BC art instructors lead by example in new exhibition

·2 min read

Sep. 15—If anyone can find beauty and meaning in a time of uncertainty, it would surely be artists. Along with guiding burgeoning artists, instructors at Bakersfield College have found time to create their own works, which are on display now at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery.

Eleven artists are featured in the 2021 Bakersfield College Art Faculty Exhibition, which contains 18 works including photography, acrylic and watercolor painting, paper collage and a woodblock print. Among the show's multimedia works is a three-dimensional piece by design professor David Koeth that comes from his ongoing series that utilizes citrus peels.

Ronnie Wrest, gallery co-director and art history instructor, said his colleagues have expressed that beyond using art as an outlet, they also prioritized bringing their creative practice into their daily lives.

"As I look around the show, I do see some expressions of chaos, but I also see calm and peace in most of the work, which is interesting considering the added stress and anxiety we have experienced of late," he wrote in an email.

Wrest said he hopes viewers are able to appreciate "the unwavering (artistic) production of BC's art faculty in the face of current conditions" that can serve as a model for BC students as they navigate forward.

Along with Koeth and Wrest, who is exhibiting two photos from his series documenting public art and murals, other participants are Adel Shafik, Dacey Villarreal, Darrin Ekern, Gina Herrera, Jamee Eaton, Jeff Huston, Joseph Tipay, Kristopher Stallworth and Nyoka Reed.

An artists' reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the gallery, which is situated in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library on the college's main campus, 1801 Panorama Drive.

Those who want to attend must go to calendly.com/jonesgallery/2021-art-faculty-exhibition to make an appointment.

The exhibition will remain on display through Oct. 22, although the campus is currently closed for most in-person events.

For more information about the gallery, email jonesgallery@gmail.com or 661-395-4552.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.