Tuesday, November 30, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 39

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on March 17th, 2009, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 1 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 10, Issue 1

Teacher is student

Arts instructors show their stuff at Hancock College's faculty exhibit


Place Marker
This part of a series by ceramics instructor Bob Nichols, in which explores his fascination with vessels, boats, journeys, and human connections.
They say those who can’t, teach. But Allan Hancock College instructors are turning that cliché on its head and proving they can, by featuring their work in the annual faculty art exhibit at the Ann Foxworthy Gallery.

Curated by Gallery Director Marti Fast, the show will feature drawings, paintings, digital media, ceramics, photography, and conceptual sculpture by arts faculty from both the Santa Maria and Lompoc campuses. The exhibit allows students and visitors to appreciate instructors’ talent.

Ceramics instructor Bob Nichols said featuring his work in the exhibit also helps him and his students relate to each other. But the work itself was inspired by his own experience feeling like a student.

Place Marker is part of a series that grew from the time he went back to school at UCSB for a graduate program after teaching at Hancock.

“The first day I walked on campus as a student, I suddenly felt totally lost,” he said, “and the feeling was unnerving.”

He decided to get himself “unlost.” Nichols found his way around using as many tools as he could. Think maps and compasses. He started taking different paths to class to familiarize himself with the campus. He started noticing the path to the school as well, especially the gap between Gaviota and Goleta, all of which intrigued him.

Do by learning
The Allan Hancock College faculty show will run through April 17 at the Ann Foxworthy Gallery, inside the Academic Resource Center, building L-South at the Santa Maria campus. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. For more information, call 922-6966, Ext. 3465.
“That whole notion of having a sense of place is now a profound part of all my art,” Nichols said.

The notion was also one part of the epiphany that became Place Marker. The other came from his teaching. Nicholas grew interested in vessels, boats, journeys, and human connections. He said a boat has become a symbol of transition in life, of all the things humans go through: heartbreaks and healing.

Nichols finished a solo exhibition a few months ago, and it gave him a chance to offer his students a lesson they can’t get from a book. He explained that with the artists they study, the students can’t ask questions, such as, “What was on your mind when you did such-and-such a piece?” When Nichols showed his work, 
however, they could have a two-way discussion.

Staffers and students were plenty inquisitive about Roger Kutz’ work, which uses cutting-edge technology. He created his piece Hopes & Fears using a process called rapid prototyping.

Hopes & Fears
Roger Kutz used a technology process called rapid prototyping to create this abstract piece. After decades of teaching art from the technological side, he felt compelled to get back to his roots in the fine arts.
The technology is based on high-resolution ink-jet output printed on a bed of gypsum in successive layers, each 3/1,000-inch thick. Kutz created a model using a 3D modeling/animation program and converted it to a format usable with the process. He then blew off all the leftover gypsum and dripped surgical glue on the surface to harden it.

Though the process of creating the sculpture was technology-driven, the idea behind it was emotional.

“I have a fine arts background, but I’ve been in the technology part of it for the last few decades, so I wanted to do something more into the fine arts aspect,” he said.

The piece explores the cycle of life, and was prompted by the passing of his mother-in-law on the West Coast and the simultaneous birth of a granddaughter on the East Coast.

He said the title was inspired in part by the rapid prototyping process of creating the piece, but also as a metaphor for life itself, which he described as delicate and sometimes fragile.

Arts Editor Shelly Cone is made up of layers 3/1,000-inch thick. Contact her at scone@santamariasun.com.

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