Cerritos College’s first online Student Art Exhibit goes live this week

Digital+painting+by+Samuel+Roque.+Digital+portraits+and+film+translate+to+Zoom+better+than+other+physical+mediums.+Photo+credit%3A+Samuel+Roque

Digital painting by Samuel Roque. Digital portraits and film translate to Zoom better than other physical mediums. Photo credit: Samuel Roque

Daniel Suarez Jr., Staff Writer

Cerritos College student artists have submitted over 130 works to the campus’ Art Department in lieu of the first online Student Art Exhibition scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 22, via the gallery’s online bookstore at www.blurb.com.

Using ASCC funds, the exhibition is expected to distribute over $4,000 in awards to participants in seven different categories, from ceramics and 3D design to graphic design and digital illustration.

Each category will award first through fourth place prizes, “including a monetary component ranging from $25 to $200,” Art Gallery Director/Curator James MacDevitt said. “We then invite a professional artist to jury a group of media-specific awards.”

A portrait submitted by student artist Phyllis Chumley Martinez depicts a chilling scene of a young child in a red dress attempting to free her father from the overbearing grip of a winged phantom in “Fighting Daddy’s Demons.”

“Fighting Daddy’s Demons” is an oil painting by Phyllis Chumley Martinez. Her work will be on view on May 22 in the online catalog on Blurb. (Phyllis Chumley )

Martinez is just one of the scores of student artists to be featured in the 2020 online exhibition catalog.

Students from each department are nominated by faculty members both full and part-time.

There are additional awards given to specific fields including the Demott awards for the studio program and the Cassidy awards for graphic design.

In the weeks leading up to the event, the Cerritos Art Gallery has previewed dozens of submissions through social media posts on Facebook and Instagram.

The works in this year’s exhibition are “literally the very best our students are producing in any one year cycle,” MacDevitt said.

The catalog will feature works from the nominated student artists including painter Jazmin Flores and digital artist Samuel Roque.

According to the gallery’s social media posts, the online-only exhibition format is “pretty much the only thing that’s really changed.”

That being said, there are several limitations that affect how the art is experienced, as MacDevitt pointed out.

“Many artworks like painting and ceramics have a physicality and materiality that does not translate perfectly to screen-based imagery,” he said.

Film and graphic design type mediums are ideal for Zoom conferences but physical art is potentially inhibited by the student’s inability to provide the juror a dynamic and up-close perspective.

Additionally, MacDevitt noted that another disadvantage is a lost sense of community.

“Zoom meetings are well and good, but there is nothing like seeing the vast crowd of friends and family that come out to support the student artists during our regular award reception,” MacDevitt said.