The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is currently showcasing promising and diverse student artwork in its “Pre-Season Showcase of FJUHSD Student Art”.
Students’ works in the art show are from Fullerton, Buena Park, La Habra, Troy, Sunny Hills and other local schools in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.
The art ranges from mixed media, 3D sculptures, digital photography, drawings and paintings– displaying students’ potential and their current skills as artists. Themes that can be seen through the gallery include the self, beauty, fantasy, and current events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite nationwide regulations due to COVID-19, the Cultural Center has managed to continue showcasing art by setting up private viewings. In the case of the Student Showcase, guests are required to make reservations on Muckenthaler’s website and follow certain precautionary requirements.
Once inside the gallery, the staff member at the front desk takes the guest’s name and the guests are allowed to view the gallery on their own, at their own pace and within a 15-minute window of time.
Communications Director for the Muckenthaler, Ana Cottle, stated that many guests enjoyed viewing the gallery without a crowd. “It was really peaceful and allowed them to engage with the artwork and exhibit in a different, more personal way.”
Many guests saw this to be true as the gallery has a limit of four people at a time, resulting in a space that feels larger and more empty than it normally would under normal circumstances. As guests walk through the gallery, sounds made while walking through the former estate home of Adella and Walter Muckenthaler, whom it’s named after, almost echo through the rooms.
The art inside ranges from subject matter, aesthetic and medium, displaying the sheer talent of the FJUHSD art students. Some art pieces are 3D designed, made out of household items, paper mache sculptures, and clay sculptures. More ‘traditional” art mediums such as paintings and illustrations are also displayed.
Work that embraces new digital mediums can also be seen, such as digital art made in photoshop, almost indistinguishable from a photograph or a still life done with oil or acrylic paint.
“We found a way to do it legally and keep people safe,” said Farrell Hirsch, the Chief Executive Officer of the Muckenthaler.
“The hurdle is how to do it and keep people safe and the other hurdle is the ever-changing-regulations on the state, federal and local level,” added Hirsch.
Such measures include limiting the number of visitors, requiring visitors to wear masks and disinfecting after each gallery viewing, among other precautions.
The Muckenthaler doesn’t just showcase student work in its gallery, it also currently has an outdoor sculpture gallery– the only one in the nation to have opened during 2020. It also has a recording studio and offers adult and youth art classes.
“The reason that it’s important to have a show like this is because we want another generation of artists and we want another generation of people who appreciate art. And that doesn’t happen magically. That only happens if the people within some sort of power structure invest in the future,” said Hirsch, in regards to the importance of showcasing student artwork.
The Pre-Season Showcase of FJUHSD Student Art has been extended to Feb. 19. More information about The Muckenthaler, current events or to make a reservation for the Student Showcase can be found on their website.