Suze Diaz …The old adage “Those who can, do—those who can’t, teach” is especially not true for forty-seven visual art department faculty members from fourteen local colleges in San Diego County. These art educators practice what they teach and share the spotlight with fifty-three notable students from their classrooms in the current exhibition featured at the California Center for the Arts Escondido. The talents of these art mentors show the energy of different media that exists within the artistic community, highlight the County’s strength in art education and invite the public to be part of their world.
Participating faculty artists included Grace Adams, David Adey, Erin Dace Behling, Jennifer Anne Bennett, Jim Bleisner, Brian Canfield, Nathaniel Clark, Lael Corbin, Stephen Curry, Nancy diBenedetto, John Dillemuth, Julie Goldstein, Judit Hersko, David Hewitt, Lucy HG Solomon, Matthew Higgins, Prudence Horne, Wayne Hulgin, Lisa Hutton, Jeff Kahn, Richard Keely, Hwang (Bo) Kim, Sasha Koozel Reibstein, Georgia K. Laris, Lisa Mandel, Adam Manley, Lisa Mueller, Sheila Moran, William Mosley, Leslie Nemour, Anna O’Cain, Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio, Sfona Pelah, John Pickelle, Serena Potter, Lee Puffer, Kerianne Quick, Dean Ramos, Tessie Salcido Whitmore, Barbara Sexton, Helen Shafer Garcia, Anna Stump, Paul Turounet, Lisa Venditelli Karmel, Ruth Wallen, Vicki Walsh, and Sandra Wascher. Participating institutions included California State University San Marcos, Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, MiraCosta College, National University, Palomar College, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, San Diego State University, Southwestern College, University of California, San Diego, and University of San Diego.
Photos by Suze Diaz
California Center for the Arts Escondido is unwavering in their diligence to provide opportunities to present many collaborations in art and culture to residents in the County. An exhibition preview reception prior to the public opening for the “Campus Creatives: From the Classroom to the Museum” was an example of such dedication. With the warmth of the afternoon sun, the balmy breezes and the mouth-watering, satisfying buffet of sweet and savory lite bites fare from Executive Chef Eric Ibarra, the reception patrons were treated to a marvelous start to the evening with music featured from cellist Tina Guo playing overhead.
While admiring the featured submissions, I spoke with Executive Director Jerry Van Leeuwen who clarified that this is the first time the Center is specifically showcasing artwork at the college level. The faculty artists have shown their work previously at their own separate shows but this is the first time that all artists are collaborating together on the same exhibit. Student artists were selected by their mentors to participate in showcasing their artistic ability using their imaginative interpretations of self-expression. Many thought-provoking and visually stunning works from all the artists are a true testament to the success of the relationships and connections between student and mentor. The faculty artists’ works are featured in the main galleries and student artists’ works are displayed in the hallway in a sophisticated array.
One of the student artists was kind to speak with me about his work. Juvian Duff is a student at Grossmont College who was invited to participate by his art instructor, William Mosley. He favored photography as a child and graphic design became a huge interest. Juvian enjoys the constant exploration that comes through the raw and fresh mixing of the different medias and taking tradition to the next level. In addition to working with environmental portraits, black/white photo manipulation and digital/analog, he is taking Mr. Mosley’s oil painting class this semester, working on a mural concept featuring ’64-’81 Ford Mustangs. “Still Life” is his submitted piece, an experimentation of a mixture of mediums with acrylic and color pencil on canvas. It was a delight to learn that his brother custom made the frame for his artwork and Julian hopes to showcase his future works at a fine art studio gallery.
An interesting piece displayed nearby was from student Abraham Romero from San Diego State University who was invited by his art instructor Tessie Salcido Whitmore. Abraham’s piece “Machine Gun Blues” was based on photographs from his deployment to Iraq from 2007 to 2008 using oils, gunpowder, and actual uniform fabric mounted on wood panel. Art makes for great conversation inviting people together to share different viewpoints. Pondering the meaning of Hwang (Bo) Kim’s “Small Faith” with one patron brought an exchange of ideas as we marveled the various thoughts popping up in our minds as we discussed what the artwork revealed to each of us. We both walked away having a fresh perspective and felt grateful for the experience.
It is a beautiful eye-opening visual adventure to enjoy. The “Campus Creatives: From the Classroom to the Museum” exhibition runs from April 7 – May 13, 2018. Admission to the exhibition is $8.00 for non-Center members and $5.00 for students and seniors. Center members, military and children under 12 are free.
An Added Bonus for this month: On Sunday, April 22nd at 2pm, a select group of artists from this exhibition will give a lecture about their 2D artwork and their process. Come meet Lisa Hutton (Mesa College), Jeff Kahn (Palomar College), Lisa Venditelli Karmel (Southwestern College), Julie Goldstein (Cal State University San Marcos), and Ruth Wallen (UCSD) as well as see their artwork submission first hand. Admission to the lecture is $10.00 for non-Center members and $5.00 for Center members. Seniors, military, and children under 12 are free.
To find out more about programs and events at the California Center for the Arts’ Museum, please visit artcenter.org or call the Box Office at 800-988-4253.