‘Juried Student Exhibition’ highlights student creativity

Sonoma State’s Juried Student Exhibition reminds one of the purity and creativity that young artists maintain while still creating a depth of emotion and a sense of contrast seen at a professional level. The gallery is currently available for viewing at the school’s main gallery located in the art building. All of the work seen in the exhibit is student created and was judged by artists Anna Simson and Stephen Whisler. 

Sonoma State’s art department is one of the best in the state and the work in the 2014 Juried Student Exhibition is a clear indication of that. The gallery is split up into four rooms and the first room contains a collection of mostly oil paintings on canvas, including some by Faye Wheeler and Isaac Lopez. 

Wheeler plays with fire in a very interesting way, showing burnt matches next to a half full book in one piece, and a fast food burger with a cigarette put out onto in another oil painting. Both pieces are very well painted and the main attraction would have to be the masterful and emotional driven brush strokes, which complete the piece. 

Lopez has three pieces in the exhibit, two of which tackle religious scenes with an affection and a clear amount of knowledge for the subjects. In “The Baptism” and “ Hot Sauce Spill” Lopez indicates his religious ideas with a man being baptized by a doppelganger next to a large collection of religious candles. His third piece “The Call” is on the other side of the gallery and is a departure from religion. 

Possibly the most striking visual piece was Dayana Leon’s “Distorted Mirror” which has an exquisite composition and is unbelievably well done.

“This is my favorite piece of the gallery in terms of artistic ability. It reminds me of remembering things,” said student Ian Mattimoe. This piece shows a woman standing in front of a mirror, without being able to make out her features or even be certain about the shape of her body, yet it leaves rooms for the imagination to create the non blurred version of the work perfectly. 

Another beautiful work in terms of ability and color are the Ariel Lockshaw pieces, which are presented in a variety of media. In her two pieces “Out to Lunch” and “Pragmatics” the artist uses oil, acrylic, aerosol, graphite and her masterful eye for color to create scenes that are abstract in nature yet based solidly in reality. The ideas that she is able to convey are transcendent of reality and leave the audience wondering how important each individual piece is towards the whole. 

Jose McLennan is another artist whose works are prominently displayed and who also deals with religion in a very different way. He poses priests and nuns in the foreground while collages of war and destruction, as well as the representation of the mass spreading of religion for non-theological purposes are detailed in the back.

“‘Rompope,’ the one with the priest holding a forty was the most interesting work in my opinion,” said business major Malcolm Silva-Anderson. 

The gallery also includes a variety of other mediums, including etching, lithograph and photography. The highlights of these mediums would have to include: “Motion” a hypnotizing trio of photographs by Natalie Cassidy, a beautifully detailed untitled lithograph by Marybeth Mondck, and etchings by Hadley Radt. The gallery also has a limited number of sculptures, which act as a sort of focal point for each part of the exhibit. 

When exiting the gallery you are left with two of Radt’s etchings and gel pen pieces, “The More you Cannot Win” and an untitled piece. Radt’s work first appears confusing with the amount of crossing lines and patterns, yet if you stand back and take it in as a whole it creates a beautiful sense of harmony and completion hidden within chaos. 

The exhibit closes this Sunday and the gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and weekends from noon to 4 p.m.