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Faculty showcases art talent in campus gallery

Concluding this year’s exhibit at the Boehm Gallery is its annual faculty art exhibition, RIPE.

The faculty art and photography exhibition and silent auction showcases the work of Palomar’s art department faculty. The pieces on display play on different media, ranging from wood, glass, enamel and oil with varying techniques and artistic style.

The pieces showcased in the exhibit are dropped off at the gallery with no set requirements. Any faculty within the department was given the opportunity to showcase their work.

“There’s no rhyme or reason to it, we don’t know what’s coming until it gets here,” Michelle Hauswirth, a student who works at the gallery, said.

The title of the exhibition is a play on fruit, where the ripe fruit are the faculty members, aged with experience. Meanwhile the students are the fresh fruit, new with fresh ideas. The idea came from Ingram Ober, the director of the Boehm Gallery.

Sasha Jonestein, interim director of the gallery for the semester and a ceramics professor, said that the idea came about to thematically keep things together.

“It was to tie it all together and be a little more playful with the show,” Jonestein said.

Jonestein added that the show is a great opportunity for the students who are enrolling for next semester as it gives them the opportunity to come into the gallery and see the work of the faculty. From that they can better choose what classes they would like to take.

The show is also “for the community to see what talented faculty we have,” Jonestein added.

While the artists may have used the same medium, their artistic perspective and style sets one another apart.

Jonestein dominated the floor of the right portion of the gallery. Her ceramic work played on organic flowing forms and physiological shapes with often conflicting static objects.

Jonestein’s “Every Ship is Unsinkable until it Sinks,” displays a sense of pressure which is built up with compacted tissues and veins gushing upward with a pink, flowing, organic matter to support a misshapen, rock-like object covered with a metallic wrapping. The metallic object gives off a sense of heaviness that is in contrast and conflict with the fluidity of the organic, bottom structure.

While Jonestein’s piece is one of the highest starting bids in the silent auction at $8,000, its counterpart in the opposite room had one of the lowest. “Push” by Leef Puffer has a starting bid of $40, displaying two hands fist-bumping upon a wooden block.

The ceramic and wood pieces by Puffer, including “Sisters,” a piece of two, blue-eyed bald sisters’ faces as they pull open opposite sides of their red lips with one hand to showcase their gold-laden teeth, was a favorite for 19-year-old Anthony Gonzalez. The playful nature and expressive faces of Puffer’s work held the attention of Gonzalez amongst other works in the room he said.

The stand-out piece within the room and arguably within the show is Wes French’s stoneware piece titled “I was mad at him for a longtime after that…”

The art piece, which wasn’t put up for auction, is displayed at floor level and can be easily overlooked. However, its placement played up the piece and creates a sense of smallness where the wad of broken apart bicycle pieces are thrown haphazardly onto a pile. Bicycle parts are sticking out from the top as handlebars are projecting out from the sides of the mass, that includes several seats and wheels.

The interpretation of French’s work can vary amongst viewers but the art piece may allude to family strife with its title directed at a male figure with scorn or perhaps hurt. The lowness of the piece, along with the fragility of the childlike bicycle parts accentuates the title of the work along with the viewable artistic wreck on display.

The opening of the exhibition was bumped up by two weeks, to give the faculty more time to display their work Hauswirth said. The faculty art show was to coincide with the student art sale on Dec. 3.

Running from Nov. 20 to Dec.10, the exhibition and silent auction is open to students and the general public at no cost.

A percentage of the sales from the silent auction as well as the student art sale will be donated to the Boehm Gallery and in partnership with the arts department to cover any supplemental costs.

Visit the gallery website at www.palomar.edu/art/BoehmGallery.html for gallery hours, contact, and past and future exhibitions.

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