June Edmonds uses abstract painting to explore how color, repetition, movement, and balance can serve as conduits to spiritual contemplation and interpersonal connection to her African-American roots. Exploring the psychological construct of skin color or tone through pattern and abstract painting has proven to be a revealing gesture and these ideas are explored in her two ongoing series: the Energy Wheel Paintings inspired by her meditation practice and her Flag Paintings, which explore the alignment of multiple identities such as race, nationality, gender, or political leanings.
The Russell Foundation was established in the will of Betty Russell, one of MCASD's founding docents and a long-time supporter of UC San Diego. She specified that funds from the foundation should help "foster the appreciation and study of the modern visual arts and creativity of young artists" through support for the Museum and the University. Past Russell Lecture speakers have included Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2020), Rodney McMillian (2019), Zackary Drucker (2018), Miguel Calderón (2017), Andrea Bowers (2016), Judith Barry (2015), Tacita Dean (2014), Byron Kim (2013), Tania Bruguera (2012), and Isaac Julien (2011).
Presented with support from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego