RCC’s art community celebrates

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Alejandra Garcia / Staff Writer

May 15,2014

Open Eyes and Ears: Students, family and faculty enjoy refreshments in the art gallery as awards for the night are given. Jose Miranda | Special to Viewpoints
Open Eyes and Ears: Students, family and faculty enjoy refreshments in the art gallery as awards for the night are given. Jose Miranda | Special to Viewpoints

Many proud instructors, families and friends circled around the Quad Gallery catching up and admiring the splendor of colors in every piece. The atmosphere was like one of a big family party.

Riverside’s art community came together for the Student Honors Exhibition at the gallery to celebrate and admire the accomplishments of Riverside City College’s art students May 8.

RCC’s art instructors assembled together for the anticipated award ceremony. The chatter came to a silence when Gallery Coordinator Leslie Brown welcomed families and friends.

The first award of the night was the president’s award, which was presented by RCC President Wolde-Ab Isaac.

Isaac had a tough decision to make when choosing a piece that stood out the most from the entire gallery. Every piece in the exposition is amazing, but ultimately one had to be chosen. And the winner of the award was Pam Raney.

She created a sculpture that resembled something from the medieval times.  She used pieces of palm tree leaves that created a capsule intertwined with webs, only to reveal a tiny nest that holds a small dragon.

“I’m excited,” Raney said. “(Isaac) picks a piece out of the whole show. I’m very proud.”

Raney has been living in California for three years, and she has been taking art courses at RCC since moving from England. Raney developed her skill, and it shows in her winning piece, “Cradle.”

Another of the few award winners was Mollie Ong. She won an award for excellence in beginning drawing.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to win,” Ong said. “I’m shocked.”

Ong’s winning piece was a self-portrait she made out of charcoal. It took one week during winter session. She described her relationship with her creation as a “love/hate relationship.”

Her major is currently undecided, but Ong wants to transfer to the California Institute of the Arts and possibly study story character design.

Dayna Gregg, an art professor at RCC, also presented an award. Gregg described the award winner, Rafael Mejia to be dedicated, always on time and never slacking off.

He submitted two portraits, which garnered universal praise.

Mejia was influenced by the old master style, which come from painters such as Rembrandt. He also noted artists Sargent and Whistler as major influences on his developing style on painting and drawing.

An Art Club Scholarship award was also given out, which Angelica Wilkinson earned through her expressive portraits and her dedication to the arts.

Not everyone who participated won an award, but everyone received recognition and praise over their dedication and commitment for their artwork.

“(The faculty) are so dedicated, and they are so proud of you just like I am.” Isaac said to the crowd. “All of you are excellent.”

The Student Honors Exhibition show ends May 29.



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