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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Atkinson Gallery features artwork exhibition made by 2 SBCC alumni

A student views art on platen plexiglass by Tamar Siegfried Rosa Halpern on Sept. 8, 2022, at the Atkinson Gallery at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The plexiglass medium of the piece generates new interpretive experiences as the viewer’s position and natural lighting alter the art display.

The Atkinson Gallery presented an exhibition featuring City College alumni who have elevated the space with plexiglass prints and interactive sculptures. 

Evelyn Contreras and Tamar Siegfried Rosa Halpern are both artists who are inspired by traditional mediums and methods like printmaking, and creatively incorporate these into contemporary works. 

The two artists’ works differ in medium and style, but come together in the gallery to create an  interesting and thought-provoking space. Their unique uses of printmaking are striking and contrasted, offering an inspiring experience for the viewer. 

Halpern has a wide range of work on display including three UV printed plexiglass sculptures, three framed prints, and three works on linen with Chinese crinkle silk. 

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Contreras displays five sculptural and interactive pieces. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer’s eye catches on her brightly-colored piece installed onto a pillar, “Viewmaster Series, 2022.” As the name suggests, it is a series of images viewed within stereoscopic viewfinders. Her work is loud and draws attention, but has a soft introspective nature as well.

Three neon-green flipbook structures line the wall, creating stations where students and staff can be seen turning a lever to create an abstracted moving picture. The flipbook images are silkscreen prints, and the flip books themselves are titled “Flipbook 1-3: Rockport.” As I entered the gallery, the animation of these black-and-white flip books mesmerized and intrigued me. 

The most complex piece was “Suspension”- Contreras’s corner sculpture. Where two gallery walls meet, “Suspension” bursts from the center with futuristic colors and abstract shapes. 

Halpern’s work can be described as more understated, but is equally as powerful. Her plexiglass sculptures are displayed in a row, standing on maplewood bases. The sunlight from the door behind them shines through each one, giving them a soft glow. 

On the floor are Halpern’s titles, which creatively tie each piece into a time, place, and any feelings Halpern had while creating it. She also uses her titles to engage in social commentary that relates to the time they were made. This helps to relate the viewer to her works and create a narrative between each piece. 

The newest pieces made with Chinese crinkle silk, are soft and introspective. In a slight contrast, the three pieces that incorporate plexiglass and aluminum in maplewood frames are bright and emotional. You can distinguish photographic forms like hands or hair, but they are also beautifully abstracted and open to interpretation. 

Both Contreras and Halpern place their works within the exhibition, using light and color to create an immersive experience for the viewer. 

The exhibition will be presented until Wednesday, Oct. 19 and is open to viewers at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

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