Cerritos College Art Gallery now showing the 2015 Faculty Art Exhibit

Perla Lara, Staff Writer

Math majors, Science majors, Economy majors, and everyone else without a reason to ever take an art class here at Cerritos College the faculty art exhibit or the fact that Cerritos has an art gallery might come as a surprise. Another surprise might be the fact that 25 faculty members have their work now being shown in the gallery.

The Faculty Art Exhibit (FAE) takes place every two years; faculty from the art, photography and graphic design disciplines submit a piece of art they want to display.

Jan. 27 was the opening night for the 2015 FAE and it will continue to be displayed until March 13.

Cerritos Art gallery curator James MacDevitt, was there opening night enthusiastically taking pictures of the big turn out.

MacDevitt said, “This and the student show always get a big turn out because students want to see the work of their favorite faculty members and see what they do outside of class. Some of these artists are exhibiting work that is specifically in the discipline they teach others are not.”

The faculty members with works on display were also there as spectators to their fellow peer’s works.

Fine Arts major Davina Romero looking at Gerardo Monterrubio porcelain sculpture "Torito"
TM Perla Lara
Fine Arts major Davina Romero looking at Gerardo Monterrubio porcelain sculpture “Torito”

Art instructor Bonnie Barrett said, “I’m over whelmed and surprised by all the works. I couldn’t pick a favorite.”

Even though all the pieces where individual works there seemed to be two definite themes to the works being shown, nature and self-identity.

Nature pieces like Professor Steven Portigal’s clay sculpture “Nature Morte (Rouille)” meant to address global warming an issue that he has a personal connection to.

“Ceramics is one of many human activities that burn fossil fuels and release greenhouse gases during the production process,” said Portigal.

“Ceramics are a small part of larger problem. No matter how small, given what is at stake, we should give it some serious thought, and search for effective solutions,” continues Portigal. “For those of us who are teachers, this is an opportunity to inform our students about the impact of human activity on our planet.”

The Second theme self-identity could be found in many works a few examples are Art Professor Bonnie Barrett’s digital icons which expressed different types of hearts like a sweet heart represented by a lollipop inside of a heart and a cold heart depicted as a snow flake inside of a heart.

These icons where then made into small pins and those who saw the exhibit could take one. They’re available at http://thenounproject.com/bbarrett/

Art Professor Gerardo Monterrubio’s porcelain vase “Torito” also spoke to a cultural identity.

Fine Arts major Davina Romero felt that, “It portrays the dark and the light of growing up in the projects, showing you have to do all you can to get through life.”

One of the larger pieces of the exhibit and one that gathered much attention because of its unique 3D aspects was Art Professor Sergio Teran’s mix media piece “Via Corona”.

“This piece is a play on space and reality the colors are meant to come forward and Identity all my works are about identity,” Teran said.

His art was completed in a slow process that took place from 2013 to 2015.

“It seems like a long time but it isn’t. I teach and work on my art slowly I let it marinate, I nurture it; I think over every choice and make a decision. Typically anything new I did in the past two years.”

His work is influenced by iconic images that he grew up with; like the wrestling mask, the Virgin Mary and a skull. His work of art also features a self-portrait, and a small boy who at first glance one might think is the child version of him but it isn’t.

“He is my son; he lingers in the studio, he’s a part of the process, so he’s in there too. The woman in the frame is my mom. Everything is configured in the way we make shrines catholic shrines,” Teran added.

The Art Gallery is located in the Fine Arts building room 50; you can stop there Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or Wednesday through Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the FAE is there until March 13.