Art gallery show commemorates former Pierce instructor’s work
Family, Friends and Students attend the art exhibition for John Corbeil A Retrospective on Nov. 1, 2012 in the Pierce College Art Gallery, Woodland Hill, Calif. The Gallery displayed art of John Corbeil, a retired art teacher of over 40 years at Pierce College. Photo: Jasson Bautista
Forest Corbeil, 24, (far left), granddaughter of the featured artist, John Corbiel, with her aunt Teal Levine (middle),43, (daughter of John Corbiel), and Shannon Corbiel, (granddaughter of John Corbiel), 28, attended the art gallery at the Art Department at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2012. Photo: Monica Salazar
Students and guests gathered at the Pierce College Art Gallery on Thursday evening for the opening of “John Corbeil Retrospective,” a gallery in honor of former Pierce instructor John Corbeil and his work.
Corbeil, who died in 2011 at the age of 90, was present through his artwork, which was displayed at the exhibit for family, friends and former students of his, as well as others, to view.
“I’m so pleased that so many people came. It’s very touching,” said Patricia Corbeil, John’s wife. “John had such a loyal following. He had so many students he was still in touch with, and just to have one from long ago come is very honoring. He’d be honored.”
The event took months of planning and involved everyone from his family to the Pierce art department to musicians from the American Guitar Society.
“We were approached by some other former faculty members who retired about it being really nice to do a retrospective,” said Monica del Bosque, the Pierce College Gallery director and assistant professor of art. “As a department we thought that would be a really nice thing to do given how long he taught for the department and was such a contribution to the Pierce community. So I got in contact with the family and that was kind of the start.”
Del Bosque said she visited Corbeil’s family last spring and worked throughout the entire summer planning the gallery, but also benefited from the help of her students.
“The exhibition design class helped put it on and the design of the exhibit and the installations. They learned how to light and how to do the labels. They put on the reception, so they also played a pretty big role in it,” she said. “I look upon it in terms of how it became a great teaching tool, because if it weren’t for this show – the show allowed me to teach the exhibition design class. So in that sense it’s been a fabulous thing.”
“It was like a little bit breathtaking,” said sophomore art student Robert Flores, who helped set up the gallery. “I guess using some of these artworks, it kind of redefined art for me a little bit.”
Music for the gallery opening was provided by Mark Achuff and Leslie Lewis of the American Guitar Society, who played guitar duets arranged by Howard Heitmeyer.
“It’s very nice. This is a delightful place to play here in the courtyard,” said Achuff, who is the chairman of the American Guitar Society. “I mean the people are just wonderful and the ambience of the open sky and the trees and the courtyard is great. And then, plus, we get to feel and experience the art from the masters over here, and it just makes the perfect ambiance for our music and we hope it complements the art and the gallery as well.”
The “John Corbeil Retrospective” gallery is free and will be open to the general public in the Pierce Art Gallery until Dec. 7, 2012.