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Many of Gavin's projects are large scale sculptural installations in public spaces — often containing running water — which he invites the public to add to spontaneously using a variety of arts and crafts materials. His goal is to reclaim art production as social activity for both children and adults with the potential of luring people of diverse backgrounds into casual conversation and dialog.


California College of the Arts, MFA: Film/ Video/performance 1993
San Francisco State University, BA: Writing for Visual Media (magna cum laude) 1991
UC Berkeley, Environmental Design 1979-81


Center for Art & Public Life, Community Arts & Education Award 2007
National Endowment for the Arts, Challenge America Grant 2005
Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, ARTS UP community artist's residency 2004
California Arts Council, Artist Fellowship award 2001
Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Honorary Fellowship award 2000
California College of Arts & Crafts, Recent Graduate of Distinction award 1998
New Langton Arts, Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize 1997
Bay Area Video Coalition, annual Artist Access award 1994
California Arts Council, three time Artist-in-residency award 1994-96
Nevada Art Smarts, national Artist-in-residence competition 1994
Public Art Works, "on-site 1991" award/commission 1991
UC Berkeley, President's Undergraduate Fellowship 1981
Additional Project Sponsors: The LEF Foundation, The Gerbode Foundation, The Zellerbach Foundation


California College of the Arts
The Edited Landscape (undergrad studio) 2003-05
3-D Visual dynamics (undergrad studio) 1999
Death of the Artist / Long Live the Artist (grad seminar) 1999

San Francisco State University
Arts & Social Change (undergrad survey/studio) 2002
Collaboration in the Arts (grad studio) 2001
Interdisciplinary Arts (grad studio) 2001

San Francisco Art Institute
1998 Death of the Artist / Long Live the Artist (grad seminar)

John F. Kennedy University, "Transformative Arts" (lecture series) 1999
Tinker's Workshop, (Berkeley) "Filmmaking Meets Carpentry" (lecture) 1997
Bay Area Video Coalition, "Art, Video & Community Development" (lecture) 1997


Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA, 1997
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, 1997
Arizona Shorts Film Festival, Flagstaff, AZ 1997
ATA (artists television access) San Francisco, CA 1997
Documental Film Series, Santa Monica 1998


Riveropolis, public artworks, collaborations and youth camps to create fantastic river worlds — ongoing

Aquatopia (San Juaquin), portable water sculpture developed in three public places before gallery install, Stockton, CA 2005

Adventures at the Speed of Wood, video installation explores youth as catalyst, SF Arts Commission 2002

River Fantastic, interactive waterworks for Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito, 2001

The Story of Jack, "walking film" landscape performance, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Woodside 2000

TimeWarp, collab w/ teens to create "Museum of the Future": video, artifacts. Yerba Buena Center 2000

Sort Things Out With a Friend, social sculpture: public contributes, sorts, gifts surplus hardware 1996-01

River-in-the-Hood, youth & adults build micro-landscapes along a 100 foot model river, SF 1998

McLaren Park Clubhouse, collaboration w/ teens to restore and redesign abandoned park building, SF 1998

Bernaltown, narrative film making collaboration w/ neighborhood youth & adults — playground premier, SF 1997

Will Power Motors, carpentry workshop — urban youth design & build idiosyncratic soap box cars SF 1994-97

Vegas Youth Clubhouse, large-scale environment built with Las Vegas at-risk youth, Las Vegas 1994

25 Cent Art Lessons, collaboration with public to create paintings and sculpture 1994

Water's Edge Trading Post & Story Bar, creative story exchange environment, Oakland Waterfront 1993

Boldy Go, "talking desk" activated by audience. Cinemateque's Independent Light Exhibition SF 1992

Rail/Car, collaborative outdoor public art installation commisioned by Public Art Works, San Rafael 1991


Riveropolis   Socially Engaged Craft Collective   05/11/2016

Review of An Exhibition at Swan's Market   Exhibit Files   05/18/2015

Make Magazine   Take a slow Ride Down Riveropolis   05/14/2014

East Bay Mini Maker Faire   A Watershed Installation for Boat Making and Magic   10/11/2012

KQED Public Television   SPARK, Award winning show featuring California Artists: 2 Minute Video   5/16/06

The Stockton Record, "Visual, analytical flow together in UOP's 'Aquatopia'" by Tara Cuslidge  7/4/04

The Gaven Street Gazette, San Francisco School "Building a River"  9/10/02

SF Bay Guardian,   "Aqua man: Gregory Gavin is building a river in his Portola studio & visitors are invited to help out"   8/98

KALW: Performing Arts Profile: interview about "River-in-the-Hood" with Alan Farley  8/98

San Francisco Examiner: "Bernaltown screens at Mill Valley Film Fest" by Manisha Aryal  10/4/97

New Bernal Journal:   "Bernaltown Premiere Attracts Astonishing Crowd", by Garith Barkin   6/97

San Francisco Chronicle:   "Eat Your Heart Out Hollywood: Bernal Heights residents star in own film"   5/97

KALW: Performing Arts Profile: Interview on BERNALTOWN film making process with Alan Farley  5/1/97

KRON (channel 4): Evening News Feature of BERNALTOWN neighborhood premiere event  5/3/97

CCAC News: "Kids, Cars and Camcorders: A Community Comes Together", staff  5/97

New Bernal Journal: "Critics Choice: BERNALTOWN Best Bet for May Moviegoers", by M.J. Wright  4/97

VideoMaker Magazine: "Making Video For All the Right Reasons" by Karen Director  11/96

Video Networks: "The Public Artistry of Gregory Gavin" by Jim Roeber  8/96

AM Southern Nevada: (KUUV Ch. 5) TV interview with Host Lillian McMorris  7/28/95

Marin Independent Journal: "Soap Box Derby: Budding car builders ready to roll" by Richard Polito  7/16/95

San Francisco Examiner: "Soap Box Derby: swells on wheels" by Craig Marine  7/15/95

CAR & DRIVER Magazine: "Reader Sightings" by Michael Hammond  3/92

National Enquirer: "Wow! What a railroad crossing", Largest circulation newspaper in America!  12/31/91

Marin Independent Journal: "Art could stop trains in their tracks", by Ingrid Becker  9/12/91

San Francisco Chronicle: "BAY AREA NOTEBOOK: Apparitions Along The Freeway" by Carl Nolte  9/9/91

The Country Almanac   Retrospective look at Ravenswood   08/18/1976