Contemporary art takes shape

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Skyline College Art Gallery’s current offering, the LEGIT 3D Art Exhibit, provides an experience that features art in a non-traditional and exciting framework.

The current gallery exhibit is composed of art using recycled and reclaimed materials. This exhibit, like all at the gallery, will be on display for a month after its opening. The exhibits are an opportunity to showcase the works of community members and Skyline students alike.

Gallery Director Paul Bridenbaugh said that his original thought was to do something outside the box that would showcase the work of Skyline students. Bridenbaugh said that he is very involved in the art community and sees a lot of artists and their work. Because of his prominence in the art community, when he puts on any type of exhibit, he has many artists involved, not only at the school but from the greater community.

The exhibit also exposes the art community to many different styles, forms and materials. In this case, the artists scavenged a lot of the materials and built them into unique art pieces. All of the works in the gallery use non-traditional materials. For example, artist and exhibitor Michael Arcega, an art professor from San Francisco State University, brings with him an interesting background: he has done a year’s residency with SF Recology and uses only materials from this dump site. Currently, Arcega is teaching an installation as well as a sculpture class at San Francisco State University.

“This is in power with a lot of contemporary practices,” Arcega said. “This exhibition is up-to-date with what the art world is having a conversation about. Traditional exhibitions are more and more becoming the “rare thing”. It’s almost like modern art vs contemporary art and this show is pretty contemporary.”

Arcega’s view of contemporary versus modern art can be seen throughout many of his pieces shown in the gallery.

When it comes to contemporary art, the look tends to change a lot because it is, as Arcega said, very conceptually based. It is routed in a narrative, so the form of the look tends to constantly change. The artists tend to have a conceptual framework that they follow.

Another example of this variety and scope can be seen in the pieces by artist Jeremiah Jankins. He feels this show was a little different then the more traditional galleries he has done, as this show only featured four artists.

“It’s almost like writing a paragraph,” Jankins said. “Every artist puts in their particular piece that helps to build the overall structure.”

For many of the artists, especially Jankins, it was an opportunity to experiment with many new styles and forms of artwork.

“Every piece is new,” Jankins said. “I’m always stepping out of my comfort zone.”

Technically, when it comes to the way artists created their work for the exhibit, they followed the “found object” sculpture technique. To many people, that can mean coming across different materials and then executing their work. However, many of the artists in this show found that their ideas lead them to the projects and artwork that they decided to create.

In this new era of contemporary and post modern art, especially sculpture, what many of the artists seem to describe it as, and what this type of art seems to be now, is finding your language through materials, be they objects or other art forms.