News & Happenings


RoCoCo will be in residency at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles from October through December 2017.  RoCoCo will have open studio hours on Thursdays & Fridays from 11am to 3:30pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 2:30pm.  Come by and see what we're up to!


San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles             520 S. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113  •  phone (408) 971-0323

RoCoCo is proudly donating works to Berkeley Art Center and the San Jose ICA for their annual auctions.  The works will also be on display as part of the exhibitions at each location.

Berkeley Art Center's Collect! Annual Exhibition and Art Auction is on view September 2 -16, 2017.  The silent auction takes place on Saturday, September 16, 2017, from 6 to 9pm.  More information here:

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art's Connect & Collect:  37th Annual Art Exhibition and Auction begins September 23 and goes through October 21.  The silent auction is Saturday, October 7, 2017, 5 to 8pm.  The Live auction gala is Saturday, October 21, 2017, doors open at 6pm, auction starts at 7pm.  More information here:

The installation The Hearing by RoCoCo was created with a clear acknowledgement of recent events in American politics, journalism, and culture.  The work considers the operative root word “hear” and questions whether its definition still holds true for the systems that bind these facets of American society.  Is there an action of hearing taking place, or has it been co-opted and twisted so that the system is more about silencing and obscuring fact, ethics, and even morals?


RoCoCo has carefully considered the space the installation inhabits and has postured materials to evoke and meld symbolic, cultural, and utilitarian context.  Under the skylight in the middle of the gallery of Mercury 20, they have transformed every day comforting objects such as pillowcases and blankets, and subjected them to industrial processes that call upon the literal and symbolic meanings of the objects.  Metaphor, commentary, and a nod to conspiracy theories are all taken into consideration in the placement of the installation’s parts.


The collaborative duo known as RoCoCo is comprised of Mercury 20 Gallery artist KC Rosenberg and Modesto Covarrubias.  These interdisciplinary artists describe their practice as a dialog of making, and they are interested in the juxtaposition of materials and response to space (architectural and natural) in their exploration of complex emotional states, social justice, and contemporary culture.  RoCoCo’s work most often takes form through sculptural installations, but has also included video, performance, drawing, painting, and audience participation.  RoCoCo began collaborating in 2015 at Mercury 20 and has gone on to show work at the Oliver Arts Center in Oakland, and the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.  In October 2017 they will begin a 3-month residency at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.


RoCoCo is short for Rosenberg Covarrubias Collaborations (or collaborative, conspirators, conversations, corporation, coalition, commentators, co-editors, collective, cohorts, you get the idea...)


The Hearing will be on view at Mercury 20 in downtown Oakland from July 27 to September 2, 2017. 

RoCoCo will also be exhibiting a selection of wall pieces created during the production and planning of The Hearing.


This exhibition will feature over 120 artists from around the country.  I am honored to have been invited to participate and have produced two new works featuring persons near and dear to me as subjects.


If you are in LA on the 7th, please stop by the gallery...a regiment of Bay Area artists will be on hand to see this exhibition in person and to show our support and solidarity.








Walter Maciel Gallery is pleased to present With Liberty and Justice for Some, featuring the work of several contemporary artists who have been invited to create portraits of immigrants to the United States.  The show is a statement on the many fears surrounding the announcement of our new president elect and a powerful response rejecting the presumed policies that threaten to disrupt basic civil rights.  




As soon as the shock of the election results wore off, it became clear to us as art professionals our need to mobilize and create a positive message of hope within our curatorial program.  Suddenly so many communities are finding themselves under duress, attack and even deportation.  We began discussing our fears and challenges in hopes of sparking up ideas to unite us and protect the laws that support minority communities.  Part of that dialog included an idea brought to our attention by Monica Lundy, an artist working in the Bay Area and previously exhibited at Walter Maciel Gallery, who envisioned a collaborative group show allowing artist to comment on their anger and frustration within our new political system. The conversation was further enhanced by gallery artist Hung Liu, and together we came up with the idea of featuring portraits of immigrants; examining the very notion of our country’s foundation as a melting pot of individuals who emigrated from other places. The United States was built on many freedoms created to protect all of its inhabitants and we have spent many years securing different human rights. The new president will no doubt disrupt and change laws already in place for fair government.  The exhibition is appropriately planned in conjunction with his inauguration on January 20th and we hope the show will draw attention to many of the impending challenges.  




