Art Gallery Showcases Architecture Students’ Work


MODEL HOME: Mumtaj Chokbengboun, 23, left, and Tabitha De La Cruz, 18, admire work done by the GCC architecture students at the art gallery opening on Feb. 26.

Evan Ramirez, El Vaquero Staff Writer

Since its opening on Feb. 26, the art gallery in the library building is no longer just a blank canvas, but instead a showcase of architectural designs from GCC students.

It has been months in the making for the students involved in the gallery, and their work is finally on display in the “3rd Annual Student Projects Exhibition.”

“It feels great for us students as well because you get to see what people think of your work,” said 21-year-old art student Nareg Ghazarian. “People actually see your work. It’s not just you when you go home and put it somewhere.”

Student artist Sevan Barseghian, 21, said that the gallery exceeded his expectations. “The depth of the work is amazing,” said Barseghian. “We couldn’t have imagined this, maybe even a year ago.” Barseghian and Ghazarian had been working on their pieces during the fall and winter semesters.

Barseghian believes that students should be able to express themselves freely with more art around campus. Ghazarian also thinks that having events like the art gallery will inspire students that are undecided majors and show them what the school has to offer. Regarding the art presence on campus, Ghazarian believes they are “moving in the right direction.”

The two explained that sitting in a room for hours at a time among your peers is one thing, but allowing your work to be shown is something else entirely. Like many artists, presenting their work to the public has been fulfilling.

“Just express more feeling,” Barseghian said. “Don’t be confined by a classroom or a certain project. Just let students be free. Let them do what they’re meant to do.”

In that same vein, Barseghian also believes that the art on campus shouldn’t be confined to the gallery, but instead be out in the open for all to see.

Though the art presence on campus might not be as high as some want, events such as the art gallery are allowing students to get work out into the world for faculty members and students to see in a convenient location.

To bolster the art presence on campus, galley director and art department professor Caryl St. Ama wants to see the exhibit open more during the early hours of the campus rather than at night. She also hopes that art will be relatable to students.

This is St. Ama’s first experience viewing an architecture gallery at the school. “I am just completely blown away by the work here of the students,” St. Ama said.

Turnout for the galleries tend to vary, although many people from the local art community often visit. However, St. Ama wishes to bring in the school and campus community. She hopes to continue bringing in art lovers, while making new fans out of the students on campus.

Jim Riggs, interim superintendent/president of GCC, said the art presence on campus is amazing, but would love to see more of it.

“We could never have too much art,” he said. Riggs would like to see a larger gallery, as well as more art on the campus, but that the current gallery is a “great place to show students’ current work.”

Architecture instructor Paul Chiu, whose students’ art is present in the gallery, said that they are “continuing to have more complex projects and bigger work so people will expect to see something special.”

Chiu said this is their third time doing this, and that the present one has the biggest projects that they’ve ever done. Also included in the gallery are two entries to their first international student competition.

Student Skyler Saleebyan was surprised to see the art gallery as he left the library. “I like the room itself,” Saleebyan said. “It’s so blank that it allows for the actual exhibit to take the centerpiece.”

The art gallery is open Monday through Wednesday 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and by appointment only on Friday. The “3rd Annual Student Projects Exhibition” will run until March 28, and it is located outside the main entrance to the library.

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