Online student art show continues despite remote campus and online learning

The El Camino College Art Gallery presents works from students in the online, 2020 Student Arts Show starting May 18.

The decision to hold the art gallery show online was prompted by the COVID-19 lockdown on campus, Art Gallery Director, Susanna Meiers said.

The Art Gallery spring Student Art Show would have been held in the Art and Behavioral Science Building, and would have been open to the public.

“It is not the same thing as having the show in the gallery, but it is still really good,” Meiers said. “I have been amazed by the quality of the work regardless that they are not on campus for the semester.”

The online Art Gallery is home to a variety of student art including paintings made from oil, charcoal and ink. The gallery also showcases a range of digital animations and digital publishing.

“An online art show is a great idea,” Anya Zinoveva, Digital Art Fundamentals Instructor said. She hopes it will continue in the future because it benefits both the college and the students since it is easily accessible and creates a broader community outreach.

“For the students, it’s a great exposure that opens up employment and academic opportunities,” Zinoveva said. “Who wouldn’t want their artwork to come up in Google search?”

It definitely is a bummer that the show couldn’t have been held physically as I believe you get a better feeling for the art piece in person rather than you would online.” Marhey Talavera, fine arts major at ECC said.

Talavera, who is transferring to Laguna College of Art and Design in the fall, showcased his painting “Princess Kamille” on the online Art Show.

Talavera was inspired to paint “Princess Kamille” while at his niece, Kamille’s birthday party. She had a princess theme and her dress was similar to the dress the little girl had in “Las Meninas,” a classical painting by Diego Velázquez.

“The color scheme, on the other hand, and the background [were] inspired by ‘The Swing’ painted by Jean-Honoré Fragonard,” Talavera said.

The theme of the painting was to capture the moments of being a child.

“As a child, things used to feel [simpler] than they do [as] an adult which also conveys why the painting isn’t very detailed,” Talavera said.

Talavera’s painting is made strictly from oil paint and is up for sale on the Student Art Show.

Jenny Pham, art major at ECC, displayed her illustration of, “The Thing That Waited” on the online show. The objective of her illustration given by Richard Ewing, Illustration instructor, was to design a hybrid creature of two real life animals.

“I think my favorite part was designing the creature,” Pham said.

Pham is intrigued with designing creatures. She had designed a tiger-jellyfish and a swordfish-bear until she got to a “heron-boar,” the creature she drew for her illustration.

The herons refer to a family of birds that tend to be long-necked and long-legged, like cranes. The boar character is a “wild pig” hence the creature created ‘heron-boar,’ according to Pham.

Pham’s illustration is made on a scratchboard with India ink. The last time she had touched scratchboard was middle school and was “scared” of making a mistake that could not be taken back.

Scratchboard is a cardboard with a thin overlay of white clay covered by a layer of india ink.

“I had no idea that you could put black back on a scratch board using ink. When I found that out, it was a pretty enjoyable process for me,” Pham said. “Scratching out each line of fur was satisfying to me, and it was even more satisfying taking a paint brush with some ink and making those nice clean lines for the jail bars.”

Despite adjustments, there have been positive reviews from students and faculty about the 2020 spring Student Art Show.

“It’s disappointing that I can’t have the experience of seeing my work hanging on a wall or see the other students’ artwork in person, but it doesn’t diminish how good it felt being chosen for the student show.” Lauren Hadnot, art major at ECC who is also a student of professor Ewing, said.

Hadnot, who is also a freelance illustrator, also presented her illustration of “The Thing That Waited” on the online art gallery.

“I am a big fan of fantasy and classic adventure stories so I wanted to make the creature something to be revered instead of feared,” Hadnot said.

The hardest part of the process for Hadnot was deciding on what the creature should look like.

“Should it be an aquatic hybrid, should it be amphibious, or a mammal?” Hadnot said. “I decided to make a hybrid of a reptile and elk.”

Suhartini Raden, art major at ECC, demonstrated his animation, “Warrior in the Shadow,” on the online art gallery through a YouTube video presented by Zinoveva.

To create “Warrior in the Shadow,” Raden first drafted the image on paper, and then transferred that image into Adobe Illustrator.

“The vector image was then imported into Adobe Photoshop where I then further edited the image, such as adding backgrounds and color corrections,” Raden said. “Animation frames were added as well as overlapping audio and other effects.”

It took Raden 10 hours, including the time to learn and play with different options available, to animate “Warrior in the Shadow.”

The theme of the animation is to portray the strength in overcoming hardships, Raden said.

“Life often seems difficult to overcome, especially if you’re on your own,” Raden said. “But it is possible, and it’s okay to accept help; it’s okay to let others in.”

Although he feels that having the art show online hinders the importance of portraying art, Raden believes that working from home helps his creativity.

“I’m able to work on everything on my own time and have better access to inspiration,” Raden said. “Of course, to be able to physically go somewhere to see artwork on special display in a different environment yourself holds a different feeling and meaning.”

The Student Show conveys a community of emerging artists characterized by an energy and vitality, Meiers said.

“It is very disappointing not to be there and have the full experience,” Meiers said. “But I am really proud of the students for hanging in there and participating to the fullest in this experience.”