For more than 50 years, Stephen De Staebler (1933–2011) created figurative sculptures primarily from clay—a medium derived from the primordial earth. Drawing inspiration from fundamental childhood experiences with nature, a transformative adolescent encounter with mortality, and adult studies in the histories of art and religion, he explored and extended a tradition of human representation that includes the religious monuments of ancient Egypt, the Renaissance humanism of Michelangelo’s finished and unfinished figures, and the modern existentialism expressed in the works of Alberto Giacometti. Matter + Spirit, installed in the American art galleries, includes 55 of De Staebler’s works.
The U.C. Berkeley Art Alumni Group was formed to help promote the improvement and esteem of UC Berkeley's Art Practice Department, and the art community surrounding it. Alumni members benefit from educational and professional opportunities, social activities, and continued community support.