Psychadelic art rocks SRJC Gallery

Ken Kutska, Staff Writer

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An experience of color fusion inhabited the SRJC Art Gallery Dec. 8 in new exhibit titled, “At the Edge of Experience: Psychedelic Rock Posters from the 1960s.”
Art students, faculty and SRJC President Dr. Robert Agrella made an appearance to check out the. Rock posters, while rock music played in the background.
The ‘60s rock movement was inspired by the freedom of individuals to express themselves through music.  Bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane played influential roles in allowing the freedom of self-expression that characterized the era.
The artists used colorful and warped images on rock posters to create a new kind of art. Not one poster in the exhibit has the same look to it, but some characteristics appear throughout. The San Francisco Bay Area was important in developing the movement that brought rock n’ roll into prominence.
Most of the exhibit was geared around Wes Wilson, an artist who created posters for the Steve Miller Band and Buffalo Springfield. Wilson’s talent and vision can be seen in the detail he used to create the images.  Wilson used bright variations of color and images half-naked risqué women warped together.
Another artist, Stanley Mouse, who owns a studio in Sebastopol created the poster highlighted on the flyer for the exhibit and showcased in the center of the exhibit.
Alton Kelly also created works along with Mouse’s and Wilson’s art. Kelly co-created a series of posters with Mouse titled the “Family Dog” series.
Mouse’s ventures into the art world began at a young age. “I got kicked out of high school for a bunch of mischievous pranks,” Mouse said. Mouse started in a band in high school and got into the rock n’ roll scene in the ‘60s. Another “Family Dog” collaborator, Victor Moscoso also had work represented. All the works represented in the gallery are the set pieces for psychedelic art.
The collection was brought together by Greg Flood, curator of the exhibit who helped bring a sense of commonality among the posters on display. SRJC instructors Stephanie Sanchez and Mike McGinnis were influential in bringing the exhibit together.
Each piece in the exhibit has a caption and was mounted by SRJC art instructor Carla Stone along with her art students.
Aspiring student artists could be seen sitting crossed-legged on the floor trying to capture the images to work into their own study. The exhibit runs through Dec. 15.