For the project, we invited artists across the country to do 8 x 8 inch portraits of various individuals who came to the United States as immigrants including historic subjects, personal friends and relatives, strangers and self portraits.  Several renderings simultaneously include disenfranchised communities, such as African Americans, LGBTQ persons, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, refugees and women, thus representing many of the communities being threatened by the new administration.  The work includes many different mediums such as acrylic and oil paint on canvas, mixed media and collage on panel, photography, drawings and other works on paper.  The culmination of specifically selected portraits will be assembled in an installation depicting the American Flag while others are grouped together to celebrate the diversity of our country.  Some of the notable subjects include actor Bela Lugosi, entertainer Grace Jones, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Jamaican political leader Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., Architect I. M. Pei, Province of Pennsylvania founder William Penn and several established artists such as Hung Liu, David Hockney, Marcel Duchamp,  Enrique Chagoya, Wanxin Zhang and Julie Mehretu.  Two gallery artists, Maria E. Piñeres and Nike Schröder, will present self portraits.




A major part of the exhibition is our commitment to support many valuable organizations that we feel will be compromised under the new administration, and who continue fighting for the rights and privileges of our communities.  With the support of all of the artists involved in the project, we are donating a portion of each sale to various non-profits including ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, Center for Reproductive Rights and the LA and SF LGBT Centers.  



Walter Maciel Gallery extends a heartfelt thank you to Monica Lundy in our appreciation for her time, passion, dedication and overall organization in making this important exhibition possible.  We encourage as much support and devotion in making the transition into our new America less fearful.

Modesto Covarrubias
Alison OK Frost
Paul Taylor
Stephen Whisler
December 2, 2016-January 26, 2017
Opening Reception 
Friday, December 2, 6-8 pm
Artist Talk at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Moderated by Enrique Chagoya,
Artist and Professor, Stanford University
Saturday, January 14, 2-3:30 pm
Alison OK Frost,Arctic Curse 2: Blackhawk Team, 2016, watercolor on Arches paper, 25 x 41 inches
First Friday Reception January 6, 6-8 pm
Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is pleased to present Turbulence, a group exhibition including sculptures and drawings by Bay Area-based artists Modesto Covarrubias, Alison OK Frost, Paul Taylor, and Stephen Whisler.
Throughout the past year, news headlines featured stories that have stirred deep contention and increased concern for public safety, from nationwide police brutality to domestic and international terrorism. The work in the exhibition Turbulence brings to light past and present times filled with turmoil, uncertainty, and unrest. The imagery includes symbols of the military, war, and violence, but the true inspiration for the works is not necessarily a direct comment on these subjects. Instead they focus on overarching states of conflict and power.
Modesto Covarrubias swathes heavy-duty weapons such as guns and grenades with crocheted coverings made in bright rainbow and soft pastel colors. Both in material and concept, the sculptures are a juxtaposition of toughness and vulnerability, where comfort and protection tempers destruction.
Alison OK Frost takes inspiration from found illustrations portraying actual local and global conflicts. Her delicately rendered watercolors create a tension between the emotionally charged content and her assiduous artistic process.
Paul Taylor's ink and conté crayon drawings depict former military sites and structures set within the Marin Headlands. Throughout the years, nature has been overtaking the manmade constructions, and lush topography now envelopes decommissioned bunkers and artillery installations.
Stephen Whisler creates monochromatic drawings of nuclear bombs and missiles, continuing his investigation into foreboding topics of surveillance, destruction, and the imposition of power. The images serve as a reminder that as people focus attention on terrorism, suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices, the nuclear threat is omnipresent, as the artist puts it "seemingly sleeping."
About the Artists
Modesto Covarrubias received a BFA in Photography from San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College. His work has been included in exhibitions throughout the Bay Area at venues such as the San Francisco Arts Commission at City Hall, Oakland Museum of California at City Center, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and most recently at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. Covarrubias currently is an Adjunct Professor at California College for the Arts. 
Oakland-based artist Alison OK Frost was born and raised in Los Angeles where she received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to earn an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Frost has exhibited her work in the Bay Area at the Headlands Center for the Arts, ProArts Gallery, Kala Art Institute, and the David Brower Center, and throughout the U.S. in New York, Ohio, and Missouri. Her work has been featured in publications such as the San Francisco Arts Quarterly, 7x7, Oakland Art Enthusiast, and New American Paintings.
Multimedia artist Paul Taylor received his BFA from Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota and his MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, Davis. Taylor's work has been included in exhibitions in the Bay Area at venues such as the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, ProArts in Oakland, and the David Brower Center in Berkeley. He has also exhibited his work in New York, Australia, Greece, France, Bulgaria, and the U.K. Taylor has received awards and artist residencies such as the Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship Award, University of Texas at Dallas Central Trak Residency, and various awards from the University of California, Davis.
Stephen Whisler earned his BA from the University of California, Davis and his MFA in Sculpture and Photography from Claremont Graduate University. He has exhibited his work in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Oregon, and throughout the Bay Area at venues such as the Napa Valley Museum, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, ProArts Gallery in Oakland, and the David Brower Center in Berkeley. Whisler is represented by Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.

