Posts Tagged ‘student art show’

Closet Installation Defines Art Student’s Life

April 11, 2012

Kevin plans to be part of an installation for his senior art show

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For his senior art show at Idyllwild Arts on April 20, Kevin is exposing a part of himself. In fact, he’s going to be part of an ongoing installation.

He’s showing some large, abstract paintings, but his installation showcases an unusual closet along with some track music that he mixed himself.

“Both of my parents work in the fashion industry, so it would be natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Kevin, who is from Korea. “It’s been a struggle for me deciding between fashion and art.”

Kevin is a 4-year senior, which means he attended Idyllwild Arts from his freshman to his senior year.

In Kevin’s closet installation, he’s selected only black and white clothes.

“It’s kind of a statement about human growth,” Kevin explained.

Kevin had difficulty deciding between art and fashion as a major

For example, white clothes would identify him as a baby, while black clothes would show him in old age. As the track music changes, Kevin plans to change clothes.

“I have to practice a lot to get it right,” he said with a smile.

Kevin also has some large, abstract paintings that together form a butterfly.

A few months back, Kevin got some encouraging words from Idyllwild Arts alum and street artist, Shepard Fairey. In fact, there’s a photo of the two of them on the Idyllwild Arts web site.

When he visited Idyllwild Arts on Feb 10, Shepard gave a lecture and held a Master Class for the visual artists (See “Welcome Back” Idyllwild Me post dated Feb. 16, 2012).

“He said that he liked my stuff, especially the figurative paintings,” Kevin said. “But he encouraged me to use different materials and take risks.”

(from L) Kevin and Cynthia before Shepard Fairey's art

Perhaps Kevin is taking Shepard’s recommendations to heart as he “performs” his closet installation on Friday, April 20 in the Parks Exhibition Center.

Also showing that evening are Visual Art seniors Bella, SoYe and Mia. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, Senior Show II is free and open to the public.

For more information about student art events at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus, visit or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.


Geisha Focus at Senior Art Show II

April 4, 2012

Bella working on her geisha sculptures

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Always fashionable, Bella, a senior Visual Artist at Idyllwild Arts, was looking a little tired. Which is rare for students on their 2-week Spring Break. There was no time for Bella to go shopping or sight-see. In fact, she never left Idyllwild.

“My senior show is coming up, and I must be ready,” she said.

Along with five other senior Visual Artists, Bella will be showcasing her work at the Parks Exhibition Center on Friday, April 20 (as part of the second senior class art show. The first one opens this Friday night.)

Bella, who has already been accepted to a fashion college in England, is focusing her small ceramic sculptures on the societal role of the Japanese geisha. Some are kneeling in kimonos, and are headless. Only one is standing tall.

“They are obeying the roles of the geisha,” Bella explained about the headless geishas. “There are many limitations.”

The prettiest geisha isn't always the top geisha, Bella said.

Bella has studied geishas a bit. She said most people know about geishas from the popular American movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005).

“The lead actress wasn’t even Japanese,” said Bella. “She’s Chinese.”

Geishas are traditional female Japanese entertainers, whose various skills include singing, dancing and performing classical music. As portrayed in the movie, geishas could also be quite theatrical and egomaniacs.

According to various web sites, there was a significant decline in geishas during WWII because many women had to work in factories, and most of the teahouses and bars shut down.

Geishas start out as apprentices or maiko, and learn their craft from established geishas.

“The most beautiful geisha isn’t necessarily the most high-ranking geisha,” explained Bella.

She pointed to her standing geisha sculpture, that hadn’t even been painted yet.

Some of her geisha sculptures will remain headless

“She is the most noticable,” Bella said. “But another one could be more beautiful.”

Beautiful, educated, and cultured, geishas inhabit another reality.

Bella said that she identified with geishas a bit, but didn’t elaborate. She also didn’t want her picture taken because she wasn’t wearing any makeup. Yet, this is the same girl who sported a neon pink wig to her junior show. Will she be wearing a full kimono on April 20?

Regardless, Bella’s six ceramic geishas will be on display during Senior Show II, at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, it is free and open to the public. However, don’t miss the Senior Show I this Friday, April 6 at 6 p.m.!

For more information, call the Parks Exhibition Center at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All right reserved.

Friday: Final Day for Student Art Show

October 28, 2011

Dean's painting shows color, texture, detail and refection“I think this is the best first Visual Arts show that we’ve had,” exclaimed Peter, a senior art student at Idyllwild Arts. “A lot of new students came to our school, and they were already good.”

