Art Faculty Art gallery

Ken Kutska, Assistant A&E Editor

Vibrant art decorates the walls and floor of the SRJC Art Gallery exposing the talents of SRJC instructors; not just as educators, but as artists.

In the Faculty Art Show, held in the art gallery on the first floor of Doyle Library, a large collection of about 30 pieces of art by faculty is on display for the community to see.

The pieces range from sculptures like M. Loffredo’s “Italian Typewriter” and “Dead Eye Tony,” which resemble machine guns made with brass, wood and cardboard, to Michael McGinnis’ ‘Superplexus Vortex 1,’ created inside a glass ball with a wooden maze on the inside and a metal frame supporting the structure.

Included in the collection is Joel Burnett’s ceramic sculpture titled “Earthquake Censor,” a series of seven pipes mounted onto a clay base with black oval rocks on top. The pipes are set to move around depending on the scale of an earthquake.

“It measures the magnitude of the earthquake. When the pipes start sliding it’s about a 3.0, when they start hitting each other it’s about a 5.0 and at 7.0 it’s going to break and I’d be out of here,” Burnett said. “The piece is burnished, pit fired, and all the colors are made in the ground.”

Burnett has tried to make tabletop versions as well. “Because of the temperature of the clay it can’t be taken outside,” said Burnett. “I’ve done a couple newer ones that are fired higher, look more like stone, but they’re not as beautiful because of the finish, and the colors aren’t as great.”

Alan Azhderian’s piece titled “Gestural Narratives” is a series of about 10 images made from pieces of an old A-Frame he found on Highway 12. He cut red and white pieces from the frame down to three-inch squares, for a total of 400 squares. Azhderian banded the pieces together to make separate larger squares about 2-feet across to depict human figures gesturing.

Ceramic designs and pots are also included in the collection. Hiroshi Fuchigami’s piece “Seed-1” is a clay form, that starts out with the base of a vase. At the top it’s hollowed out to show an image of a Japanese Buddha at the center, which represents wisdom. The idea is that even when sleeping, wisdom is still a strong force in determining character.

Also on display are various paintings and photographs, creating a diverse field of talent from all corners of the artistic world. Paintings include Suzanne Lacke’s “Couple” from her Car series and Stephanie Sanchez’s colorful brushstroke filled representation, “Novato Wetlands.”

“All the pieces are really high quality and one I really wanted to put at the entrance was by Stephanie Sanchez because it sets the tone of the whole gallery,” said Renata Breth, art gallery director, photography professor and photo contributor. “It is very classically done and there is so much abstraction in it. It’s just a really wonderful piece because when you look at it you get it. The more you look at it the more you find. It becomes less of a landscape. As you go from the bottom and just see how she applied the paint.”

The exhibit also includes photos from Renata Breth, John Sappington, Tom Ferentz and Joseph McDaniel. Ferentz’s are from a series titled “Night and the City.” One in particular has a portrait-style image of an African-American man.

Two of Breth’s photos from her “Zuluzeit” series are displayed, showing the wing of a huge airliner out the window of the aircraft. The other shows the reflection of some people through the windows of an airport walkway, going from the terminal to the airplane itself.

Sappington’s untitled noir piece displays two photos: one with a contrast of black and white clearly visible, the second blurred photo. It gives room for the viewer to make their own judgment and determine what they are seeing.

McDaniel’s contribution included two pieces that blend painting and photography. The pieces have a digital quality to them and are mounted in boxes and illuminated. The photos are titled “Butterfly Dream” and “Colormatch.” “Butterfly Dream” has colors, blue and green, but also dark black areas that are blended together. The piece beside it, “Colormatch,” is an enormous apple tree and has more of a classic feel with tones of grey, white and black. The only bright color in the photo is the red of the apples on the tree and ground known as drop color images.

The Faculty Art Show runs until March 15 on the first floor of the Doyle Library.