CSU Summer Arts at CSUMB

Ed Carapezza

Ed Carapezza lingers over the description of places he’s seen as if he wished he had a camera instead of words.

He has always loved the de Young fine art museum in San Francisco. Since he was a young man, he said, he’s made pilgrimages there – from its pre-earthquake incarnation to its current “copper- sheathed modern spectacle.”

So when he had a chance to work on a film for the venerable museum’s artist-in-residence program last fall, he was thrilled.

“To have an original work in the de Young is a dream come true,” Carapezza said.

The filmmaker, poised to complete his degree at CSUMB’s Teledramatic Arts & Technology Department (soon to be Cinematic Arts & Technology), is set to launch a fundraising campaign for Shared Vision, the continuation of a journey he began with his capstone project.

Carapezza’s taken a circuitous route to where he is now – he worked in Hollywood as a grip and electrician and on the East Coast in construction; he studied at CSUMB, left and came back. Along the way, he watched communities finding vibrant newuses for old places. He saw artists take hold “of these old scrap places” and turn them into studios where they could work on their art. He was captivated.

Now, his filmmaking is gaining traction as it returns to that theme. Last fall Carapezza, 43, made the short film Prepping for Frescomania as a companion film for artist Javier Manrique’s tour as artist-in residence at the de Young. The film follows Manrique in his studio working on a fresco paint- ing, talking about the ancient art of fresco – from 1,200 year-old wall paintings at Teotihuacan to contemporary frescoes dotting the Bay Area.

Prepping for Frescomania grew out of Shared Vision, Carapezza’s capstone project in 2011. It was a short film he made with a crew of students and alumni that tells the story of life at Project Artaud, a San Francisco artist community of which Manrique is a member.

Now, Carapezza is launching a fundraising cam- paign on Kickstarter to take Shared Vision to the next level. He wants to document artist communi- ties around the world, beginning in California.

Steven Levinson, a media professor who’s known Carapezza for over 10 years, said he’s been effective at collecting a strong crew of students and alumni around him. And Carapezza’s commitment to community art is unique, Levinson said, and fundamental to the university’s mission.

“It’s unusual for someone to have such a real community interest,” Levinson said “to already be creating projects that are getting real distribution.”

Carapezza, who works in a pharmacy mailroom to cover the bills, has a seemingly endless supply of ideas and plans already in action, from a skateboard company to a project that documents touring bands playing short sets on their way through the Central Coast.

Wherever Carapezza and his production company, Dangerbag Productions, end up, he said, “you can be sure it will be in the border towns, on the front lines, in the cracks of the walls, in the pushed-up crevices of sidewalks, and on the edge.”