Sponsored and supported by Qualcomm Foundation, California Arts Council, the ResMed Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Education Programs and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, to name a few, A New Standard is an exhibition that showcases thought-provoking art through a rare, exciting collaboration between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and UCSD. Held at the MCASD in its very own Coast Room, the event offers not only its main program of student works, but also a breathtaking ocean view and overlooks the museum’s scenic seaside Sculpture Garden — perhaps creating more of an incentive to go. Along with free music, snacks and drinks, interested attendants will have the opportunity to witness and ponder works produced by seven UCSD students, whose art projects serve as a response to the exhibition “Ed Ruscha Then & Now: Paintings from the 1960s and 2000s.”

A New Standard takes on concepts of culture and identity, seeking to explore both their alternative and hybrid dimensions. At the exhibition, keen visitors will find themselves looking at different pieces of art from student-created projects — by Farshid Bazmandegan, Tori Estrada-Odama, Shuqi Huang and Emily Zheng — to curated works — by Neda Kerendian, Diana Benavidez, Thomas McGovern and Juan Delgado — all of which reflect a palette of profound experiences and realities. It is the exhibition’s hope that these subjective art forms, unique to their respective creators, bring forth a form of dialogue or rhetoric that challenges the notion of the norm. That being said, the surface has only been scratched. The authenticity of an experience rests on one’s willingness to not only be at the event physically, but also mentally, where a sense of awe is strongly recommended.