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Contemporary Art in Berlin



If you are considering attending this course and do not hold a current passport, APPLY FOR ONE IMMEDIATELY. Current passport wait times may be long, although the State Department is indicating ​the standard 10-12 week wait time. More information HERE.

The current context of urban Berlin is a rare moment—much like with Brooklyn in the 1990s—the kind of moment that imprints on young artists forever, foments contemporary art stars and teaches all who participate what it means to live a creative life. 

Create, curate and exhibit site-specific work and engagement in a small exhibition space in Berlin, one of the world’s most vibrant pop-up arts environments!

Watch a video about this course HERE.

  • Work with local artists to develop site-responsive art in Berlin.
  • Curate a small exhibit space and pop-up work in one of the world’s most vibrant grassroots art cities.
  • Work with an established exhibition collective and local artists to show your work in Berlin.
  • Explore how art, history and contemporary culture intersect in Berlin and how an artist maps creative vision onto place and culture.
  • Apply various methods related to visual, mixed media, conceptual and performance art in an interactive urban setting.
  • Explore how audience relates to evolving works of art in real time—as you transform your own gallery space during the three-week course.
  • Live in an artist’s community, receive mentoring and interact with audiences during the course. ​



Undergraduate: ART 424, 5 units
Graduate/Post-baccalaureate: ART 624, 5 units




Students will work with an exhibition space and a guest artist in groups of four. Any artists are encouraged to apply (including creative Germanophiles.) We are looking to create multi-disciplinary teams, including visual artists, writers and performers of all kinds. Those interested in gallery curation and event production are also welcome.


    1. This is an interdisciplinary course that welcomes artists, writers and performers in all media. Everyone should submit:
      1. A one-page statement of interest that includes information on why you'd like to study abroad and what your special interest in Berlin is, if any. Also comment on whether you speak German (definitely not required;all classes will be in English). Also comment on what you hope to gain from and contribute to the class.
      2. A website or portfolio/attachment that helps us understand your creative work. For instance, if you're a visual artist, include images of current work with title, date, size and media. If you're a writer, include at least one three-page writing sample—any genre. If you're a performer, include at least one 3 minute video of your work.  Whatever is appropriate to help us understand your work is great and a website or weblink to social media that shows your work is completely adequate.
      3. A brief resume/CV or artist statement. (Let this suit your work - and if your interest lies primarily in curation or gallery management, simply say so.)
        Artists with experience and interest in curation and event management are encouraged to apply. If you are not sure how best to submit your work, because it does not fit any of these formats, please contact the course coordinator for assistance. 
    2. Submit/upload the materials listed in step one when you apply online by April 12, 2021.


Professor Kimberly Dark
(619) 708-8115

Guest Artists

Stefan Riebel

Stefan Riebel is a conceptual and media artist who investigates language on a meta level. Transformed into art, language becomes ornament, surfacing ambiguities and indistinctness inherent to the phenomenon. His conceptual art is characterized by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middle-class mentality in which recognition plays an important role. This work amplifies the astonishment of spectators by creating compositions or settings that use poetic images as they balance on the edge of recognition and alienation. His work explores the inabilities of communication, dialogue and the dissonance among form, content and the dysfunctions of language. Time and memory play a key role as the work comments on the everyday aesthetics of middle-class values. He often uses game tactics and play to transubstantiate everyday life and objects while responding directly to the surrounding environment. Riebel lives and works in Berlin and Leipzig. He’s a lecturer in media arts at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig. He founded the Institut fuer Alles Moegliche in 2010 and is the co-founder of numerous interactive arts spaces and projects, including “month of performance art” in Berlin and the Organisation for Ephemeral Arts in Leipzig.

Samantha Fields

Samantha Fields is currently a professor of art at California State University, Northridge and has taught for CSU Summer Arts many times. She has received numerous awards and recognition, including a prestigious City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Grant. She has an extensive exhibition history, including shows at The University Art Museum in Long Beach, The Museum o​f Art & History, Lancaster, Western Project, & Kim Light/LIGHTBOX Gallery in Los Angeles, Traywick Contemporary in Berkeley, Melanee Cooper Gallery in Chicago, The Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Solway Jones Gallery in Los Angeles, Dirt Gallery in Los Angeles, POST Gallery in Los Angeles, Domestic Setting Gallery in Mar Vista, California, Suzanne Hilberry Gallery in Detroit, Lemberg Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan, The Jones Center for Contemporary Art in Austin, Texas, and Galerie Enholm Englehorn in Vienna, Austria. She is represented by Traywick Contemporary in Berkeley, California and E.C. Linà in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been collected by and exhibited at noted public institutions.  

As a professor at CSUN, she has served as associate chair of the Art Department, graduate coordinator and is currently the area coordinator for both Painting and Foundations. She has been the recipient of The Exceptional Service to Students Award and The MCCAMA Research and Creative Activity Award.

