Fullerton College’s Art Gallery hosts the exhibition “Presence” that features art from local and international artists. “Presence” brings awareness to what it feels like to be present without actually being seen.

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"Presence" at the Fullerton College Art Gallery Opening Ceremony, featuring art professor James Dowdalls, on Thursday, Oct. 24. Photo credit: Jennifer Despres

Gallery Director, Carol Henke co-curated the exhibit with collector, Dee Kerrison addressing what someone of diversity endures when they are seemingly invisible to those in their presence.

One of the gallery’s largest works on display is “All American Class of 2016” by Patrick Martinez. The art piece is a massive rendition of a standard Pee-Chee folder depicting student athletes.

“He started off doodling on his folder like everyone did when they were a kid, but is addressing issues of what it’s like to be a student now,” said Henke.

Martinez showcases the police violence he became accustomed to where he grew up in his art. The meaning of the piece could also be interpreted as being the threat of gunfire students encounter daily at their educational institutions.

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An onlooker admiring "All American Class of 2016," by Patrick Martinez during the Opening Reception of "Presence" at Fullerton College's Art Gallery on October 24, 2019. Photo credit: Jennifer Despres

It was a comfortable full-house for a gallery’s opening day, with tasters of cheese and cookies available upon entry. Among the onlookers were faculty, students and locals admiring the provocative works before them.

The impression of some was they were not sure what to make of the art pieces. Dennis Svet, a student in the paralegal studies program, minced no words when attempting to describe how in art a positive can so easily be misconstrued as a negative.

Leo Tolstoy had a way of describing how deeply personal the nature of perceiving art is.

“Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge,” said Tolstoy.

Kerrison, who loaned the painting “Yellow Ochre Pullover” to the gallery, commented how many FC students won’t get to explore art exhibitions in L.A. He believed it would be beneficial that he could bring such unique works to them.

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Co-curator Dee Kerrison (left) networking in front of Amoako Boafo's "Yellow Ochre Pullover" during the Opening Reception of "Presence" at Fullerton College's Art Gallery on October 24, 2019. Photo credit: Jennifer Despres

“There were many artists that loaned us their works,” said Kerrison. “We were very fortunate because they were very generous.”

FC President Greg Schulz, sung a similar tune as he was perusing the exhibit. He expressed gratitude in regard to how blessed the FC community was to have a gallery to call their own.

The exhibition will be available to the public and FC students in the FC Art Gallery in room 1004 until December 2.

The gallery will be open Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the hours of 12 – 2pm the gallery is closed. On select nights the gallery will be open in the evening on Oct. 30, Nov. 5 and 18 from 6 – 8 p.m.

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