Atkinson Gallery hosts student exhibit, awards scholarships

The Channels Art Pages | STAFF REVIEW

Karl Blasius observes a sculpture during the Annual Student Exhibition on Friday, April 12, 2019, in the Atkinson Gallery at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Blasius, a phycology major at SBCC, used to be an art major and once had his work featured in the Atkinson Gallery 12 years back.

Sierra Shelton, Staff Writer

Within the four walls of the Atkinson Gallery, art installations hung from the ceilings and filled the walls of the Annual Student Exhibition Friday evening.

The Art Department presented $10,700 in awards and scholarships from organizations like the Santa Barbara Printmakers Association and the Santa Barbara Art Association.

Thirty-eight City College student artists’ work was featured in the opening reception held in the Atkinson Gallery.

Voices could be heard down the Humanities building hallway and echoed throughout the comfortable, off-white gallery.

Warm, intricately placed lights accented the natural lighting from the outside lounging area offering refreshments and a space for kids to play. Attendees chatted and laughed amongst each other with Marvin Gaye and Lauryn Hill crooning in the background.

The gallery featured art of various mediums such as 2D and 3D design, ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

Physical, abstract art and sculptures occupied the floors and ceilings of the galleries as the charcoal drawings oil paintings, and print decorated the walls.

Will Goodnough’s mixed media art immediately caught the eye from the tucked away corner of the room. The diorama-like piece, “Songs for St. Patty’s Day” was one of few boxes against the wall decorated with paint, butterflies and an open window with a red substance spilling over the side. Inside of the opening were several fuzzy chicks in front of a church and doves. The piece is being sold for $4,000.

Only one of many unique pieces, Goodnough received Frederick and Ursula Perl Endowed Art Scholarship.

A special thanks was given to the students, interns, organizations and donors who contributed to the gallery. Appreciation was especially given to Sarah Cunningham, who will be leaving her position as Atkinson Gallery director after six years with City College to pursue a career in New York.

A notable abstract installations was “Mask,” a shield-shaped piece by Yaxi Lyn covered in scattered mirror shards and pipes covered in sharp glass.

Across the floor was what looked like a radiant, fluorescent colored chair, but Alexandra James’ piece “Washed Up” was actually made of detergent bottles and resin. Made from recycled plastic, the chair cause me to re-think sustainable art.

James received the $4,500 Eli Luria Honorary Scholarship in Studio Art.

Plenty of ceramic and clay art sat on podiums around the room.

Emiliano Lobato’s “der Fuß der Frail” stood out as a clay sculpture of a foot in a red, strappy heel with red nail polish complimenting the glassy brown skin.

“Mother Nature” by Mariah Cochrane is reminiscent of greek figure sculptures, elegantly portraying an olive torso with a rusted blue rose blooming from the neck, thorns and leaves growing from the side.

Art of differing media danced across the walls, some of the printmaking pieces being the most distinctive. Some key pieces were  “Rem” by Nik Fairchild and “Testings,” a collagraph by scholarship recipient Sydnie Pace.

The scholarship and awards were well deserved, and the remaining art in the galley was impressive. It was easy to forget that the art was made by students, and not seasoned professionals.

The Annual Student Exhibition can be viewed in the Atkinson Gallery until May 3, 2019.