An array of student art work is currently on display in the Student Art Gallery, showcasing students’ best in fine arts.
These art pieces are the work of GCC students who submitted them in various categories ranging from drawing to sculpture, photography and ceramics.
This year’s juror responsible for selecting the student art work was Elizabeth Pulsinelli, a photography instructor at Chapman College and the managing editor of X-TRA, a contemporary art magazine based in Los Angeles.
“Judging student work is challenging because as an outsider, the juror is divorced from all the important exploratory processes that went into making each piece in the classroom,” said Pulsinelli.
The student work in the art gallery is diverse. From drawings to paintings, to delicately sculpted pieces that look strikingly life-like, all of the artwork manages to stir up a wide range of emotions as well as capturing the interest of any observer.
The brightly painted canvases exude a sense of joy, celebration and sometimes confusion, while the pale art pieces display a more placid tone.
The meticulously hand-crafted ceramic pieces are so intriguing, they beg to be handled by the passer by. At first glance, it is difficult to tell whether or not some of these pieces are in fact made out of clay.
One of the ceramic works that manages to stir up this curiosity is “Trompe L’oeil,” (shoe) by Eun-jin Heo. This 13-by-19-inch work shows a pair of shoes neatly positioned in a white cardboard box.
Unless one looks at these shoes thoroughly from every angle, one will not be able to tell that while one is a real shoe, the other is made out of clay.
From the label on the inside of the shoe, the creases on the body of the shoe, to the eyelets where the shoelaces slip through, every detail applied to this piece is capable of deceiving the eye.
The first place winner in the ceramics category, however, was Maryke Brennin with her work titled “Guitar.”
“Guitar” is a 25-by-16-inch piece made out of stoneware, terra sigillata and oxides.
Not your typical looking guitar, Brennin still managed to capture the resemblance of a real guitar, and at the same time, was able to leave some room for viewer interpretation.
“Untitled Love,” the work of student Joshua Toh Djojo won first place in the illustration category.
“I’m surprised that I got first place, I didn’t even think that I was going to get in the show,” said Toh Djojo.
Measuring 13-by-9-inches, “Untitled Love” is an artwork that incorporates found media, in this case a plaque with poetry on it, and brightly painted illustrations done with acrylics.
Toh Djojo has two other art pieces on display; one other illustration and a painting, but to his surprise, the one he was rooting for was not a winner.
“I thought I was going to get a prize for the illustration series [“Person, Place, Thing”] because I thought that one was better. But, I am pretty much happy with the way things turned out,” said Toh Djojo.
Winning second place in the category of drawing was Melisa Ezraeelian, 19, with her work titled, “Bernadet.”
“Bernadet” was the one and only art piece that Ezraeelian submitted to the art show, which fortunately enough, won her an award.
This pencil drawing by Ezraeelian that measures 9-by-7-inches, shows a girl [Ezraeelian’s sister, Bernadet] standing besides a motorcycle looking straight ahead to the passer by. This work was inspired by a photograph taken approximately 10 years ago
Ezraeelian said that the creation of “Bernadet” took days. The process included sketching a grid on paper and drawing inside each individual square until the entire drawing was complete.
A computer design/cosmetology major, Ezraeelian is not only glad with her achievement at this year’s student art show, but she is also looking forward to participating in future art shows.
“This is my first semester at GCC, and this [award] definitely encourages me to continue on and submit more art work for future shows,” said Ezraeelian.
Using a new technique in her painting “Two Rocks,” fine arts major Anait Alverdyan, took a different approach when creating her first prize art piece.
“I used only a knife, no brushes. This has been done for a long time with other painters, and I realized that I wanted to try this technique in order to add texture,” said Alverdyan.
“Two Rocks” is an oil on canvas painting that measures 40-by-30-inches. A still life, this painting suggests serenity, despite the vast ocean’s movement, through pastel colors and nature.
Alverdyan also won second place in the ceramics category for her piece titled “Teapot.”
Although Alverdyan was among some of the top winners in the student art show, she still remains humble and appreciative to have her work acknowledged.
“I don’t think that it’s just about winning first place. I think that other people also deserve to win, and I don’t like separating myself from others. Overall, I’m happy,” said Alverdyan.
Among some of the prizes that the students won were gift certificates donated by stores like Virgil’s, Samy’s Camera, art supplies donated by the GCC bookstore and a membership for the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The student art show is put together by Aylmer, the various student workers who work in the art gallery through job placement and the Art Gallery Committee.
The Student Art Exhibition runs in the GCC art gallery through June 3. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Almost every work looks terrific when you take it and put in a frame,” said Aylmer. “Then, you put a prize ribbon next to it and it makes the students examine the possibilities.”