Honored, proud, accomplished, and grateful — a few of the many words used to express the emotions felt by sixteen of Yuba College’s photography students when, for the first time in the history of the class, they were given the opportunity to have their own, month-long photo exhibition at the Yuba-Sutter Regional Arts Council (YSRAC) gallery.
The turnout for the March 9 Artists’ Reception, “Show and Tell” was incredible. Besides the usual friends and family, attending guests included well-known local artists, business owners, and several Yuba College students and teachers, among others.
This was the second exhibition for Richard Jacobo, who says, “It feels very good to see people looking at, and hopefully understanding, my art on the wall. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and scary.” Mike Cramer, when asked how he felt about his first show, answered, “I didn’t expect to get so much praise. I liked seeing people go deep and analyze my work in more detail than I, it made me realize new things about my own photos.”
A digital photo printed in color, “Water Flower” by Kimberly Sullivan, caught the appreciative eye of several guests. It was purchased on the night of the reception by Walter Masuda, Dean of Fine Arts and Language Arts. Complimenting the photo, he explains, “I was drawn to it. I kept leaving to look at other work but I couldn’t resist turning back to it. It was like it was speaking to me. By the end of the night I decided that I couldn’t let someone else hang it and call it theirs so I bought it.”
Minerva Gama was featured in a solo show at the YSRAC, “Exploring Minerva,” from December-January. A few photos she submitted for “Show and Tell” were of models posing in wearable art, for a business call “Fancy Wild.” Henry Greene, a photography major, had offers on his photo at the Artist’s Reception, as well talk of commissions for future photos. Greene is one of the students who will be departing for Peru on July 9, for a 3 week photography workshop with Yuba College’s Photo Instructor, Rick Murai.
The amount of artistic talent from Yuba College’s own was an impressive sight to see in a gallery setting. Murai says, “The show was definitely a success. It’s incredible and extremely gratifying to help students evolve creatively.”
Tell me how you really feel
As always with art, there can be several differing opinions- because good art demands a reaction, especially when taken out of context- and sometimes even condemnation from viewers. Art has the ability to force you to feel; it draws out strong emotions from individuals, depending on how they choose to perceive it.
Upon arriving at “Show and Tell,” I was confronted by an angry guest, before entering the gallery, who had some strong, criticizing words about “subjecting” people to a certain type of photo, saying, “It’s a bad idea with all of the violence against children in the media.” This comment referenced the photo used in the advertising flier for “Show and Tell.”
The above, black and white, double-exposed photo by Auburn Wendover, titled “Beauty in the Breakdown,” was actually taken long before the recent, Invisible Children media explosion.
Wendover, second semester photo student with her own photography website, was the epitome of class and grace in regards to the unfolding controversy. When asked how she felt about the response to her art, she explains, “Most people liked it. My daughter is happy, healthy and normal. She likes history and spirits and wanted to be a zombie for Halloween. Posing for the photo was her idea. However, I think it’s a compliment that it invoked that kind of passion from someone who is, like myself, against child abuse.”