Students, faculty, and the community filled the Fullerton College art gallery for the 2022 Student Art Exhibition opening reception in late April, back in person after hosting solely online since 2020.
Artwork ranging from steampunk sculptures to still life paintings to whimsical watercolors are on display, and many were highlighted during the awards ceremony.
“This is the first time back,” said Monica Campbell, winner of the Excellence in Color and Art History awards. “I’m stoked to be here.” Campbell’s still life, and bust of Poseidon are displayed in the gallery.
“It was so exciting to see the students and their supporters together again in the gallery,” said Carol Henke, director of the Fullerton College art gallery, in an email. “There were students meeting their instructors for the first time in real life, and some very touching moments.”
The exhibition will continue through May 11. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Admission is free, and some artwork is available for purchase.
Any work of art created in an art class at Fullerton College was eligible for submission, according to Henke. Faculty in each area selected the work that best represented the courses. The faculty then chose the top awards, including Best in Show and three excellence awards.
Kala Hanno’s painting, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” took Best in Show this year.
The anonymous entry numbers of the submissions not accepted were posted in the art department, on the gallery’s Instagram account, and on Remind, an app used for communication between teachers and students.
However, some people commented that posting the unselected numbers on social media was “uncaring” or that they paid money just to get rejected. According to Henke, this is the first year the gallery has received criticism for this, as they have done it in the past.
As for the cost of submitting their work, there is a $5 fee with a max of four entries. The fees go towards reception costs throughout the year. Henke said this year had significantly fewer entries.
The annual exhibition had historically been held in person at the gallery. In March 2020, the exhibition was shifted online, a first-time endeavor and a massive project for the gallery exhibition design class.
“It’s an opportunity to highlight and honor the students that have worked so hard,” said Gail Arriola-Nickell, art department faculty and instructor of the museum studies classes who designed and worked on the exhibition. “Not only during the pandemic, but just creating art, amazing work, and bringing their ideas to fruition.”
EDIT: This article has been corrected for an inaccurate statement.