East County Artists Featured in Black History Art Exhibition
The artwork of East County residents Ivan Garate and Cedrick Sutton of Spring Valley, Cierra Swanson of El Cajon, and Alijosa Nanusevic are featured in three student art shows featuring work created in honor of Black History Month, one which runs through March at the Spring Valley Library. Sponsored by Platt College San Diego School of Digital Media Design, the show is comprised of dozens of creations in graphic design, water color, ink, and photography will also be displayed at the Mission Valley and Vista public libraries. Chief Curator Nicole Lewis says the Kaleidoscope: Designing Unity show was created “to honor and explore the rich history, diversity, elegance, strength, and essence of African American culture.” She continues, “Moreover, the show highlights the struggles, accomplishments, and contributions of African American people.”
Swanson says she is excited to be part of the show because “art brings together an understanding. There are some feelings that are only really understood through art.”
Celebrating the cultural diversity of the region is a core tenet of the educational philosophy at Platt College throughout the year. But the students and faculty are especially excited when Black History Month comes around because of the opportunity to deepen their understanding of history and explore their creative expression of it.
Platt College San Diego Chairman, Bob Leiker says he is proud of the artwork Platt College students created, but is even more pleased with the high level of participation in the show. “We know that all areas of life are richer when a broad spectrum of the population is engaged so I’m delighted to see that actualized in this vibrant and eclectic multimedia art show,” he says. “Students from every racial and ethnic background at our college were excited to celebrate African American history and it is truly heartwarming to see the strength and support they draw from each other.”
The show includes artistic representations of historic, political figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and Michelle Obama; artists like Jean-Michel Basquait, Jimi Hendrix, and Chaka Khan; and many more. “There’s everything from angels in watercolor to self-portraits in graphic art to gritty representations of street life in photography,” says Lewis. “This might well be the most diverse show we have ever created from the artists themselves to the pieces they’ve created.