Today (Oct. 28) is the last day of the “Parents Weekend Student Art Show” at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jane's teapot and cup feature fingers as handles

Jane agreed with Peter about the show.

“Last year, we weren’t ready, and kind of rushed our projects during the last two hours or so,” Jane said. “This year, we all planned ahead, and it shows.”

Jane’s tea pot and cup aren’t your garden variety set. Her green, multi-layered glaze draws you over. At closer inspection, you see that the handles of the cup and pot are made up of human fingers. Even the spout is a finger.

It’s a little unsettling since we’re getting so close to Halloween. But my guess is that Jane was not going for the grotesque, but something deeper about the human condition.

Some of the new students that Peter and Jane might be talking about include: Yixuan known as “Maisie,” a 9th grader; Neil, another 9th grader and Niger and Dean, both 10th graders. Each has shown early mastery of their particular mediums.

Maisie's dinosaur drawing in drag show promise

Maisie’s drawing of a raptor or a large lizard in drag “pops” from the center of the page, while newsprint and a line drawing of a mother and child are in the background.

This was likely a drawing exercise using established media, such as newsprint or magazine cut -outs. Yet, it’s more than the raptor from a book coming to life before them.

Why is the raptor hostile, and wearing a black suit? It could be a commentary on a teacher, parent or other adult figure.

You have to look for subtleties to get the bigger picture of what Niger is trying to say. His black-and-white photo of a young Asian woman is physically appealing. It shows good composition and contrast. However, it’s attached to white paper that’s been crumpled and smoothed over.

Niger's photo may be a commentary on violence against women

And the woman is shown licking a cut on her knee.

Is Niger trying to tell the story of violence in this young woman’s life? Or is he talking about violence against women in general?

Another promising young visual artist is Neil, whose father works in the Transportation department.

Neil’s drawing of Bob Marley, the enduring symbol of anti-culture is also compelling in its composition. It depicts a portrait of the musician’s face and hands, yet it is placed off center.

“I should have trimmed it off,” Neil said later.

Yet, his use of excessive white space is interesting. In any given picture, your eyes automatically go to the light, or the whitest part of the painting. Like looking at a candle in a dark room. However, when you have more white space than dark, your eye is drawn to the dark. Sort of like seeing a bowling ball in the snow.

Neil's drawing of Bob Marley has interesting use of white space

Dean’s painting of an older black woman shows great use of color, texture, detail and reflection. The detail on her gray hair looks nearly like a photograph. And the reflection in her cat-eye glasses show good handling of the paint. Oftentimes, you see reflections in glasses in photographs, but they are omitted in paintings.

It’s hard to say where he got the photo. If he took it himself, or found it online. Yet, the closeness of the taker to the subject shows intimacy. Even the elderly woman’s smile was just starting to form when the photo was taken. It was as if the photographer was young or inexperience in taking photos. Yet, the image is sweet, typical Americana from the 1950s.

Yep, the new visual artists are good, but the seniors still need to be reckoned with, namely Jimmie and Delaney.

Jimmie's nude composition looks like a Michelangelo

Jimmie’s image of a nude woman looking towards the light in the heavens looks like the church paintings from the Old Masters, such as Caravaggio. He was known for emotional depictions of humans using dramatic light.

You can tell that Jimmie spent many hours adding layers of charcoal until it looked like night.

It’s interesting that he used only black and shades of gray to depict this image. If it were the Old Masters, there would be all kinds of colors, and about 40 other people in the picture, including angels.

Later on, Jimmie said that Caravaggio wasn’t so much an inspiration, but the drawing started looking like one of his, so he made the lighting more dramatic.

Yet, the way that Jimmie does it, makes you want to spend a few hours looking it over.

“I like Rei’s painting because it looks simple, but it’s really complex,” said Peter.

Rei’s black-and-white image engulfed in blue looked abstract to me at first. Such as a rock or a crumpled piece of paper.

Yet, at closer inspection, I saw women’s legs in heels, and remembered that Rei is studying fashion. Then it looked like the woman in heels was walking towards the viewer, and was putting on or taking off a large cape. But then attached to the top of the cap was an animal head, such as a Halloween costume.

Knowing that Rei is a deep thinker, I doubt if he did a painting of a woman taking off a Halloween costume. Perhaps his painting is also a commentary on the human condition.

Delaney's drawing depicts turmoil

Delaney’s drawing of two heads in distress was intriguing. How she accurately portrays her subjects looking up and looking down is amazing. If you’ve ever tried to draw them, its difficult to get the perspective, and make it look realistic, yet Delaney makes it look easy.

