An exploration of art featured at Hyde Gallery’s art faculty and staff exhibit reveals much about the program

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The fall semester at Grossmont College is always an invigorating time. New ideas and subjects are explored, a the 2018 Art Faculty and Staff Exhibit at the college’s Hyde Gallery features paintings, photographs, sculpture and other works which encourage this concept.

Victor Ochoa, who teaches art at the college—and has painted many of the murals at Chicano Park–dropped in to enjoy the works by his artist colleagues.

The fall semester at Grossmont College is always an invigorating time. New ideas and subjects are explored, a the 2018 Art Faculty and Staff Exhibit at the college’s Hyde Gallery features paintings, photographs, sculpture and other works which encourage this concept.

Victor Ochoa, who teaches art at the college—and has painted many of the murals at Chicano Park–dropped in to enjoy the works by his artist colleagues.

“A beautiful painting here,” Ochoa told Jennifer Bennett of her eye-catching “Landscape” done with acrylics, pink salts, yellow powdered pigments and miniscule glass beads. The effect of the painting is a swirl of color infused with light.

“I was inspired by the light and fiery color for this piece,” explained Bennett.  “I’ve been told by different people that they have seen something like outer space in my painting, or that it reminds them of the rock and landscape of Arizona. Still others say that it feels like a fire, a volcano, an atmosphere. I like the Anza Borrego desert, with its plants, the rocks, and so that helped inspire my work here.”

Bennett said that though she had an idea of what the painting might be when she started out, as usual, she did not know exactly how it would end up.

“It’s a process, an exploration,” she said. “The painting is really open to interpretation.”

Faculty member Jeff Kahn, who has two abstract paintings in the exhibit, works with the same philosophy as Bennett.

“I start with an idea, a concept, as with my painting ‘Elevation Migration,’” Kahn said. “This piece has to deal with proportion and the distance of proportions.”

Kahn said that he worked digital hand-in-hand with traditional imaging. “That way, I can explore different designs and directions that I can go,” he said. “I like working abstractly because it leaves the piece open to interpretation. Someone this evening asked if there were hearts in my painting. I don’t see hearts in my painting, but that is all right. I don’t want to take away that joy of letting people see what they want. It’s very personal.

Kahn teaches Drawing, 2-D Design and Introduction to Visual Art.

Both Kahn and Bennett said that they were excited about the new crop of students.

“I start from scratch with my students, even down to how to hold the paintbrush,” said Bennett, who teaches Painting I and II as well as Public Art.

Alex DeCosta, Hydge Gallery director, said the first exhibit serves as a welcome.

“This exhibit is a really great way to introduce students to the art faculty,” said DeCosta. “It’s a lot better than going to Rate My Professor.”

DeCosta has two of his own works in the exhibit. They are eye-catching colored drawings in beautiful frames.

“I always like to have projects going, he said. “It keeps my own experience fresh.”

The exhibit, which will be up through Sept. 18, also features the work of artist faculty members Stephanie Bedwell, Patricio Chavez, Amanda Dahlgren, John Dillemuth, Suda House, Lisa Hutton, Lisa Karmel, Tom Lazzara, Lisa Medlen, Bill Mosley, Lee Puffer, Iana Quesnell, Kaiya Rainbolt, Jacqueline Ramirez, Augusto Sandroni, Aaron Serafino, Anna Stump, Paul Turounet, Alfred Ventura, Sandra Wascher, and Tessie Whitmore.

The Gallery’s daily hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Fridays by appointment only. It is closed Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays. 

For more information about the gallery, go to www.grossmont.edu/artgallery.

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