Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 48
Lifetimes of learningThe Allan Hancock College Annual Fine Arts Student Show shares a range of artistic ability and expression
BY JOE PAYNE
We are all students of life, learning something new every day, and who we are is the result of what we’ve learned. Art is a learning process on several levels: You must learn technique, you must learn your craft, but mostly you must learn who you are.
The Allan Hancock College Fine Arts Student Art Show is a vivid display of who the students in the Allan Hancock College Fine Arts Department are. Though they are students, each artist is sharing his or her own self-discovery through art with poignant strength.
“The truth is we all have to start somewhere with our art, or anything that is brand new,” said Hancock gallery director and fine arts instructor Marti Fast, “and you can only grow from that point forward, and age often has nothing to do with it.”
Though the exhibit is a student showcase, 18- to 25-year-olds aren’t the only demographic represented. Allan Hancock College, being a community college, welcomes students of all ages. The art show, Fast related, features works from students who may still be in their teens or are long past retirement age.
“We do have a wonderful range,” Fast said. “Every decade is represented, I’m sure. I know for a fact it is that way in my life drawing class.”
Fast, who designed and hung the show, is one of the several Fine Arts teachers at Hancock who selected the best of their students to be showcased in the exhibit. Teachers representing multiple media selected standout works of drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic arts and design, photography, sculpture, and mixed media forms including assemblage.
“How it works is, at the end of the fall semester, when we are having the final critique, the instructors pick about eight or nine of the best works their students have produced,” Fast said. “I never know what the teachers will choose, but I know it will all be the cream of the crop.”
Fast is then met with the daunting task of arranging and hanging all the art. This year the exhibit features nearly 150 pieces, which must all fit in the beautiful, yet humbly sized, Ann Foxworthy Gallery in the Student Resource Center at the college.
“It’s almost a statement, the show itself,” Fast said. “As the designer or curator of the exhibit, I do my best to show it off, so that it is artfully presented. There is a lot that goes into it, and there is a lot of consciousness that goes into this show.”
Throughout the year, Fast explained, the students are spending regular time creating together. Along with that comes group displaying and critiquing and constructive criticism.
“The first critique usually seems to be a bonding moment between many students,” she said, “and you will often have a whole cohort of students who take classes together, and it’s interesting to see the interaction there.”
More than just interacting in class, the annual student exhibit allows students to present the fruits of the labor together, uniting the entire fine arts department, students and teachers.
“We pour our heart and soul into our work, including our students,” Fast said, “and the show represents that, so the show itself becomes a work of art.”
The exhibit is only viewable through Feb. 22 during school hours. An artists’ reception, which gives locals a chance to not just view the art, but meet the diverse group of creators behind the exhibit, is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The show and reception offer the community a chance to get acquainted with seasoned local artists as well as the next generation honing its craft.
“I think we need to find ways to show that we’ve been here,” Fast said. “Our voices, our inner voices of who we are and what we are about, are able to be seen and heard through our artwork.”
Arts Editor Joe Payne has several inner voices. Contact him at email@example.com.