Art: (I Think) I can; CNM students create exhibition of their own art

By Guadalupe Santos-Sanchez, Staff Reporter

Aspects of Painting, Drawing, and Multimedia students have created an exhibition at CNM which is on display now through Friday, Nov.21, said Lea Anderson, Aspects instructor.

The exhibition titled “ART: (I think) I Can” is on display at CNM Connect on Main Campus in the Student Services Center Room 107, she said.

“They hold an exhibition and are graded on the quality of their artwork as well as their level of commitment of profes­sional participation in the exhibition itself,” she said.

Participating student artists are Gloria Birkholz, Sarah Gamoke, Allison Godfrey, Sherry Godfrey, Larry Leija, Paul Matthew, Hana, Carrie Mulvihill, Wisdom Reyes, Krystal Schlecht and Monica Trujillo, she said.

Each student chose their own theme for their individual body of work, she said.

They chose the title of the exhibition because it summed up the feelings they had about making a series of artworks and setting up an exhibit, she said.

“They were nervous at first, but now they have accomplished what they set out to do and have gained a great deal of confidence in the process,” she said.

They are working on their series of pieces all through­out the fall term, however some of the pieces were com­plete in time to hang for the exhibition, she said.

All the students participated in making the artwork, in setting up the exhibition, in advertising the exhibition, and more, she said.

This prepares the students for a career as an artist because like any career it does require dedication, hard work, self-discipline, and passion, she said.

The series of artworks created and the basic experi­ences learned in this Aspects course are also intended to prepare students for the Fine Arts Associates Degree capstone course, she said.

“You do a series, you decide what you want to do, but I want six to ten different pieces of art in the series, and that makes it kind of fun,” said Gloria Birkholz, Art Studio major and participant in the exhibition.

Everybody came up with something really different, she said.

She has always created art, but it was not until she retired that she realized she really liked working with it, Birkholz said

She has worked with calligraphy, photography, and print­making, she said.

“But I’m a fix it type person, so I really like 3D,” she said.

For the exhibit she created a series of sculptures that she titled The Yard Sale Series, she said.

She went to yard sales and asked the sellers to give her $5 worth of merchandise, she said.

“That was my arbitrary limit and I worked with only what they gave me for that five dollars, and that was really challenging,” she said.

However, she did have barbed wire, paper mache, and newspaper to use for the basic structure, she said.

She realized that she was limited by the space because it is a public place and not really a gallery, she said.

“I could not put my sculpture up so that people could see all sides of it, which is what 3D needs, so in that way it’s sort of frustrating,” she said.

But it is up and it is always nice to have your work up and see what responses will come, she said.

CNM ITS computer programmer Larry Leija said he has taken art classes since junior high school.

He has taken all other Art Studio classes as well, he said.

His mediums of choice are oil painting, watercolor painting, and pastel drawing, he said.

For the exhibit he is working on a series of oil paintings of his classmates, he said

People are his favorite subjects to paint, he said.

“Seeing something about a person is really just fairly interesting, I guess I like looking at how people tick, looking at the complexity of people’s faces and the infinite variety, and seeing people’s reactions,” he said.

This is a bit of a challenge because humans are so complex, he said.

But it is fun to see the art on display and see how people react, he said.

Art Studio major Sarah Gamoke said she started creating art as a child and learned art techniques in high school.

She has now been working artistically for seven years, she said.

“I have always been creative and it seems like it began with Legos,” she said.

The art she submitted for the exhibition consists of three collages and three sculptures, she said.

The photographic images in the collages resulted in the three sculptures that she made out of discarded auto parts, she said.

“The idea for these came after my father’s death this past summer. I spent many hours in his garage as a kid and was inspired by his passion for working on projects there,” she said.

Gamoke is excited to have her work up on display and to share her passion with others, she said.

The studio art classes at CNM have taught her many art concepts and skills and have inspired her to create more than she could have imagined, she said.

Anderson said she is proud of CNM and the CNM Art Department for supporting students in giving them the sup­port they need in their career path toward being an artist.

“They did a fantastic job. I am proud of them,” she said of the students.

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