San Jac galleries offer culture to community

Dec 5, 2022Melissa Trevizo
Art Gallery

San Jacinto College's galleries have been busy this fall, with six exhibits at the Central, North, and South Campuses. The galleries, an extension of the art and design program, welcome guest artists to bring culture to the campus community and expose students to different media.

Central Campus

The Central Campus featured "Dear Black Boy" by philanthropist, photographer, and cinematographer Brian Ellison Sept. 20 to Oct. 13 in tandem with the FotoFest Biennial 2022.

Central Campus will continue to nurture its relationship with FotoFest, an internationally recognized Houston arts organization, as a biennial participating space.

Ellison's exhibit documented the everyday experience of young Black American males and the "expiration" of their childhoods. The artist's work challenged Black masculinity ideas and racial injustice through the education-to-prison pipeline.

From Oct. 25 to Nov. 22, the Central Gallery presented "Fresh Cut: A Still Life Remix" featuring collages by artist John Forse. Set against a rainforest backdrop and amplified by 1990s electronica music, the fractured collages came to life in a multi-sensory experience.

"Each show at the Central Gallery speaks not only to our campus demographic but also to our community," said Carmen Champion, Central Gallery coordinator. "Exposure to various exhibits fosters critical thinking and introduces new ideas that transfer to other disciplines. This connects our students, faculty, staff, administration, and the public."

North Campus

The North Gallery kicked off the fall with "Off-Kilter," a collection of Houston artist Heather den Uijl's new paintings, Sept. 8 to Oct. 6.

Den Uijl created abstract paintings with hyper-saturated colors, complex interwoven layers, and abstract geometrical forms that slip, slide, float, and wobble past each other. These immersive visual experiences functioned as independent hybrid environments where distillation, flattening, and fragmentation resist closure.

From Oct. 20 to Nov. 17, the North Gallery presented San Jac adjunct instructor Tiffany Nesbit's mixed media collection "Bluegrass Nest." Nesbit crafted the pieces from childhood memories, when she helped shepherd her family's small farm and protect the domestic animals from nighttime "monsters" that come from the woods and waterways. Her characters use humor and play to memorialize the animal's spirits that once lived there.

"North Gallery is an educational resource for our students — a tool to help young artists on their path to living a creative life," said Joe Clark, North Gallery coordinator. "At the same time, we are very aware of and grateful for the opportunity to serve our community. As the longest-running art space in East Houston, we strive to host shows that are visually and conceptually challenging."

South Campus

The South Gallery presented an exhibit from the Burning Bones Press, a Houston-based printmaking studio founded in 2011 by Carlos Hernandez and Pat Masterson. Open Sept. 5 to Oct. 13, this exhibit featured more than 70 artworks by 22 members and affiliated artists. Students and the community could also attend workshops led by artist Cathie Kayser to learn how to hand-fold books using traditional origami techniques.

From Oct. 31 to Dec. 8, the South Gallery featured "REDUX," an exhibit of works by 11 visual arts alumni who have established diverse, successful art and design careers after studying various media. Together, these artists represent 10 years of excellence in arts education.

Featured artists were:

  • Amaechina Blot
  • Imhotep Blot
  • Karolina Cantu
  • Rodrigo Gamarra
  • Michael Karydas
  • Disha Khakheria
  • Eden Lopez
  • Matthew Napoli
  • Ariel Rivera
  • Jeri Venegas
  • Tristan Veronie

"The exhibits we have hosted this past semester have really made me feel like we are back on track after pausing during the pandemic," said Bradly Brown, South Gallery curator. "We remain committed to bringing engaging, thought-provoking exhibits on a variety of topics to our students and the local community."

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