Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery opens student art show
As summer rolls around the corner, Chemeketa’s art students let their hard work shine at the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery.
The art gallery is hosting the Student Art Show, allowing Chemeketa students to submit their art pieces to show to the general public.
During its opening reception, two jurors outside of Chemeketa’s faculty selected certain art pieces in the gallery based on craftsmanship, technique and presentation.
“It’s a fresh set of eyes that are looking at the artwork,” said Gallery Coordinator and art instructor Kay Bunnenberg-Boehmer.
“It’s not an instructor who said, ‘Here’s an assignment,’” Boehmer said. “They are…looking at it as a piece of art rather than sometimes something that’s tied with an assignment.”
The show gives students a chance to hear praise and constructive criticism of the art pieces they share. It is intended to help students grow their artistic skills with confidence.
Many of the art pieces that students submitted were originally part of an art assignment for visual communications, art, and design classes.
David Moraga, a visual communications student, submitted two pieces that were part of an assignment to use non-traditional media. His first piece, titled “Square One,” was originally part of his final project for Art 115. Using a sheet of pinewood as a canvas, he used a blow-torch to burn parts of the canvas to create a self portrait. This medium of art, known as pyrography, is a method that pays extra attention to detail in a delicate and yet destructive craft to manipulate value on canvas. The scale of his piece, standing about three feet tall, combined with the placement of the portrait off-center, leaning to the right really captures the viewer’s eye. That and the natural line pattern distorting the pine wood truly adds soul to the piece. That art piece won Juror’s Award First Place.
His second, more polished pyrographic piece, titled “Unjustified,” reveals a face in high contrast, but softly establishes light texture capturing minimalist details of the clothing, and a face with an expression that is both authentic and symbolic.
According to Moraga, the piece is dedicated to a man named Kalief Browder. Arrested for stealing a backpack at the age of 16, he was sentenced to two and a half years of solitary confinement, enduring abuse in the correctional facility. When he finished his time in prison, his case was dismissed due to no evidence or witnesses confirming that he committed this crime. Six months after he was released, he hung himself at his mother’s house.
“He was only sixteen when he got arrested, and so it was a really touching story to me, so that’s why I made this piece,” Moraga said.
The title rendering itself true to the piece, and the expression given of this man, it establishes a haunting and yet proper representation of Kalief Browder. This art piece was awarded the Executive Dean of General Education and Transfer Recognition Award.
An art piece made by Visual Communications student Brice Spreadbury, called “Modern Daguerreotype,” was originally a class project for Art 265. It was a digital photography assignment to create a daguerreotype made from traditional methods involving the use of metal sheets. Additionally using Photoshop, Brice worked through layers of the image to create scratched texture that is commonly found in aged photos one would find in an old family album.
During the opening reception, Brice had the chance to hear the jurors compliment his use of the recycled gold frame that maintained representation of a traditional daguerreotype. They also commented on how it seemed like a photography style of cultural origin reinvented. His art piece was awarded third place by the jurors.
These art pieces are merely a few of dozens on display in this art gallery, each using different mediums; from ink, ceramics, digital animation, to paint. Each telling a different story and presentation. As requested by an art student, many thanks to Kay Bunnenberg Boehmer for encouraging students to share their art pieces for the Student Art Show. The student art show will remain open to the general public until June 8.