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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Atkinson Gallery’s ‘Planet Earth’ exhibit embraces the land and sea

August Lawrence
John Connelly shows his associate Kim Brown around City College’s new exhibit, “Planet Earth,” on Sept. 10 in the Atkinson Gallery at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The recurring theme of the exhibit is the space we occupy on the land and sea.

City College’s Atkinson Gallery presents “Planet Earth,” a group exhibition of three artists, as its first showcase of the fall 2021 semester.

These three artists combine their own styles and themes into the common one of “Planet Earth.” The show centers around the idea of a year of being inside and reflecting on ourselves and the space we occupy on the land and sea.

“I was looking at their work and realized the trend of the land in their work in very different ways,” said Atkinson Gallery Director John Connelly. “I really like the group exhibition dynamic.”

Artists Sarah Rosalena Brady, Mark Churchill, and Vanessa Wallace-Gonzales have integrated different concepts of land into their work. The way they represent this theme in their own unique way was a factor in choosing them to be in the exhibition. 

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“[Churchill] actually uses local clay and stoneware when making his glazes, he’s inspired by traditional Korean and Japanese craftsmanship but also the rich history of ceramics in California,” Connelly said. The Ojai-based artist also uses a traditional high-fired method in his works, which consists of firing the clay anywhere between 2,012°F – 2,336°F.

Brady is a professor of Computational Craft and Haptic Media at UCSB. Her work inspiration stems from the future and technology. She blends computational craft, such as 3-D printers, and Indigenous motifs into her pieces.

City College students were also able to attend an “Artist Talk” with Brady where she spoke more in-depth about her techniques and inspirations.

“When I talk to students I always like to encourage them to always kind of be a pendant, find your own voice, because you never know,” she said.

The third featured artist, Vanessa Wallace-Gonzales, makes use of bones, bugs and plants — just to name a few of her natural sources for her work.

“She uses the land in her work in very literal ways,” said Connelly about Wallace-Gonzales. 

The show was intended for this past spring but was moved to the fall semester. Now, the public is welcome to appreciate the art in person.

Any guest who would like to attend must fill out the Healthy Roster survey and receive a wristband, if available. Guests must also abide by social distancing and wear masks during their time inside. More information on COVID-19 protocols or how to visit in person can be found at the gallery’s website.

The Atkinson Gallery is located in the Humanities Building on the East Campus of City College, with the exhibit available for viewing until Oct. 23.

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