City College student artists showcased their work from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday in the Atkinson Gallery for the opening of the 2018 Annual Student Art Exhibition.
Guests gathered on the patio connected to the gallery and enjoyed the fresh air and the setting sun with ice-cold strawberry and lemon water in their hands, compliments of the gallery. The nirvanic atmosphere really got guests talking to one another about the art.
The exhibit featured 49 works, including biological sculptures, oil paintings, watercolor works, sculptures of different mediums, ceramics, and 3D and 2D paintings. One crew member, Ariana Sanchez, remarked on the diversity of work, mentioning that there was everything from political statements to decorational art in the gallery.
One moving piece was Lily Pon’s “Memorial for Montecito,” which was displayed on a grass lawn that guests could view from the gallery’s patio. Pon constructed the piece with over three thousand hand molded flowers that took the shape of a newborn baby in the womb.
The flowers were made from the mud left behind by the Montecito mudslide, which Pon cleaned and molded into thousands of delicate blossoms. Though the flowers were different colors, some dark grey, brown, and light pink, Pon didn’t paint them. Their color varied because she burned the mud at different temperatures.
“The tragic events of the Montecito mudslides deeply affected the hearts of many living in Santa Barbara County,” said Brandon Davis, a law enforcement student at City College. “There couldn’t have been a better way to remember the lives lost.”
Another student, Alejandro Martinez, had three pieces in the exhibition and won the Eli Luria Honorary Scholarship in Studio Art for his overall five submissions, which were paintings and sculptures. The scholarship is a cash prize to help art majors get the supplies they need or help pay their tuition.
One of Martinez’s sculptures, “Of Blue in Between,” is a square piece of latex on canvas with soothing colors that are intertwined. The piece seemed to be illustrating a peaceful period of transition because the blue was coming through the multi-colored sculpture in a solid stream.
“I think the exhibit did a good job including pieces that represent all areas of the art department,” said Sage Gaspar, a crew member who helped place the pieces in the gallery. “We worked on designing the event for about two weeks,” Gaspar said.
By 7 p.m., the cheese platters had been cleared, the blue sky had darkened, and the crew managing the exhibit started to fold the tables down as guests headed out of the gallery, ending an evening of vibrant colors and good conversation.
The exhibition will be available for viewing during regular gallery hours through Friday, May 11.