Inspiration across creative mediums

Inspiration across creative mediums

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere, including the lavish appeal of cosmopolitan lifestyles and the hammer in the toolbox.

One can see “inspo” manifest into artwork this month from the perspective of Pierce College’s student artists.

The Annual Student Art Show hosted its opening reception on Thursday in the Fine Arts Gallery at Pierce.

Fine art major Sevn Naijaa’s entered  “Untitled,” a colorful, abstract expressionism piece.

“I wanted to go with something that was a little bit more bold, and a little bit more about my life,” Naijaa said. 

Naijaa had Los Angeles’s skyscrapers and the sky in mind during his creative process.

“This is Los Angeles and Compton. I put that basically into one piece because that’s homeland,” Naijaa said. “I’m an L.A. baby, so I have to put it into my art.” 

Students were able to enter up to two pieces that they created in an art course from the Spring 2023 semester to present.

Various types of art mediums were welcomed into the exhibit, including sculptures, ceramics, architecture, paintings, illustrations and multimedia.

From oil paintings to pencil drawings, hyperrealism to abstract expressionism, the collection of student art was diverse.

Various chairs were submitted and displayed at the art show as mixed media pieces.

Professor of sculpture and 3-dimensional design Greg Gilbertson gave his students the assignment of thinking about a half chair and how they would interpret the other half. He said it did not have to physically resemble the chair as it was given to them. The students could see them more as poetic objects to address whatever their aesthetics are, or social political concerns might be.

“The idea is to break them out of their sense of traditional idea of sculpture,” Gilbertson said.

Jewelry maker Aizhan Khamit made the other half of her chair with various materials, including 3-D printed statues. 

Business major Demarius Mack’s mixed media sculpture titled “Rags to Riches” was one half chair, and the other half aspiration elements that represent wealth, family peace and objects of status and opulence. 

“Business is art, and art is business,” Mack said. “We live in L.A. You look out our windows and you see the palm trees, you see the beach. You just wake up and you see jewels, gold, watches, cars and family all around you.” 

Attendees of the 2024 Student Art Show opening ceremony walk through the gallery at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on May 9, 2024. Photo by Kyle Camacho.

Art and psychology student Nazia Athar has a special effects makeup and sculptural background, and entered her piece titled “Frankenstein’s Monster.” Athar said Gilbertson wanted the students to work on someone personal that they know. 

“A lot of people think Frankenstein’s monster is a monster, but really, he is the victim of the story,” Athar said. “It’s really sad and tragic, and that’s how I see my dad sometimes.” 

Athar’s father smiled and posed side-by-side to the clay bust modeled after him as his picture was taken.

“I just wanted to have something for him,” Athar said. “He loves it.”

Artist Natalie Martinez’s piece at the art show was a cherry alien head inspired by the Skull Panda figurines. 

“I love the idea of a kind of alien, futuristic person,” Martinez said. 

Yet a different piece created by art history major Elora Willow looked like a tool hung on a pegboard. Willow always liked tools and liked the fact that she could use tools to make a hammer sculpture.

“Doing stone is really hard,” Willow said. “Stone breaks very easily.” 

A computer in the gallery looped a series of art pieces in the categories of digital editing, graphic design and typography.

The opening reception included food, drinks and live music in the Art Department courtyard.  

The Student Art Show Exhibit will be open until May 23. 

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