Monday, October 24, 2011

History of Arts & Consciousness, Part Four

"…once you have seen into the mystery a little bit and found a way to express it, then you are on your way." Gordon Onslow Ford

In the early 1990’s the Arts & Consciousness MA program focused on creativity as an embodied practice of consciousness with a deep grounding in spirituality, expressive arts, and inner process.
Under the direction of Michael Grady, who became Chair of the department in 1994, an MFA in Studio Arts was instituted alongside the MA in Transformative Arts. Linking both programs was the foundational premise of creative practice as an integration of personal growth and community/cultural change. The expansion of the program necessitated its move from Orinda, California to a site accessible to the larger Bay Area community.

A retrospective exhibition of the paintings of Gordon Onslow Ford curated by faculty member Fariba Bogzaran in 1996 inaugurated the Arts & Consciousness program and gallery at its new location in Berkeley, California. His gracious accessibility made it possible for students, faculty and the public to connect with the Surrealist movement of which he had been a part and made it possible for his philosophy and art work to influence a contemporary generation of creative practitioners. The Lucid Art Foundation was co-founded with Onslow Ford and Bogzaran to support artists seeking inquiry to the inner worlds. Onslow Ford left his collection and legacy to the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, California.

Gordon Onslow Ford  
Since then the gallery has showcased the work of many artists and groups including Alex Grey, WEAD, and Lonnie Graham and has provided Arts & Consciousness students with an exhibition venue that makes visible their internal journey as artists and educators.

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