Student Art Show Showcases Abstract Expression

Jesse Gutierrez

After its last successful exhibit “Let the Trees Decide,” the art gallery re-opened its doors for “The Annual Student Art Show” on May 21.

The collection features pieces created by advanced art students and selected by faculty members. This time around it’s not just paintings but also photography, jewelry and graphic design.

But before the event could get going, art instructor David Attyah held a small ceremony for those students who are being recognized for their exceptional work and surprised them by awarding a select few students scholarships in the arts.


One of those students Karin Laarka, who received the 2009 ASGCC Visual Arts Scholarship, had one piece displayed in the gallery titled “They say ‘There’s too much caffeine in your bloodstream…'”

Laarka’s piece was created with the help of ink and coffee on paper. “This was a self portrait project,” Laarka said. “I was very inspired by the [songs] on my iPod and each image represents a song I was listening to at that time.”

Paul Petros, who won the Eleanor Kentner Kohler Memorial Scholarship, had two pieces on display in the gallery. The first entitled “Series of 3 Hands,” which Petros said are multiple stamps of his hand. “I wasn’t really trying to get any certain message, just maybe to show the progression of color between the three pictures.”

His second piece, “The Morning After,” is a different story.

“It’s the second piece in a set,” said Petros, referring to the the piece that looks like a series of swirls cut from brown paper, splattered with paint and hung on the wall with multiple green pins. “It represents the morning after mother nature being raped by men, abusing her resources.

And the pins represent the trees, which are the only things holding the Earth together.”
As the event pressed on, the crowd started to thin out, leaving some spectators and a few artists still mingling together.

One of the artists who was still remaining, Grecia Baltazar, who also won a ASGCC 2009 Visual Arts Scholarship, had two pieces on display in the gallery, the first entitled “Diptych Portrait.”

“It’s really a self portrait,” Baltazar said. The main color used in her piece was red, and on one side it almost looked like blood dripping off of a computer. “I used red because it’s one of my favorite colors and I needed a solid color to fill the space.”

Baltazar’s second piece, an untitled book with a big red heart on the cover, was completely created out of newspaper. “I just wanted to do something simple, but I think what makes it special is that it’s completely handmade,” Baltazar said.

Kyle Amor, an art student of Attyah’s, was a huge force in the gallery with three pieces.

The first is an untitled pencil drawing. “This is really a self-portrait in an abstract way. Each piece of the drawing represents something that was going on in my life when I turned 21.”

The second piece that Amor created is “The Little Big Book of Monsters and Patterns,” which sits on a table near the entrance of the gallery. Each page of the book features what looks like cutouts of different monsters, made from many different materials.

Amor’s final piece, also untitled, was split up into to small square panels and featured very bright and vibrant colors like orange, yellow and blue. “I picked those colors because they compliment each other so well,” Amor said.

As the event came to a close and the gallery started to empty out, gallery director Roger Dickes made one final statement to wrap up the entire event. “The student art show and the arts, in general, here at GCC are continuing to improve, so don’t miss out on we have to offer.”