‘I Left My Heart’ exhibition at Chazen is love letter to San Francisco

“I Left My Heart,” a Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition by Kayla Bauer, is on view at the Chazen Museum of Art through July 17. An artist chat with Bauer will take place on Friday, June 17, at 10 a.m.

Photo of
Kayla Bauer, “Chinatown Window,” archival pigment print, 2021

Bauer, an MFA student in the School of Education’s Art Department, is the recipient of the Russell and Paula Panczenko MFA Prize, which is offered annually by the museum with the Art Department. The winner, who receives an honorarium and an exhibition at the Chazen, is selected by an outside juror. This year’s juror was Janet Dees, the Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum curator of modern and contemporary art at The Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University.

“I Left My Heart” is described as a love letter to San Francisco. In the exhibition, the relationship unfolds through dozens of photographs and collected objects. The beauty of kitsch, camp, and icons appear throughout the images and are represented through mid-century souvenir plates and tiny figurines. Bauer sees San Francisco as a single city where one can experience the illusion of global travel. It took very little time for the artist to fall in love with the destination.

Bauer’s work focuses on a variety of research points from childhood nostalgia to Americana to the act of wandering. Photography was the start of her creative practice which now has evolved to include assemblages, installations, paintings, and text. She uses archiving and organizing collections along with shopping at thrift and discount stores to provide inspiration and materials for her creative process. Photography is the main focus and is combined with drawings, textile pieces, and found-object sculptures.

Learn more about “I Left My Heart” at this page on the Chazen Museum website.

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