Created four years ago through collaborative efforts by the UC Irvine studio art faculty and its undergraduate community, Catalyst provides students an artistic platform that extends beyond the traditional academic class structure. Catalyst is a student-run project space, art gallery, and pedagogic platform devoted to exposing students to the process of making, curating and displaying artwork. Through exhibitions, workshops, peer critiques, lectures, and field-trips, we hope to connect the student population across different disciplines in order to foster critical, artistic, and social growth on a campus often stratified by areas of study. It is by sharing knowledge in text, space, time, and image that thought and practice grow.
Meetings are held regularly every Tuesday at 6:00 pm in the gallery space. Exhibitions featuring student artwork are typically held bi-weekly on Thursdays at 6:00pm while remaining open for the following week.
While holding weekly meetings and bi-weekly exhibitions of student work, Catalyst also holds workshops and peer critiques periodically to allow members to share their knowledge with the undergraduate population. Workshops are instructed by undergraduates in an effort to teach fellow peers technical skills and to harness knowledge as a mean to supplement the university curriculum. Workshops in the past have included sewing, vinyl application, a guide to post-graduate art practice, and website construction.
Peer critiques, also known as “Crit Circles,” are hour-long critiques of student work that strive to both help us improve as artists in our wielding of images and push ourselves to analyze images more critically.