The final image that I looked at in this show was a headset on a pedestal. Next to the disc player was a list of five student names, including Peter, Jimmie, Jessica, Kevin and Rei.

“It was selections from our ‘New Genre’s’ class,” Peter explained. “We just mixed some music from a software program according to a title, such as ‘summer’ or ‘winter.'”

Rei's fashion image shows a deeper meaning

Most of their music selections included new age music with some sound effects. For example, Kevin’s “summer” selection featured kids laughing, while Jessica’s “winter” had footsteps crunching in the snow.

But how does the music tie into visual art?

“Do you know sometimes there’s a part in a painting that looks like a piece is missing?” Peter said. “Well, you can fill that void with music.”

Student Visual Art Show ends today, Friday, Oct. 28 at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Oct 28, 2011 @ 12:38


Unusual Sculptures at Senior Art Show

May 21, 2011

Lian talks to another about her 8-foot magician with multiple bunnies

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The last senior class visual art show at Idyllwild Arts showcased some unusual, life-sized  sculptures, along with some standout photos and paintings. Samantha, Ben, Chloe, Veronica and Lian each outdid one another with imagination and artistic skill.

For one of her sculptures, Chloe asked fellow visual artist Sofia to stand on a pedestal and pose for about an hour.

“Originally, Chloe had asked a dancer to pose, but they all were in rehearsal during the visual art show,” Sofia explained. “Someone told her that I had danced before and she asked me.”

Sofia wore a natural colored dance outfit, and Chloe painted over the material, and even her skin with acrylic paint.

“It took me days to get it all off!” Sofia exclaimed.

She said that Chloe left it up to her asto what poses she wanted to perform during the art show.

“She told me just to go slow,” Sofia said.

Sofia became one of Chloe's life sculptures

Another large sculpture was created by Lian. It was part of a series that showcased animals.

In her piece, Lian created an 8-foot magician with bunnies coming out of his pockets, pants and everywhere.

The piece showed Lian’s “dark side,” another student said.

“I think it’s great!” exclaimed Mallory, on the art staff. “It’s expressive and a little edgy.”

Mallory said that Lian coupled the magician along with other circus-type pieces, including a wolf with one eye, and a circus acrobat and clown.

“Lian even added the music, which sounds like circus music,” Mallory said.

She added that all of the seniors had submitted their presentations early on, which were approved by the art staff.

Mallory went on to talk about Veronica’s paintings, which focused on sushi.

“Don’t touch it, it’s still wet!” Mallory exclaimed as I edged closer to a painting that featured a woman’s nude torso with what looked like rose pedals.

“No, they’re sushi,” Mallory said.

She explained that Veronica liked sushi a lot, but was also nervous about its potential to make her sick.

The other two paintings showed a woman’s torso similar to the other one, and rows of different kinds of sushi on a plate.

A sculpture-and-video combination by Veronica personified the “sickness” part of sushi. Mallory didn’t say whether Veronica had gotten sick from sushi before.

On the back wall were a series of student photos by Ben. He hand selected several of his classmates from Idyllwild Arts to act as models. Underneath each close up portrait was a statement about their lives.

Ben showcased photos that revealed his classmates secrets

“I belonged to a religious cult for the first 12 years of my life,” admitted Bram, a theater major.

Later, he explained how the photos came about.

“Ben asked me to model for him, and bring along several ‘secrets’ on pieces of paper,” Bram explained. “The one about me belonging to a cult was considered the best.”

As a theater major, Bram is used to “exposing” various sides of himself.  But he was surprised how few people asked him about the cult.

“I think they being too polite and don’t want to pry,” he said.

Bram is open to talking about the experience. He said that belonging to a cult seemed normal, until he turned 12 and rebelled. He tries to take the best out of the experience, including shunning materialism.

Since the leader of the cult died recently, Bram feels a sense of closure. But he’d like to use the experience in his theater art sometime.

“Perhaps I’ll do a monologue and explain how things really were,” he said.

The other photos by Ben talked about personal things as well, such as inability to trust other people.

Ben enlarged the images, and then emphasized some of the features with a collage. Bram’s eyes were emphasized, while Rebecca, an outspoken writer’s mouth was the focal point.

The largest one along another wall featured Deliah, a pretty blonde girl with black mud on her face.

“Her face and hair were so white, that I had to do something different,” Ben explained.

He projected Deliah’s portrait to enlarge it to about four feet wide.

Lian (at L with camera) in pink wig with friends at the art opening

Right now, there’s another visual art show at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. It’s a group show featuring a variety of work. It will continue until June.

