at Ventura College in Ventura, California. While living in Ventura he curated the Tool Room Gallery for four years, and was a board member of Bell Arts Factory. Currently, Rodríguez lives in Los Angeles California and teaches photography and video at Glendale City College and Flintridge Preparatory School.

More Information

Connie McCreightFOCA Curators Lab Chair

Public Events

Straddling the Boundaries: Opening Reception

May 7, 2016
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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