Art Gallery hosts contemporary genre artist

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Students, faculty and community members escaped the rain by pouring into the lecture hall in Art 3300 Thursday evening for an artist talk and reception of “Open Narratives.”

Painter Ana Medina has her work on display now through March 9 at the Pierce College Art Gallery. Medina’s pieces include contemporary screen prints, oil paintings and installations based on intimate photographic snapshots.

Assistant Professor of Art Justin Dahlberg advocated for Medina’s paintings to be presented in Pierce’s art gallery after discovering her work in an open house showing about two years ago.

“Her marriage of content and form can help students both formally and conceptually,” Dahlberg said.

Academics and centers of learning have had a special place in Medina’s heart. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Florida State University and a master’s degree in fine art from the University of New Mexico.

She is hopeful that she will spread the knowledge she gained from being in creative environments for students.

“Artists should make things that are true to their interests. They need to be honest with themselves. You need to think about the questions you have about life and think about the perspective you alone have,” Medina said. “It’s about exposure and different ways of thinking.”

In her talk, Medina discussed the growing pains she experienced as an artist, struggling to find a way to create artwork that would reveal a certain kind of honesty and reality. Eventually, she settled into a style that focused on fleeting moments of life.

“The scenes are ambiguous enough to let the viewer participate in the construction of the depicted event and in the creation of the participating figures’ identities,” Medina said.

Though Medina creates contemporary artwork, she is also influenced by classical artists like Rembrandt and Claude Monet.

“Ana is a very technical painter. If you are going to pursue art in a historical sense, it’s good to see a mastery of a technical craft,” said Morgan Whirledge, Medina’s boyfriend.

The oil painted wooden installations titled “Flashback,” “Low Angle” and “Parched” stood out to art major Neave Asuro.

“I thought it was a real person,” Asuro said.

Additionally, an oil piece entitled “Shore” was a favorite of math major Mariah Cherry who attended “Open Narratives” because of her Art 105 class.

“I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did,” said Cherry. “I liked how she covers the intimacy of affection and moments.”

Interim Art Gallery Director Brian Peshek believes Medina’s artwork is something that has a wide range of reliability.

“I think the exhibition really highlights the content, the nostalgic real-life situations that everyone might have,” Peshek said.