An array of artistry

Laurel B. Lujan/The Skyline View

Skyline College hosts it’s yearly student art exhibition at the Juried Student Art Gallery. This has been a tradition for Skyline College students for many years. This years exhibit is from April 20 through May 15.

Each year the gallery hosts a student art exhibit that not only highlights the cultural diversity of the campus community but also the talents of the student body. The exhibits showcase art in many forms, such as photographs, sculpture, and digital art. This year’s show is called the Monster Juried Art Exhibit. Given the nature and size of this show, recruiting many students to participate in this years is very important.

According to Paul Bridenbaugh, digital art professor and gallery director, the title of this year’s exhibit is just a play on words, not reflective of the pieces.

“Monster Juried art exhibit really just means it is a large showing not a theme of monsters,” Bridenbaugh said.

All Skyline students, especially those enrolled in the many branches of the art division, were encouraged to turn in three pieces of their work for consideration in the show. This year’s exhibit drew 162 submitted pieces. Once submitted, the selection process is then narrowed down to an independent juror who determines the finalists. This is a chance for students to display their work with the possibility of selling their pieces to the public for funding.

“Our Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition offers the opportunity for the Skyline College and local community to view a group exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, prints, ceramics, and digital artworks that have been created by our very talented students,” Bridenbaugh said.

Potential students have the opportunity to come see the different types of work that are produced in Skyline’s art classes and current students have the opportunity to gain valuable exhibition experience by participating.

Daniel Francois, an art major at Skyline, submitted several pieces of art, one of which was selected. Francois’ piece, “Confidante,” is an etching of a wolf and a crow. According to Francois, he drew inspiration for the piece through several past relationships, and chose the two animals based on a connection he felt with them. “The wolf and the crow are both family and pack oriented, both known for intelligence or for being tricksters,” Francois said. “In the composition they appear to be consulting each other, which is why I titled it the ‘Confidante.'”

Fernanda Parado, a psychology major at Skyline, is another student who submitted a piece for the current exhibit. She feels that the gallery is a positive way to exhibit work and gain exposure.

Parado’s piece, “Drugs Corner” was a photograph of downtown Woodlawn at night using a florescent affect. She said that she had been experimenting recently with the effects of neon lights.

“I have been learning how to take shots where you can make the shading of the night time sky contribute and compliment to the brightness of the neon lights,” Parado said. “It used to be that neon light photography was looked upon as commercial art but now looked upon as classic ‘folk art.’ These type of lit neon lights or scenes can convey a very dramatic statement if captured right. Nothing tempts a photographer’s eye more than a captivating mix of color and light.”

Associate Art Professor Amir Esfahani said he felt that this showcase was different from the previous exhibitions. However, student shows at Skyline tend to be unique in that there is always a different professional artist jurying each show.

“This show was very unique in that there was a lot of printmaking work this year, which is amazing,” Esfahani said. “Professor Fischer has really been pushing ahead with printmaking at our school and it is catching on, you can see it in the students work. There were also several pieces from design, which was nice to see, one of which won an award.”

He added that there was more student participation this year and a significant turnout at the reception. In addition to more printmaking, he was glad to see digital art play a large role in the exhibition.

“We also had a huge 36-foot piece of artwork that was made by our digital art students as kind of a live performance art,” Esfehani said. “It was awesome. They made that piece in my Art 430, Introduction to Digital aAts class. It was a huge collaboration.”

The exhibit afforded students more than just the possibility of financial gain. It also allowed students to publicly display their art work for the first time. Many had been art students at various levels but never had the valuable opportunity to have their work displayed. Many found that the feedback and response they received made them better artists and helped to focus their works and talents. Students were also pleased that the exhibit covered such a broad spectrum of art so that their individual talents could be seen and appreciated.