Pop-Up Arts Festival:  5 Hour Sculpture!  Come out and see (and take part in) all the wonderful happenings that will transpire as part of 5 Hour Sculpture at Montalvo Arts Center on July 22, 2016, from 5pm to 10pm.  Gourmet food trucks, various beverage offerings, and many many performances and chances to see, hear, touch, and experience and engage with art and artists!


I am participating as a collaborative duo as part of the group known as Art Escapists.  There are 11 Escapists participating, including:  Monica Lundy, Shawn HibmaCronan, KC Rosenberg, Chelsea Pegram, Kija Lucas, and Rodney Ewing.

Open Studios, Saturday November 14, 2015.  11a to 6p.

More info:  Adeline/Magnolia Street Arts District, West Oakland!        -or-

EXPANDING DIMENSIONS:  CCA 2015 Faculty Exhibition

Exhibition dates:  August 24 to October 7, 2015

Tecoah Bruce Gallery in the Oliver Art Center, Oakland Campus

Free and open to the public
Opening Reception: Wed., Sept. 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
More info: Ande Cira,


Expanding Dimensions is the title of CCA's 2015 Faculty Exhibition -- a celebration of the working artists, designers, architects, and writers who teach and inspire the CCA community.

The exhibition includes a wide range of work from faculty teaching in all 22 undergraduate programs to provide a rich overview of the art, craft, design, and writing experiences that CCA offers.

This year's faculty exhibition Expanding Dimensions includes projects from CCA faculty members working across the college in a variety of disciplines and media to express their ideas and pursue their passions. Their work takes many different forms and explores multiple dimensions -- 1D text, 2D graphic, 3D object and space, and 4D time -- all the while reaching into the invisible, intangible 5D space of emotions where art, architecture, craft, design, and writing are capable of making the most meaningful connections with audiences. 

The exhibition includes works by Erik Adigard, Malic Amalya, Tim Belonax, Elin Christopherson, Modesto Covarrubias, Donald Fortescue, Taro Hattori, Clay Jensen, Patricia G. Lange, Andrew Lyndon, Devorah Major, Adam Marcus, Adam McCauley, Mie Preckler, KC Rosenberg, Karson Shadley, and Tina Takemoto as well as recent publications from faculty members.




Curated by Mara Holt Skov


Exhibition dates:  February 26 to April 4, 2015



ArtComplex: A Pop Up Art Exhibit, Review on Oakland Art, February 24, 2014

Artists Without Borders: 12 Artists Take Over a Former Doctor's Office in Oakland, Art Review on by Christian L. Frock. January 28, 2014

ArtComplex's innovative installation 'cross pollinates' local artists, Oakulture edition on Oakland by Erik K Arnold. January 28, 2014

Pop-up exhibition premiers at ArtComplex in Oakland, Arts & Exhibits on by Sumiko Saulson, January 17, 2014

ArtComplex launches popup exhibition: Twelve installations under one roof, Arts & Culture on Oakland by Liza Veale, January 15, 2014

The Waiting Rooms, Arts & Culture - Culture Spy on East Bay by Lenika Cruz, January 15, 2014

Art Complex is also mentioned in
Three Reasons to Cross the Bay Bridge by Lyndsey Ellis, February 1, 2014


Exhibition Dates: January 18 to March 23, 2014
Location: 560 29th Street, Oakland
Viewing: Saturdays & Sundays, January 18 to March 23, 2014, 12pm to 4pm and by Appointment
Opening Reception: January 18, 12pm to 4pm

ArtComplex: A popup exhibition January 18 through March 23, 2014

Between January 18 and March 23, 2014, ArtComplex will feature the work of installation, video, and 2D/3D artists.

Artists included are Nyame O. Brown, Lisa Carroll, Modesto Covarrubias, Amy M. Ho, Amanda Klimek, Chelsea Pegram, Matthew Scheatzle, Karen Seneferu, Malik Seneferu, Brett Snyder, and Monica Tiulescu & Alexandra Neyman.

560 29th Street, between Telegraph Avenue and the 29th Street freeway underpass, is a former doctor's office. There is a waiting room, a reception desk, administrative office, 12 examination rooms, 2 film development rooms, and 4 ADA compliant bathrooms on two stories.

ArtComplex is organized by Ernest Jolly & Chris Evans.

Performances organized by Chris Evans
ArtComplex performances will be a series of structured improvisations integrating live music and dance that respond to the artists' installations. Performance collaborators include Bandelion actors, dancers, and musicians; dancer, choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene, the avant jazz group, the Broun Fellinis; international solo artist Folawole, Bay Area dancer Nadia Oka, dancer, choreographer Sheena Johnson and more.

OPENING DAY PERFORMANCES, Saturday January 18, 2014
1:00 - 1:30 pm Chris Evans on cello with effects pedals
3:00 - 3:45 pm Duo with David Boyce on saxophone with effects pedal
Artists will perform improvisations responding to the space as visitors walk through

Performance Artist Web Presences
Broun Fellinis
David Boyce
Chris Evans
Byb Chanel Bibene
Sheena Johnson

Continue to check back here or at the ArtComplex website for additional updates.


