A kaleidoscope of Monarch art

Valley ends the spring semester with its annual exhibit of student work.

By Zaida Diaz, Valley Life Editor

JUST TAKING A LOOKING - Guests admire art pieces at Thursday's opening of "The Student Art Show."Maya Kay / Photographer

JUST TAKING A LOOKING – Guests admire art pieces at Thursday’s opening of “The Student Art Show.”

“I think if we took every student in Valley College and we gave them one art appreciation class it would change their lives. It would change the way they look at the world,” said Barrett Taylor, who has three pieces featured in this years “Student Art Show.”

The student works showcased in the Art Gallery varied from paintings, drawings, and sculptures to much more; they were among those chosen by the art and photojournalism faculty for the 2014-2015 academic year.

As guests made their way into the gallery, they were greeted by “18,” a life-size self-portrait by Cesar Velasquez. It depicts him with a third eye, wearing a Native-American headdress gesturing signs with his hands. Drawing instructor Jason Kunke noted, “I liked the way he [Velasquez] went back in and inscribed all these symbols. You can see the way he built up these shapes, its very confrontational and there’s an aggression to it.”

Another piece that stood out was an unusual untitled drawing by Kristina Kara, which illustrates a creature that looks like a woman morphed together with a bird. The rich colors, especially the deep velvet from the wings, stand out against the black background. The drawing itself makes one question the relationship between the two subjects – bird and woman. It was captivating yet intriguing.

PERSPECTIVE - The Walt Disney Concert Hall under a full moon.Alvin Cuadra / Photographer

PERSPECTIVE – The Walt Disney Concert Hall under a full moon.

Out of the photographs from the lot, “Disney Hall and Full Moon,” by Alvin Cuadra (contributor to the Star), was the most eye-catching. By using a fisheye lens and focusing the camera on the railing from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Cuadra adds depth to the image; the street lights and bright moon in the background illuminate the night sky. “I just wanted to display natures beauty and the architectural curves of the concert hall,” said Cuadra.

Yasmin Gomez’s two ceramic pieces, “Decaying Tutu” and “Submerged Ballerina” that were highly admired by sociology major Pricilla Sandoval and professor Kunke.

“Both were made in similar ways, by taking lace and dipping it into porcelain. It’s extremely fragile,” said Kunke. “It brings together whatever connotation ballet has and sort of meshes it with abject decay, which is really interesting.”

Toward the back of the gallery was a snake-like figure made up of 45 golf balls, each a different gradation of red. “The difficult thing about that piece is that each golf ball is cast with plastic in a rubber mold and she had to dye the plastic perfectly to get that even gradation from white to red,” said art instructor Jamison Carter. “It’s technically an extremely difficult thing to do.”

Thursday night’s art exhibit encompassed a variety of works with different themes, from dark pieces like “Agitated Victim,” a mock-up of a bloody arm holding a detonator, to more playful ones like “Pop Art Crayfish,” a work incorporating cut outs of different images put together to form a unique interpretation of a skull and cross bones.

“The Student Art Show” will be on display at the Art Gallery (located in the Art Building) until May 28 and will open back up on Sept. 2. General Gallery Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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