Gallery Opens Today with New Student Show

Luis Rodriguez

Opening today in the Art Gallery is a faculty-selected student show demonstrating how novice artists must learn the rules before they can break them.

The art faculty selected four students per instructor and each student brought three pieces to the gallery.

The exhibit includes painting, drawing, printmaking, design, sculpture, ceramics and photography.

Awards and scholarships will be presented during today’s 12:30 p.m. reception. Light refreshments will be served.
“All the work is brought here and I, with my partner Deborah Thompson, an art history teacher, made a show out of the gallery,” said Roger Dickes, the gallery director. “She does this because she loves to do it.”

“We try to be as inclusive as possible,” the director said. “We try to exhibit a wide range of works to make a balanced show that works as a show. So it’s not something like a bubble gum pizza with peanuts on top and wheat germ on the side to make it healthy. We want something that works together in a compelling way. That is the most challenging part of organizing a gallery. It needs to flow and tell a story.”

Throughout the year the art gallery usually showcases outside artists, most of whom have master’s degrees in fine art.

“They have moved on from the traditional way of art-making approaches which frustrates people,” said Dickes. “They make projects out of 10,000 pennies for example. The artists do not typically do drawings and paintings.”

About the traditional-style work in the current show, Katelyn Dorroh said, “You have to know the rules before you break them.”

“Jazz musicians have to learn the classical before learning to play jazz,” said Dickes.

For shows during the regular year with established artists, there is usually a theme or multiple themes. “There has to be integrity in the presentation,” said Dickes.

Some of the artists in the gallery have worked with video. In fact, in a gallery opening, one artist used inflatable mattress cushions to tip over a car. Another art gallery performance featured a body builder wearing handmade jewelry made by the artist. Many of the artists use materials such as steel and aluminum to produce the artwork.

“It is not our purpose to create problems, our purpose is to give artists a venue for doing things that are out of bounds or non-traditional,” said Dickes.

The gallery is planning a faculty show in the summer arranged by the arts faculty. Following that, there are two solo shows in the fall, one by a local L.A. artist and one from San Francisco. “Both are concept-oriented artists who will do great things with this space,” Dickes said. “Generally, these types of artists do not paint.
Students will look at something and say that this reminds them of this and that combined together.”

The art gallery has one student show every year and Dickes also mounts a three-week show with the advanced technology department division. It provides a space for the architecture program in an exhibition environment.

The student show runs through June 3.