Review: Small images on display at Atkinson Gallery

Familial Faces: Gary by Connie Connally hangs in the Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College.  The Small Images exhibit will continue until Nov. 1, 2013.

Nora Abou-Dabous

‘Familial Faces: Gary’ by Connie Connally hangs in the Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College. The Small Images exhibit will continue until Nov. 1, 2013.

Skylar Serge, Staff Writer

From miniature sculptures of couches to amusing self-portraits, the 28th annual Small Image Contest at City College has outdone itself yet again.

The Atkinson Gallery at City College is hosting the Small Image exhibition, which allows artists to enter in a piece of their work no larger than 18” in every dimension, including the frame.

While touring the gallery, bright photographs are highlighted under soft white lighting making each portrait look more alive. “Trinidad,” by student, Yi Mao, is the scene of two older men, one with a rooster resting on his head.

“Leonard and His Big Mouth,” by Monica Wiesblott is a linocut drawing, printmaking style using a sharp knife to cut into surface. It was hard not to stop and look at. Her small image won an honorable mention at this years award ceremony.

Jim McAninch, another honorable mention winner, entered his sculpture, “Hot Date.” This tiny couch is raised on a pedestal with vintage teal-green colors and worn-out features. With the use of vibrant bronze encasing the sculpture, McAninch gets viewers to take a second look.

First prize for 3D sculpture, “Astronauts Love Cheese,” was awarded to Dan Levin. Levin takes ordinary objects and arranges them together like a vivid memory, with some comedy in mind.

An old cutout cream cheese container is the outer casing on Levin’s piece. A magnifying glass is propped up facing forward, distorting the size of the stamp that rests on the wall behind the glass.

This was a particular impressive idea on Levin’s part. The story unfolds itself as one gazes straight at his work. The detailed lettering on the sides of the cream cheese box adds emphasis to the unique character of his art, generating personality and eloquence.

From porcelain-made cups to papier-mâché and newspaper creations, the work of these students seems to further mystify viewers each coming year.

Leslie Lewis Sigler’s painting, “Silver Spoon, The Venus,” was another tiny work of art. Sigler’s oil on board is not any less detailed than a large mural. With silver and white oil paint highlighting a metal utensil, the realistic spoon is sophisticated and delicate.

These small works of more than 30 artists allow viewers to focus on certain aspects of each person’s artistic vision and see an immense amount of talent within a confined amount of space.

The different mediums and techniques these artists used produced something original and special about each one of their works. The contest pieces are for sale and the gallery will be displaying the small images until Nov. 1.