Karl Heinz

Karl Heinz Jeron is a lecturer for multimedia art at the University of Arts Berlin. Many of his exhibited works include “experimental electronics interventions.” For instance, his installation “Fresh Music for Rotten Vegetables” has been exhibited in Zurich, Osnabrueck, London and Berlin and draws attention to resource management: The artist asks for overripe fruit and vegetables in local markets that are usually sorted out and deemed unsalable for visual reasons. With this surplus disregarded by our affluent society, Jeron and his workshop participants, compose “Fresh Music for Rotten Vegetables.” The electronic devices built by the participants are controlled and fed by current generated by use of the collected vegetables. According to the state of the vegetables, the sound, the color of the sound, and the volume of the sound are varied. Thus, an improvised piece of music is created as a garnish. This work was inspired by the 1980 debut album of the California punk band Dead Kennedys called “Fresh Fruit for the Rotting Vegetables.” The lyrics express their critical attitude toward social inequality.

Veronika Reichl ​

Veronik​a Reichl works as a filmmaker, writer and lecturer in Berlin. Her book and DVD “Sprachkino (Language Cinema)" is about the interface between abstract language and images. She is particularly interested in the aesthetic experience of thinking, the threshold between thinking and feeling and thinking through images and through movements, performances, and performative talks.


This course takes place in Berlin, Germany. CSU Summer Arts does not provide any group flights, arrange travel reservations or make travel recommendations for Contemporary Art in Berlin. It is up to each individual participant to make travel arrangements and pay for his or her own travel.

All participants must arrive in Berlin by July 28, 2021. The first class meeting will be on Wednesday, July 28 at a time to be determined. (Note that the program housing begins on Tuesday, July 27 to give you a day to get acclimated. We suggest that even if you book your own housing, you plan to arrive in Berlin on July 27. More information below.)

While you will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements, you will need to provide CSU Summer Arts with your travel information.


There are three options for your housing in Berlin:

1) Stay in one of the rooms booked through Summer Arts at the Circus Hostel.

2) Stay in one of the studios available as a live-work space.

3) Book any hotel, apartment rental, or other kind of housing you like on your own. 


Summer Arts has made group lodging arrangements at The Circus Hostel (, conveniently located in the center of the city right next to major transit stops. Room types and rates (per person) are as follows:

​solo private bath
​1 twin bed
​solo shared bath
​1 twin bed
​twin private bath
​2 twin beds
​crew 4
​4 bunk beds
​apartment 4 people
2 bedrooms, 1 double bed and 2 twin beds

There are also a limited number of beds available in three live-work gallery spaces for this course. Three of the exhibition spaces students will be working in have beds, kitchenettes, and bathrooms. (One space will accommodate 3 students, the other two spaces will each accommodate 2 students.) These spaces are VERY utilitarian - think "kitchen in the shower" ​setup - and offer little living privacy for the residents. That being said, this is a unique opportunity to experience the live-work aesthetic so common in Berlin. Each bed in a live-work gallery is $800 total per person for 21 nights.

You will receive an email upon receipt of your registration for this course detailing the housing options available to you, costs, and how to apply for each one.

Note: CONTEMPORARY ART IN BERLIN has an application process that differs from that of other Summer Arts courses. Please read the following information carefully.

Submit complete application 
DUE on Monday, April 12, 2021 
Students notified of status of application  
​​Monday, April 26, 2021


​Enrollment Fee:
Undergraduate, California Resident$1,685
Graduate, California Resident$2,102
Undergraduate, Non-California Resident$3,665
Graduate, Non-California Resident$4,082
​​​​Other Fees
Materials Fee:
​Insurance Fee:
Housing (if booked through Summer Arts):$TBA​
Airfare (estimate only):$1,600
Transportation (estimate only):$100
Cell Phone (estimate only):$100
Food/Spending Money (estimate only):$1,000

Payment deadlines—the following are DUE dates, not postmarked dates:

​Housing reservation and payment (for housing booked by Summer Arts): $(varies)​
Due on Friday, May 21, 2021—check or money order PAYABLE TO TRUSTEES OF THE CSU

​Insurance: $80
Due on Friday, May 21, 2021—check or money order PAYABLE TO TRUSTEES OF THE CSU
Note that the housing payment and insurance should be on ​one payment.

Enrollment Fee and Materials Fee: $(varies)
Due on Friday, July 16, 2021—electronic check, Visa or MasterCard PAYABLE TO FRESNO STATE


Eighty percent of Summer Arts students receive some amount of scholarship assistance. Scholarship awards will range from $100 to $2,000. Scholarship funds are not available for housing or travel costs.

To apply for scholarship assistance, please complete the Summer Arts scholarship application when you apply online for admission to the course.



All participants will need a valid and current passport for travel to Germany. You will need to provide your passport number to CSU Summer Arts by July 2, 2021.

If you do not have a current passport, you are encouraged to apply for one immediately. Please check the passport office schedule before you apply and find out if you will need a rush order to obtain your passport in time. United States citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany, however, citizens of other countries may. Contact the Summer Arts office for more information about passports and visas.


For additional information, or if you have any questions, contact Joanne Sharp at, or (562) 951-4065.


Advanced Painting Master Class

July 20 to August 2, 2021

Alternative Print Methods and Forms

July 20 to Augus​t 2, 2021

Contemporary Art in Berlin​

July 28 to August 16, 2021