For more information, visit or call (951) 659-2171.

Copyright Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

All photos courtesy Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Published on: May 21, 2011 @ 16:31

Art Show Focuses on Repetition

May 21, 2010

Art poster features the hands of those artists in the show

The final student art show of the year will be held tonight, Friday, May 21, at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

“Inquire, Negate and Repeat” showcases the work of four visual artists, who are also seniors at Idyllwild Arts Academy. They include: Jade, Angelica, Karina and Anna.

The show’s posters appear on doors and windows all over town, including Fairway Market and Cafe Aroma. It features the arms and hands of the four artists participating in the show.

“On one of the arms, it looks like there’s a tattoo,” said Jade, “But it’s not real. We just superimposed the words, ‘Inquire, Negate and Repeat.”

In fact, the bluish color of the overall poster was a mistake, but they kept it.

“When Brent (a student photographer) was taking our shots, he forgot to change the setting on his camera from indoor to outdoor light,” Jade explained. “But we liked the effect, so we kept it.”

The title of the show took some research and thought, Jade said. It came from a meditation technique.

“Each of us is focusing on an art project that requires repetitive motion. For me, it’s knitting rows and rows, but for others, its the constant turning of the ceramic wheel.”

A Chicago artist who created door-sized panels made up entirely of yellow Post-it Notes, once said, “There’s beauty in repetition,” such fish laying out to dry, or boats lined up on a dock.

Artist Andy Warhol loved repetition. Although he painted mostly portraits in a Pop Art style, he often made several versions of the same thing. Case in point: “Triple Elvis,” from 1963. Warhol depicted a full-length portrait of the pop icon in a cowboy outfit pointing a gun at the viewer. The altered image had three heads and six legs.

Jade has been performing a repetitive motion for months. She’s knitting a scarf that is now taller than she is. Attached to the oversized scarf will be a variety of small drawings.

She said that she likes knitting because it’s comforting, and it’s something she can do while doing something else, such as watching a movie or listening to music.

Earlier this semester, these four artists had to submit their proposals to Rob Rutherford, head of the Visual Arts Department at Idyllwild Arts. Together discussed the message, the means, and even if the project was feasible.

Karina, who has four large pieces in the show, including paintings and sculptures, said that her part of the show is nothing extraordinary.

“I’m going to show what I can do,” she said. “I don’t believe a senior show should be pushed to the limits.”

She wouldn’t be specific about her four pieces, but welcomed everyone to come and see the show for themselves.

Each of the artists will be on hand early to discuss their work. Many of them have family and friends visiting from afar.

“Inquire, Negate and Repeat,” opens tonight at 6 p.m. at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show is free and open to the public. It continues until Friday, May 28.

For more information, visit or call (951) 659-2171, ext. 2200.

Oversized Art at Student Show

May 9, 2010

Bella Oh's oversized phone sculpture is set to contact aliens

From oversized phones that hope to contact aliens to a tea cup that only “Alice in Wonderland” could drink from, it was all about oversized art sculptures at the  Idyllwild Arts “Visual Art III” opening on Friday night, May 7, at the Parks Exhibition Center. The show continues through Friday, May 14.

The five seniors participating in the show are  Jasmine Marin, Yoo Bin Cha, Sana Liu, Bella Oh and Brent Terry.

Walking down to the Parks Exhibition Center from campus, the first thing you’d see is a large, lightweight sculpture of a phone. Not a cell phone, mind you, but just the handset of an old fashioned phone, made up of wood, wire and cheese cloth. This phone was mounted on the roof.

“Did you see the phone on top of the roof?” asked Rob Rutherford, head of the Visual Art Department at Idyllwild Arts.

“Bella (Oh) wanted to stay even after she mounted it up there,” Rutherford said. “She wanted to see if it would contact any aliens.”

Once you see Bella Oh’s series of alien drawings, everything fits together. Like an architect’s blueprint, Oh drew the phone sculpture to scale, including the mounting platform and attachments.

She printed her alien drawings on velum, because you cannot print large-scale drawings on paper, Rutherford explained. Architects used to, but nobody prints large scale anymore.

Oh also drew a rendering of a crop circle from the air, outlining all of the parts. Crop circles are large-scale circles created by flattening of crops, such as wheat, barley and corn. Skeptics dispute it, while alien enthusiasts believe they could be caused by freak meteorological phenomena or messages from extraterrestrials.

In another large drawing, Oh drew an alien, that looks like the ones portrayed in the movies, with an oversized head and eyes, and a slight body with elongated arms.

