The Fullerton College Art Gallery opened its doors for the last show of the season last Thursday. The show is curated by Art Gallery Director Carol Henke and designed by gallery students. The concept is to show the cultural perspectives of life and death from the viewpoints of artists: Julie Yeo, Poli Marchal and Adam Watts.

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Julie Yeo talking with guests outside of the Art Gallery doors. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

The show is set up so that you turn to the right and begin at Yeo’s pieces and carry on through to Marchal’s work. You are then guided towards Watt’s display and are circled through to the gallery’s interactive tree of life.

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Guests view Yeo's Tiny Paintings and Dream Speak series Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Yeo’s Tiny Painting series were inspired by her upbringing with Korean shamanism. The original pieces are mounted directly to the wall using tacky glue.

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From Julie Yeo's Tiny Paintings series. These original works are mounted directly to the wall. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

They depict the communication of the living and the dead with the use of symbolism like the lines that are seen frequently in the scenes to show the connection between the worlds.

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Yeo's Dream Speak series. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

The larger pieces are from Yeo’s Dream Speak series. Although the mixed media abstract appear womb-like, they are a continuation of the living communicating with the dead while dreaming. The offerings show a kind of peacefulness and contentment with the hope that our loved ones who have passed are always connected to us.

Marchal’s pieces come from a more organic place as they are based on the Cieba tree, found in Puerto Rico where she was raised.

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Poli Marchal's Cieba tree monotype print series representing the seasons/stages of life. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Cantwell explained that the Cieba tree is known as the “Tree of Life” and the mythology behind the prints is from the artist’s combination of indigenous American, Spanish, Celtic and African beliefs.

The cycle starts, as trees do, at the roots with people being born. Then growing up spiritually, branching out and finally reaching up to the leaves or to the point where they reach enlightenment and are worthy to transcend into the heavens.

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Codex de la Frontera by Poli Marchal Photo credit: Gina Allstun

The other prints in her section have a Mesoamerican feel to them with serpents traveling through the life cycle.

Turning the corner from Marchal’s section to Watts’ display, the scene changes from the organic origins of life to the tangible reflections of death.

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Adam Watts Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Watts is a musician most known for his work on pop songs found in Disney productions such as “Camp Rock” and “Hannah Montana.”

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Adam Watts' mixed media and found objects piece. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

The 3-D mixed media pieces are as visually striking as they are creepy. Each display is meant to be a visual representation of music from Watts, which one would expect it to be dark and menacing, but it’s soulful and melodic.

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Adam Watts Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Small skeletal remains positioned like they are flying through the air or posed in old medical boxes with lights shining through give a feeling that there is life after death.

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Parachute by Adam Watts Photo credit: Gina Allstun

“I loved how he put skeletons in a frame and all the intricate pieces,” said Nikki Escamilla, art student.

Solomie Amuanuel, art student and show visitor, said Watts’ work has more of an antique feel to it rather than an art feel.

Closing out the circle is an interactive piece that was hand-drawn directly on the wall by Deborah Cantwell with the question, “Life after death, what do you imagine it to be?”

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A visitor pauses to answer the question: Life after death, what do you imagine it to be? Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Visitors are invited to engage in art by writing their interpretations on leaves and sticking them on the branches of the tree.

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One life to leave. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Answers range from funny, to unsure, to contemplative.

The Art Gallery has a book of all the art work included in the show available to order for $12

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Life Cycle: the book Photo credit: Gina Allstun

The Life Cycle is open from Oct. 27 to Dec. 1. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- Noon and 2-4 p.m.

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