Exhibition Dates: September 28 to October 26, 2013
Silent Auction: Saturday Oct 12
Live Auction: Saturday Oct 26

The annual art auction and exhibition at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will have on offer two drawings from the HOME BODY series. The auction will feature works from over 150 artists including Hung Liu, Esther Traugot, Freddy Chandra, Theodora Varnay Jones, Susan O'Malley, and Mari Andrews, who recently had work exhibited at the ICA (an amazing show, check out her work!)

Also, Donna Napper, SJICA's curator, included the HOME BODY drawings in the 3rd installment of the ICA e-newsletter "Curator's Picks" sent out on September 5th:

"Modesto Covarrubias is a multi-disciplinary artist whose oeuvre includes drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance art. Covarrubias' two elegant ink drawings intrigue me, with their curious forms made of dense networks of lines coalescing into solid yet abstracted masses.

The imagery first appears to be a cocoon or part of knitted clothing. The actual inspiration for these drawings (from the Home Body series), originated from the artist's visit to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. What Covarrubias observed there, and was later haunted by in dreams, was the collection of taxidermy birds, tagged and displayed in one drawer, while the birds' nests were fully intact and displayed in a separate drawer. This inspired the artist to contemplate the human need to create surroundings which offer comfort and protection, and further explore ideas about connections - between home and body, between creation and creator, and between the need to make or build and the need to preserve."


May 17, 2013 to September 2014

I am honored to have my work selected to represent the constituency of California State Senator Jim Beall in the California State Senate 2013-2014 California Contemporary Art Collection exhibition. A selection of the prints I produced during my residency at the San Jose ICA Print Center in 2010 will be exhibited at the State Capitol through September 2014.

From the California State Capitol Museum's website:

The California State Senate’s Contemporary Art Collection program, begun in 1997, recognizes and celebrates contemporary art created by the wide variety of artists throughout the state.

Every other year, each Senator is asked to select an artist who he or she feels best represents his or her district. In the past, they have been selected through school programs, senior centers, art galleries, and County art programs and arts councils. The result is a joint effort between the participating Senators and their artist.

These artists bring to the Capitol an extensive range of cultures, backgrounds and training. The media with which they work is also as varied-acrylics, oils, bronze sculpture, blown glass, mixed media, and watercolors. The talented, diverse and colorful selection seen at each show is a testament to the fact that contemporary art is alive and well in California.


Paper Work: When Paper Becomes Art
February 2 to June 7, 2013

The exhibition Paper Work at the Oakland International Airport (OAK) highlights six Bay Area artists who work with paper. From a site-specific installation by multidisciplinary artist Modesto Covarrubias to the extraordinarily complex origami by Goran Konjevod, this exhibition seeks to expose the many possibilities of the paper medium. Works by Hadley Williams and Monica Canilao feature found paper or commercial paper products as their inspiration. Artist Turburam Sandagdorj specializes in paper cut outs, typically creating images of his native land, while artist Bianca Kolonusz-Partee fashions collages of international ports. A selection of photographs also explores the artists’ working space as a sanctuary for the development of creative ideas and techniques.

Paper Work is located in three areas of Oakland International Airport. The exhibit sites are located in Terminal 2 between gates 25 and 26, in Terminal 1 before the security checkpoint and in the connecting walkway between the two terminals.

For this exhibition, Modesto Covarrubias has created Escape, a site-specific / site-responsive installation of hundreds of yards of tracing paper structured within a museum display case inside the busy corridor of Terminal 2, between gates 25 and 26. The artist has also lent several of his journal/sketchbooks which are on display inside Terminal 1, in the connecting corridor between the ticket/baggage claim area and the security checkpoint.

See more at the Oakland Museum of California's website.


Indexical Makers: 3 Bay Area Contemporary Craft Artists
March 10 to April 15, 2012

Opening reception & artist talk: Saturday, March 10, 5pm to 7pm

Three emerging Bay Area artists at the Marin MOCA. Featuring the work of Modesto Covarrubias, Ali Naschke-Messing, and Angie Wilson.

