On one of the highest plateaus on campus a small group talks out the textures, colors and lines of dozens of pieces of student art before anyone thwacks a nail into a chalk white wall.
Monika Del Bosque, the associate professor of art and gallery director, leads the loose democracy of gallery assistants and art students through the space switching pieces and taking votes.
The gallery has been here since the 60s and the idea behind the Annual Student Show is to highlight the efforts of students who have taken courses at Pierce over the year, Del Bosque said.
The opening and award ceremony of The Annual Student Show is May 9 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Art Garden and the show runs through May 29.
Even though the show hasn’t opened, the winners have been chosen and will be announced on opening night.
Guest juror Karen Rapp, director of the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College was already out to view the entries and make her decision, Del Bosque said.
“She looks at everything – it takes a few hours – she looks at all the video pieces – looks at all the 2D, 3D art and then makes her decision,” Del Bosque said.
In the Student Show there are a lot of different types of art to think about and to relate to each other which some of them just don’t, Del Bosque said. “That makes it a more challenging and exciting show to install.”
Blayn Barbosa currently attends Student Art Center in Pasadena as a graphic design major but returned to Pierce just to take the exhibition design class with Del Bosque, he said.
“There have been 100 entries and we’ve been setting up for about a week,” Barbosa, 31, said. “Students are allowed to show their material from this last year in the previous spring. It’s a mix of ceramics, graphic design, prints, painting and sculpture.”
Del Bosque knows many museum curators personally so students have gotten jobs working as docents at museums after taking this class, he said. “This class – could not find it anywhere else. It has been invaluable.“
Last year, 23-year-old illustrator Nicole Ellsworth was in the design installation class with Del Bosque for another show but this year she is in the show.
“I’m happy to be a part of the show in general. If you win something it’s great, too, ” she said.
Ellsworth submitted a children’s illustration of a library with a pig, fox, and rabbits that was drawn in 2012 using a one-point perspective and cross hatching in graphite called, A Fox’s Library, she said.
Another contestant is fine art major Irina Kenij, whose very first oil painting was selected to join the other pieces of private adventure and exploration.
Her painting is called Memory of Iran and it is a self portrait with Arabic symbolism and a quotation from Bahá’u’lláh, she said.
Kenij said her painting is like “when you close your eyes and things start exploding in your mind.”