Cream from the Top…
March 24, 2010

Clare Szdlowski, Grain Mills, 2009

Happy to report that I, along with friend Holly Williams, attended the Cream from the Top exhibition and artist talk with Kenneth Baker this past Saturday.  It is my personal opinion that Clare Szydlowski’s work, gum bichromate photographs of large abandoned grain mills, is the most exciting work of the show.  I suppose I am biased having graduated with her from SFSU…  nah.  The work is stunning, especially hung on a long curved wall as one enters the main space.   Her grain mills are ghosts of our past; empty vessels that have become visual white noise to those who live near them, but whose presence has been revived in these prints.

The work of Esther Traugot was just as captivating.  A graduate of Mills College, Esther crochets coozies, or skins will you, around objects of nature:  seeds, pods and large branches.  Such tedious and intricate work creates a sense of preciousness in these everyday items we easily overlook and under appreciate in these modern times.

Other artists in the exhibition include Torreya Cummings, California College of the Arts; Alicia Escott, California College of the Arts; Crystal Haueter, University of California, Davis; Klea McKenna, California College of the Arts; Josh Short, University of California, Davis; and Annie Vought, Mills College.