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, California, will present INDEXICAL MAKERS, featuring Modesto Covarrubias, Ali Naschke-Messing, and Angie Wilson, emerging artists whose work dynamically integrates form and content. The exhibition title, a play on the term “Indexical Marker,” refers to 2 key aspects of the work. The artwork is “indexical” in that it points to something else—it directs the viewer's attention to and often becomes a trace of another occurrence or physical object. “Makers” refers to the ways the artists employ craft-based tactics in their artistic practice. To refer to these artists as “makers” acknowledges the historical divide between the creation of so-called “fine” art, and the craft traditions of “making” objects, of “making do” with everyday materials often degraded by art institutions. Modesto Covarrubias utilizes knitting in his performance and installation pieces as a way to investigate psychological and emotional connections to physical environments. His knitting performances produce objects that serve as a trace of the actions of the performer, and his installations often engage the decor and design of a room, bringing attention to aspects of the space otherwise unnoticed by the viewer. Ali Naschke-Messing describes her method as one of extreme “site-responsivity.” Her thread-based installations poetically echo existing architectural forms or subtly chart the daily movement of light and shadow across the wall, ceiling, or floor. Her work is as much about the act of viewing as it is about the intricate form of her installations, as they require a form of patient looking akin to listening to a whisper. While they are definitely a striking beautification of commonness, they also hint at the infinite. Angie Wilson's primary medium is used work shirts, physical traces of anonymous laborers, woven into Persian carpet motifs or other craft objects. Wilson's artwork simultaneously weaves together questions of outsourced craft production, the mass production of the handmade, and the growing importance of re-usable materials. INDEXICAL MAKERS are artists whose conscientious use of materials encourages us to patiently re-view our immediate physical environment, and to be mindful of the makers behind the seemingly simple, everyday objects within that environment.

Marin MOCA, Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field, 500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA 94949


Museum Hours
Wednesday – Sunday
11am to 4pm
Museum Store open during regular museum hours and for receptions and special events.



One Thing Leads To Another - Seriality in Works on Paper
November 12, 2011 to February 25, 2012

Opening reception: Friday, November 11, 2011, 6pm to 8pm

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street
San Jose, CA

From the SJICA website:

Process and repetition in contemporary print and drawings

One Thing Leads to Another presents contemporary prints and drawings by artists who address process and repetition in their works. The exhibition highlights works created in the ICA Print Center by several of its talented Artists-in-Residence and simultaneously celebrates the art of printmaking and the ICA’s Print Center itself. One Thing Leads To Another will highlight and contextualize four of the ICA Print Center’s Artists-in-Residence including Modesto Covarrubias, Christel Dillbohner, Linn Meyers and Theodora Varnay Jones. Additionally, works by Mari Andrews, Brad Brown, Jaq Chartier, Amy Ellingson, Lea Feinstein, Robin Kandel, Anthony Ryan and Kim Rugg will be presented.

Through repetitive and sometimes systematic processes, the exhibiting artists generate a varied visual vocabulary where one work informs the next one and so on. Drawing on various disciplines, such as music, language, mathematics and architecture, and employing minimal materials such as paper, pencil and ink, the artists present the expansive possibilities that repetition yields in developing a series of works.

More on this exhibition here.


September 24 to October 22, 2011

I have donated a piece for the 31st annual auction at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.

As part of the auction, I, along with a lot of the other artists, have recorded an audio message about the donated piece. This will be available by using a smart phone that can read a QR code next to the piece on the walls of the SJICA.

The artwork in the auction will be viewable in person beginning September 24, 2011. It is now viewable online via the SJICA's flickr account HERE. You can see which artists have recorded messages about their works in the auction by perusing through the flickr images.
To listen to my recorded message, dial (408) 213-4293 and enter 53 #.

There are many different opportunities to connect and collect at the SJICA's auction, so drop by and take a look and take a piece or three home!


April 30, 2011 and May 1, 2011
9am to 5pm

The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will be hosting a weekend known as ArtHouse. This will be a weekend of art-making, exhibitions, art selling, artist talks, cultural connections and more!

Check out the schedule of events here.

I will be taking part in Printapalooza! (printmaking workshop) on Sunday May 1 and at 1:30 pm will give a demonstration of the processes incorporated to produce prints made while I was an artist in residence at the SJICA Print Center last year.

There will be a print fair, with a large selection of prints available by many local printmakers; exhibition tours with exhibiting artists and ICA curators; artist talks and demonstrations; an exhibition of prints produced through the SJICA Print Center's Artist In Residence program; food and more.

Come check out what the ICA in San Jose has to offer.

ALL OVER THE MAP - Poor Farm Summer 2010

All Over The Map: A Festschrift Exhibition for Moira Roth’s 77th Birthday is a year-long exhibition honoring the extraordinary work of this art historian, poet, and artist. The exhibition is culled from a weekend-long event of both formal and impromptu installations and performances that will take place at The Poor Farm in July 2010.
All Over The Map will feature artworks, installations, artifacts, and collections. It will also include a series of other exhibitions curated by Moira and Annika Marie e.g. Room of Memory, The Poor Farm: Fragments of a History, together with the traveling exhibition of The Library of Maps (that includes Moira’s poems and Slobodan Dan Paich’s Drawings.

More information here.

