The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC students gain experienced sculptor as an art professor

Armando Ramos stands with student sculptures on Monday, Oct. 3, in his lab in the Humanities Building at City College. Ramos is the new arts instructor who specializes in 3D sculptures made from all different types of material, such as wood and cardboard.

As the early morning sun peeks in the first floor windows of the Humanities Building, students trickle into their 3D art design class with City College’s new assistant art professor Armando Ramos III.

Ten students gather around a large, square, wooden table. Three skeletal towers made from long wooden dowels, held together with black wire, sit on display. He explained the morphemic form study project and the types of materials that are commonly used in it. Components such as marble, clay, foam and wood can all react to one another differently according to Ramos.

“I find Mr. Ramos’ class really challenging,” said Art Student Kathrin Lubahan. “The exploration of positive and negative space with different kinds of material—it’s almost like being thrown in the deep end.”

He drew basic pictures on a blackboard while in front of the class. Ramos showed students how to control and alter the negative space of the 2 foot high towers, encouraging critical thinking when solving an artistic dilemma and the strength of developing your own personal vision.

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Ramos has an extensive background in art, starting from his schooling to his sculpture work and hands on teaching experience.

He is originally from Dallas, Texas, and attended the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, and attended a summer workshop in Maine at Haystack Mountain School of Craft, a school geared for young artists. After receiving a bachelor in fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute, Ramos earned his master’s degree in fine arts from Montana State University.

As a lifelong artist he has found his specialty to be in sculpture art.

“My art practice is intended as a playful counterpoint to the darker images and ideas that inundate us through mass culture,” he said. “I use irony and humor to evoke a sense of parody in my work.”

In 2015, Ramos held a solo exhibition called “Something Absurd” in the North Dakota Museum of Art, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The exhibit displayed seven of Ramos’ sculptures, including two very large, black ceramic animal heads named “Bean Top” and “Bone.”

“As an artist I am interested in the manipulation of images from everyday life and popular culture,” said Ramos. “And how this visual information can be redirected and give life to my creations.”

As well as being a professional artist, Ramos worked as an adjunct professor of art at San Ramon College, from 2006-2009. Ramos then moved to Valley City, North Dakota. He spent the next six years of his life as the department chair of art at Valley City State University, before landing the job at City College this fall semester.

“I really love Mr. Ramos’ class,” says Jacob Barrett, an 18-year-old art student and biomedical science major. “I use this class to make my imaginations run wild, and to get through my day.”

Ramos also teaches Art 170, “Introduction to Sculpture,” at City College, and claims his move to Santa Barbara has “strengthened his vision.” He feels this is an overall better opportunity for his career as an artist and professor.

“I’m hoping to add to the already stellar and very qualified faculty,” said Ramos. “I mean look at this place. It’s like a UC department. Students really have a great opportunity and advantage.”

Correction, Oct. 8, 2016
A previous version of this article misstated that Ramos attended high school in Maine, at the Haystack Mountain School of Craft. Ramos attended that school for a summer workshop, but not for all of high school. The Channels regrets this error. 

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