Originally written for publishing on May 14, 2013.
The Student Art Exhibition kicked off its annual celebration of the past year in Fullerton College art by honoring the best works the students had to offer.
Taking home the prize of best in show was the sculpture “Flight” by graphic design student Steven Do. The piece is of a bronze fairy with mechanical wings sitting on top of an old leather trunk.
The sculpture was the culmination of a semester long project spent intricately carving wax molds before casting the piece out of bronze. The trunk the figure sits on was carved out of wood. The sculpture was just one of four pieces Do had in the exhibition.
“My parents were super happy that I actually got pieces into the show and they were telling me ‘you’re actually getting somewhere in life,’” said Do.
In addition to the award, Do and the other winners on the night took home a small cash prize from the art gallery. That type of success had Do reassessing his future plans.
“I am actually transferring to Cal State Fullerton for graphic design, but I kind of want to stick with sculpture still, so…we’ll see how that goes,” Do said.
The other top prize of the night, the President’s award was also given to a non art major. Sociology student Liliana Padilla was chosen for the award given out by college President Dr. Rajen Vurdien.
The winning piece was a graphite drawing of Padilla’s mother, who she credits as her inspiration for encouraging her to pursue art in the first place. Padilla, because she draws as a hobby, was shocked just to get into the show, let alone to be honored with an award.
“I was all the way in the back, so I was like ‘did he say my name?’” Padilla said. “I’m still a little shaky too just because I was not expecting this.”
Like the artwork itself, the exhibition itself was the product of lots of work from the Fullerton College students. The gallery design class spent the last two months encouraging submissions, gathering artwork, designing the gallery floor and hanging all the pieces to make the exhibition happen. There are in excess of 100 pieces of student artwork on display, chosen from more than three hundred submissions.
Just about every art medium the school has to offer was on display at the gallery. Traditional mediums like paint, charcoal and sculpture were displayed alongside more modern mediums like digital photography, graphic design, and fashion design.
Bill Hayner, Chair of the Art Department called the event the culmination of the entire year in Fullerton College art.
“It is a chance for us to let our students show off their hard work and for us to be proud of ourselves as art instructors,” Hayner said. “You look in this gallery and all the student artists represented here, you’ll see several individuals who are going to have successful careers in art.”
In addition to the best in show and President’s award, prizes were also given out to the top piece in different mediums. Each winner was chosen by a panel of instructors in that medium.
The top 3D piece went to Fabricio Castillo-Arce for his clay sculpture “Restorer of Peace” while the 2D prize went to Britny Gledhill for her oil painting “Parking Meter.” Alex Guzman took home top honors in digital medium for his prints about the 2016 Rio Olympics while the ceramics prize went to an “Untitled” piece by Karen Hiskey.
In addition to showcasing the students, the art exhibition was also a chance for the art department itself to show off a bit. Robert Jensen, Dean of the Fine Arts Division, and Hayner both highlighted the fact that this summer will have more art classes than ever before.
“We do so many things to keep the Art Department going. Meetings to push curriculum along, redesigning classes. This next semester there is going to be a big change in a lot of the classes,” Hayner said.
But most of all the night was about the work on display and that is what the packed house gathered to see. Jensen wanted to encourage everyone in the room allow themselves to be inspired by work on display.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see this much talent at Fulllerton College,” Jensen said.
The Student Art Exhibition is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 2 p.m. at the Art Gallery located in the 1000 building. There will also be an evening showing this Thursday between 5 and 7 p.m.