About Poor Farm and Poor Farm Press:
The Poor Farm is a contemporary art space, modeled after the northern European kunsthalle, located in the township of Little Wolf, Wisconsin. Poor Farm is an exhibition space dedicated wholly to artist's work and ideas. Poor Farm will present yearlong exhibitions in 6,000 square feet of exhibition space. The historic building sits on 2.5 acres of rural land. The property also hosts a 2,000 square foot dormitory building where artists, writers, curators and other related researchers can be in residence for varied lengths of time. Poor Farm Press will originate catalogues and other printed matter.

A few blog entries about the Festschrift Exhibition and the Poor Farm
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Questioning Contemporary Art


The process of installing LIMINAL at the SJICA, was captured on video. They did a great job of going unnoticed by me, so this video came as a welcome surprise. Check it out here.

Or copy this URL into your browser:


The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art is the site of Liminal, the latest installation by Modesto Covarrubias. The installation is open to the public beginning Saturday, April 10 and will be on view until Saturday, July 3, 2010.

Liminal is an immersive site-specific installation exploring ideas related to shelter, memories and imagined space.

Artist reception will be held on Friday, May 7, 2010. 6pm to 8pm.

Talking Art: a conversation with Modesto Covarrubias. Thursday, June 10, 7pm to 9pm.

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
T 408.283.8155
F 408.283.8157


The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (SJICA) is currently displaying works for its Monotype Marathon auction in their Focus Gallery. The auction takes place on Saturday, March 27th, starting at 5:30pm. You can check out the works online, but it is recommended to experience them in person; then you can take note which one(s) you will bid on.

After the Monotype Marathon, the Focus Gallery will be the site of Liminal, a site-specific installation by Modesto Covarrubias, which will open on April 10, with an artist's reception on May 7, 2010.

In the Cardinale Project Room, Libby Black: Workout Room will be installed and will also open on April 10, with an artist's reception on May 7, 2010.

More information about these two exciting art installations HERE and HERE.

Stay tuned for more details about upcoming artist talks and events.


Opening reception, Friday March 5, 2010, 6pm to 8pm.
Silent Auction, Saturday March 27th, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Preparations are underway at The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) for the gallery’s annual Monotype Marathon – a print exhibition and fundraising event that features more than 100 original works on paper created by some of the Bay Area’s finest printmakers. The exhibition runs from March 6th through March 27th at the ICA and culminates with a silent auction fundraising event on the evening of Saturday, March 27th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, March 5th from 6pm – 8pm, preceding the monthly South First Friday Gallery Walk.

The 2010 Monotype Marathon event begins with an intensive weekend of art making by more than eighty professional artists in printmaking studios throughout the Bay Area. These artists are invited by the ICA to produce a number of monotypes during the marathon printmaking weekend event held in January. The ICA selects the best work produced by each of the artists to showcase in the exhibition and to offer for sale in the silent auction. Proceeds raised from the auction go toward the ICA’s exhibitions and educational programs.
The ICA seeks support for the Monotype Marathon from its members and from the community by selling sponsorships of $300 that enable artists to participate in the printmaking workshops. Each $300 sponsorship donation serves as the opening bid on any of the works in the auction. All Monotype Marathon sponsors are guaranteed to receive a unique work on paper from the auction. Sponsorships are on sale now. Contact the ICA by phone (408.283.8155) or email ( to purchase sponsorships.

I am very excited and honored to be one of the artists producing a monotype for this annual event.

More information HERE.

Preview the prints HERE.

BAY VAN GALLERY - Closing Reception
Bay Area Visual Arts Network Gallery, featuring work by Modesto Covarrubias.

Closing Reception - November 19, 2009 5 to 7pm

455 17th Street
Oakland (between Broadway and Telegraph, just a block from BART)
(510) 508-1764

The exhibition runs through November 30 and is available for viewing by appointment. (510) 508-1764


The Bay Area Visual Arts Network Gallery will be featuring the work of Modesto Covarrubias in October 2009.

October 2nd to November 30th, 2009
Opening reception, Thursday October 15th, 6pm to 9pm
Closing reception, Thursday November 19th, 5pm to 7pm

Bay VAN is currently accepting submissions for their 2010 Artist Registry.

Modesto Covarrubias & Benicia Gantner

New works by each artist presented in the voluminous space of 555 12th Street in downtown Oakland.

Exhibition Dates: August 20 to November 13, 2009.

Opening Reception: August 20, 5pm - 7pm


The kind folks at KQED visited the Mills College Art Museum a few weeks ago and have featured the exhibition YOUNG AMERICANS in their online Gallery Crawl series. Enjoy.

Stoked Americans (no longer available online)

or here on YouTube

or here via iTunes (May 2009 entry)

If you haven't seen the show yet, come by before May 31, 2009!

Here are some blogs that have featured the show:

Talking Art
If You Can't Make It Good Make It Big
Art Business


May 3, 2009 through May 31, 2009.
Opening reception, Saturday, May 2, 2009, 7 to 9pm.

