Students who withdrew in protest from USC art program get show at Park View gallery

The class of graduate students who withdrew in protest from USC's Roski School of Art and Design two months ago may have left the university, but that doesn't mean they've abandoned the world of art.

A new show that opened Friday night at Park View gallery near MacArthur Park brings together a range of art produced by the students. "Recesses," as the exhibition is called, features works of installation, painting, assemblage and sculpture by Edie Fake, Ellen Schafer, George Egerton-Warburton, Julie Beaufils, Lauren Davis Fisher, Lee Relvas and Sid M. Dueñas — the so-called "USC Seven."

The students withdrew from the university's master's in fine arts program in May over changes to curriculum, staff and funding structures to the program.

Park View gallery director Paul Soto said that he hit on the idea for the show after an informal conversation with Beaufils about what had happened to all of the students in the wake of their departure from USC.

"They didn't have studios; they were all sort of atomized," he said. "So I thought it would be a good time to consolidate in one space — in this intimate space — ideas that they may have been working on. It's about returning to life in a way, returning to their practices."

Soto said the artists are showing a combination of works, some of which came from their time as students, along with others that were completed just recently.

"They're very intelligent artists," he said. "At every show at the gallery, there is a necessity of engaging the idiosyncrasies of the space, and they're really attuned to that." (Park View is housed in an apartment space.)

Soto said he's pleased to bring the focus back to art: "I felt like the best thing was to give them autonomy and see what it is they wanted to do in their space."

"Recesses" at Park View runs through Aug. 8. 836 S. Park View St., Unit 8, Westlake-MacArthur Park, Los Angeles,

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