“Do you believe in aliens?” someone asked her the next day. She was surprised at the question at first, but “Yes,” was all she said.

Sana Liu (R) and friend pose in front of her oversized sugarplum tea cup

In the same show, there was another larger-than-life sculpture: a sugarplum and marshmallow tea cup hanging from the ceiling. It was created by Sana Liu, who said that it was part of her “Home Sweet Home” series.

“I was watching her create that teacup,” said Haley Kuhlmann, another visual arts student. “And she wasn’t using any glue at all. She just pushed the gumdrops and marshmallows through the wire.”

Half white miniature marshmallows, and half multicolored gum drops made up the tea cup’s design.

Everyone around it marveled at his size, and the amount of time it took to create it, not to mention the bags and bags of marshmallows and gumdrops.

Oversized modern art has been done by many artists over the years, including Cristo, who was best known for “wrapping” things, such as cars, buildings and canyons. However, Cristo also created 3,100 oversized umbrellas that he mounted on hillsides in California and Japan. These yellow and blue umbrellas measured 19 feet, eight inches high and measured 26 feet, 5 inches wide. Without the base, each weighed about 450 pounds.

During their 10-year exhibition, Cristo had some trouble with the umbrellas detaching in the wind, but Oh wasn’t taking any chances with her phone and Idyllwild’s tulmultous weather. On Sunday, May 9, Oh heard there was a 20 percent chance of snow, and took the phone down from the roof.

“It’s made of wood, wire and cheesecloth,” she said. “But it’s not that strong.”

Hopefully, she moved it inside the Parks Exhibition Center for everyone to enjoy.

Although not oversized, Brent Terry’s series of black-and-white photographs were an interesting character study.

“I annoyed a lot of people,” Terry said of his photography set-up in the campus bookstore. Like the opening of an industrial meat locker, Terry attached long plastic strips over the front door at the bookstore. Generally, the strips are used to keep the bugs out, and the cool air in.

“The cool part,” Terry said, “was that the bookstore kept his whole project  a secret.”

When students would walk into the bookstore, they had to pass through the strips, he said.

“It was disorienting and annoying to most of them,” Terry said, whose photographs portrayed mostly silhouettes of students with bowed heads, arms flayling. In one of Dakota Bailey, you can only see her dance tutu jutting forth.

Terry said that the idea came from a photography experiment that he did in New York. He had put the same plastic “meat locker” strips over a door in a flea market.

“But this time, I put myself in front of them,” Terry said.

Many of the students didn’t know their photographs were part of his senior art show until the opening Friday.

“Hey, that’s me!” several students said to Terry. It didn’t matter that they didn’t look their best, were obviously annoyed or distressed by the plastic barriers.

An observer looks at the watercolor and ink art labels of Jasmine Marin's ginger beer bottles

For those who came to the show late, they didn’t get to sample Jasmine Marin’s homemade ginger beer. She had made 28 bottles for the show, and they were gone quickly.

Haley Kuhlmann was one of the lucky ones. “It had a strong ginger taste, with a hint of lemon,” she explained.

“But it didn’t taste like gingerale, but more like a beer,” she said.

Jade Huggins, another visual art student, said that she tried a sample earlier in the week, and it was sweet.

Marin made the ginger beer for her senior show because she questioned the idea of art always having to be “pretty.”

“I want to make art that can be enjoyed by me and my friends,” she said.

There was a pretty element to the ginger beer installation, however. The brown bottles that were suspended on wires from the ceiling had small watercolor and ink drawings on them, along with French words.

On one of the bottles, there were portraits of women without faces. On another, there was a nude woman’s torso. Still another depicted a large, “Bumpstead-style” sandwich, with a tongue hanging over the side. Marin admitted to making great sandwiches.

“Something tells me that she’s also a good cook,” said one student. “Making ginger beer is an advanced cooking technique. I couldn’t do it.”

The last piece, or pieces, in the show were created by Yoo Bin Cha. They were Asian-style plates with feet on them. These plates are similar to sushi plates at a Japanese restaurant. However, instead of the standard black or white, Cha’s ceramic plates were painted in colorful greens, pinks and blues. Some had flower decorations on them.

It was hard to count how many plates that Cha created, but there were a lot. Some were even used to display the food at the reception outside. What type of food they had on them was not known, because, like the ginger beer, if you arrived after 6 p.m., the food is gone.

So Cha showed that her ceramic plates were not only colorful, but functional as well.

The “Visual Art III” show continues on display until Friday, May 14 at the Parks Exhibition Center. For more information, contact Morgan Satterfield at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

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