Come experience Young Americans, the 2009 MFA Thesis Exhibition at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Featuring work by 10 emerging artists:

Andrew Witrak, Annie Vought, Brian Caraway, Esther Traugot, Gina Tuzzi, Joseph Berryhill, Kate Pszotka, Leigh Merrill, Modesto Covarrubias, and Steuart Pittman.

The Mills College Art Museum is proud to present Young Americans, featuring works by the 2009 Master of Fine Arts degree recipients. This exhibition provides an opportunity to see works in all media created by a promising group of emerging artists eager to share what they have been developing during their graduate program with a broader audience. This year’s exhibition is curated by Terri Cohn, Bay Area writer, independent curator, and faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute.

In the brochure accompanying the exhibition, Cohn observes that the ten artists who will receive their MFA degrees this year are unusual in their choice to name their MFA show Young Americans. The title situates them as citizens emerging within a national context, and suggests that in addition to their collective experiences as youthful Americans—with the burden of history this implies, this identity also affords them an intrinsic right to personal freedom. A desire for a sense of security—articulated in various metaphoric and formal ways—is one fundamental concern expressed through their work.

Kate Pszotka’s fascination with the idea of home and stability has motivated her consideration of family members, which she represents iconographically with everyday objects, realized as paper cut out line drawings. Gina Tuzzi’s seemingly simple, naïve structures—houses, barns, huts—stacked on trucks to become rolling homes, or represented as drawings, underscore a sense of safety and comfort in the mythic past of coastal California.

In related ways, Esther Traugot’s knitted tree sweaters and forest of trunks with projected flower pattern coverings suggest the utopian potential of the natural world, as well as her desire to protect and preserve it. By contrast, Leigh Merrill’s large-scale photographs explore the relationship between fantasy and reality in our constructed environments, blending urban and suburban architecture and landscape styles, or cut and artificial flowers. Modesto Covarrubias has spent much time creating rooms and shelters as means to define and express his fears, insecurities, and sense of vulnerability, while Andrew Witrak’s sculptures pose slightly ridiculous solutions to the question of what can provide some fleeting impression of safety or exit: lifejackets sewn together; a beeswax boarding pass. Annie Vought translates found handwritten letters to wall-mounted versions created with cutout text, fragile portraits of each author that are reminiscent of silhouettes.

Joseph Berryhill’s paintings express a tension between order and chaos, proposing ways that animate experience can be distilled into visual experience. Steuart Pittman’s abstract paintings reflect what he calls a “longing for quiet beauty in a chaotic, high-speed age,” while Brian Caraway creates tools and rules to implement his mixed media works, relating his process-based investigations through texture as they change over time.

As artists who have come of age in the extraordinarily volatile circumstances of the 21st century, these individuals focus on singular modes of expression as a way to make sense of and stake a claim in their separate and collective futures. Their works express a sense of hope and possibility, going forward into their lives as young Americans.

In addition to an essay by Cohn, the illustrated catalog for Young Americans contains an essay by critic Glen Helfand. This publication will be available in the gallery during the course of the exhibition.

The Mills College Art Museum, founded in 1925, is a dynamic center for art that focuses on the creative work of women as artists and curators. The museum strives to engage and inspire the diverse and distinctive cultures of the Bay Area by presenting innovative exhibitions by emerging and established national and international artists. Exhibitions are designed to challenge and invite reflection upon the profound complexities of contemporary culture.

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94613
directions to Mills College
directions to the Mills College Art Museum
Mills College Art Museum

Museum Hours:
Tuesday-Sunday 11:00-4:00pm
Wednesday 11:00-7:30pm
Monday Closed

Admission is free for all exhibitions and programs.


FIVEten Studio presents

The Home Show

April 3, 2009 to May 29, 2009
Opening Reception: May 1, 2009, 6 to 9pm

Glenna Alle
Linda Braz
Modesto Covarrubias
Miriam Fagan
Dave Higgins
Elyse Hochstadt

From the abundance of home decorating and DIY shows, and the continued success of "Cribs" to the inability to rebuild in the 9th Ward and the continuing mortgage crisis, there is an overwhelming amount of attention on "home." As a space for nesting and pro-creating, as well as for all manner of self-expression the home can function as the locus of the intersection of art and design. Working in that liminal space, Fiveten Studio and artists Linda Braz and Elyse Hochstadt present "The Home Show," an exhibition of 6 Bay Area artists whose work explores, expands, questions and distorts the definition of home, while simultaneously blurring the boundaries between art and design.

The exhibition opens for Oakland's Art Murmer Friday, April 3, 2009 with a formal reception on May 1, 2009 from 6-9pm and runs until May 29th. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday 11am-6pm.


