Student art exhibit opens this week

Eight students from the visual art graduating class are getting ready for the opening of the art portfolio exhibition from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 13 in the gallery of the Visual and Performing Arts Center. The exhibit will remain on public display for two weeks.

The exhibition is an accumulation of all the students’ best artwork completed during their two years of study.

“We try to have some variety for each student,” said Mary Ann Moore, professor of visual art.

The music department will provide music for the evening of festivities, so the artists are collaborating with them, Moore said.

The Student Art Guild is sponsoring the food at this year’s art portfolio exhibition.

For the portfolio show, Moore and the students go through and analyze their work. Some students will have 40 or 50 pieces.

“They’ll have too narrow it down to their 10 best,” Moore said. The students have been taking classes in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics so they have a variety of media to choose from.

The portfolio class is the capstone of all their other classes. The visual art major students have to take the portfolio before they graduate.

The students have to write an artist statement, how they feel about art and what they are doing. Also they have to write about their 10 favorite artists.

“Your portfolio says a lot about you if you are going to go to an art school,” Moore said.

Art Professor Doug Blake photographs the artwork for the students’ portfolios.

The portfolio class is one credit.

Moore said, in the class, she is working with students she had taught before.

“I had most of them in my classes and I know the caliber of their work so I’m expecting a really good exhibition,” Moore said.

Visual art major Joe B. Garcia is finishing a project that he’s hoping will make it into the exhibition, a transparency that he is going to use to make T-shirts. For the exhibition he is making the image for the T-shirts bigger on paper.

“A friend of mine has really densely curly hair, which I associated with an octopus and a crow,” Garcia said. That’s the image he has captured on the T-shirt design. Garcia has spent two years at OCCC and has the summer left do before he graduates.

The portfolio art exhibition includes a variety of what you have, Garcia said.

“You went to showcase how you are capable of doing multiple skills,” he said. “You take the best of those pieces and present them in a professional manner when making the exhibit.”

Going back and seeing the progression and seeing how he has grown has been his favorite part of the portfolio class.

Visual art major Gina Boerner said she is excited to see her fellow students’ work at the exhibition and she’s looking forward to taking the portfolio class herself next year.

To contact Natalie Storgards, email

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