January 31 to March 7, 2009
The Bonnafont Gallery
946a Greenwich Street
San Francisco, CA

Opening Reception Saturday 31 January, 2009, 6 to 8
Closing Reception Saturday 7 March, 2009, 2 to 5

Poems by Moira Roth
With photography by Dennis Letbetter and drawings by Slobodan Dan Paich
Music specially created for the exhibition by Pauline Oliveros, The Library of Maps, Part IV
Broadsheets by Max Koch
Performance at Opening Reception by Modesto Covarrubias, The Knitter

This exhibition pays special homage to the gallery's founder, Philippe Bonnafont (1938-1993), the first in California to show the work of architects as art. In that spirit, we exhibit broadsheets of three of Moira Roth's poems from her Library of Maps series, a 41-part narrative: The Map of the Heart, The Unruly Map of Threads, and The Map of Stones.
The poems are accompanied by drawings by Slobodan Dan Paich, photographs by Dennis Letbetter, a weaving directed by Esther Traugot, and a collection of stones from various parts of the world. The exhibition is supported by a Donor-Advised Fund of the Tides Foundation.
The 2009 Artship Exhibition Series addresses - directly or indirectly - the rise and fall of civilizations around issues of freedom of speech and expression, and notions of alignment and misalignment of place. In the ebb and flow of history, times of cultural flourishing are frequently followed by times of oppression and darkness. The central work of the series is the Artship Ensemble's original theater piece, Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria.

Exhibition continues Weekends 2 to 5pm

Saturday, December 13, 2008
12 Noon to 5pm


Center for Contemporary Arts - Santa Fe
October 10-26, 2008 | Muñoz Waxman Gallery
Opening reception Friday, October 10, 5-7 PM
"Every work of art is the child of its time; often it is the mother of our emotions." - Wassily Kandinsky, 1912

You Know How I Feel is the product of several years of collaboration between five local, national, and international artists. The exhibition includes slow-motion video; photographic abstractions; soft, sensual sculptures; paintings and drawings; and still adaptations of filmic conversations. You Know How I Feel is a plea between lover and beloved, the top and the bottom, the leader and the followers. This yearning to connect at the most fundamental level aims towards something more humane, perhaps a moment of trust, a shared history: ourselves and what we think we know about each other.
You Know How I Feel will also feature guerrilla-style interventions in and around the Muñoz Waxman Gallery, converting it into a visually expressive testing ground of multifold emotions and meta-emotions.


Featuring Guest Artists:

Marcelo Balzaretti
Sarah Barsness
Laura F. Gibellini
Dorothy Goode
Keith Hale
Melanie Lacy Kusters
Modesto Covarrubias
Besty Lam
Eric Reyes Lamothe
Aline Mare
Beth Mitchell
Francesca Pastine
Deborah Poe
Neli Ruzic
James Tantum
David Tomb


September 6 - October 18, 2008
Location: SFAC Gallery (Map It)

Artists: Bren Ahearn, Michael Arcega, Elisheva Biernoff, Tom Borden, Modesto Covarrubias, Eilish Cullen, April Grayson, Claire Jackel, Anthony Marcellini, Robert Minervini, Robert Moya, Michael Namkung, Moses Nornberg, Daniel Ochoa, S Patricia Patterson, Hilary Pecis, Jeff Ray, Gina Tuzzi, Jina Valentine, Annie Vought, Sara Wanie, Andrew Witrak, Imin Yeh, and David Yun

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is proud to present Immediate Future, featuring works by the recipients of the 2008 Murphy & Cadogan Fellowships in the Fine Arts. This exhibition provides a first-glance at what is being produced by promising artists within regional graduate programs. For many featured artists this exhibition marks their first major exposure, and for all participants it represents an opportunity to share what they have been developing in their graduate studios with a broader audience.
The Murphy & Cadogan Fellowships in the Fine Arts are annual awards sponsored by The San Francisco Foundation to assist art students in funding their final year of graduate studies. In partnership with the Foundation, the Arts Commission Gallery is committed to showcasing works by outstanding Bay Area art students through the annual fellowship exhibition. The jurors for this year’s awards were Lisa Dent, Charles Mobley, Denise Ruiz and Meg Shiffler.
Bay Area colleges and universities represented by the twenty-four 2008 recipients are the Academy of Art University, California College of the Arts, Mills College, The San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University and Stanford University. Media represented in the show includes drawing, film & video, installation, mixed media, painting, printmaking, performance and sculpture.


Opening Reception: Saturday, August 23, 2008, 6-10pm
Location: Blankspace Gallery
6608 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94608

This exhibition will feature work by students who are beginning their second year of the program, as well as work by students beginning their first year of the program. Also featured is TenxTen, a limited edition set of prints by 10 of the featured artists.

For more information, check out the blogspot (includes artists' sites, and other tasty tidbits...which will be featured at the exhibition as well...)
Mills Bake Sale

It's Happening...