TOME — They are pre-med students, IT professionals, former surgeons and veterans. They are also student artists featured in the second annual Student Art Show at The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus.
The show will run through Thursday, May 2. The student gallery is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the Business and Technology building on the east side of the campus.
While this is the second year of the show, this is the first year it was judged and five awards given — Best of Show, Distinguished 2D Work, Distinguished 3D Work, Creativity and People’s Choice.
Bosque Farms artist Diane Martinez was one of the judges this year and said it was an honor.
“I was overwhelmed. There were so many quality pieces,” Martinez said. “It was so hard to decide. These guys are good.”
Emily Edmundson, a pre-med student, and her father, Joe Edmundson, both have pieces in the show for the first time.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Joe of the first time having work publicly displayed. “When the teacher says this is good and should be in the show, that makes you feel good.”
Both are in Drawing II and have abstract pencil drawings in the show. A ceramic tea set made by Joe and two mixed-media pieces by Emily are also in the gallery.
Both say creating art is a relaxing experience. Emily described it as an “escape from chaos,” while Joe called it therapeutic.
“It’s always calming, a way to relax and think a different way,” he said.
After 30 years in IT, Mary McCarthy is getting her degree in art studio. For many years, McCarthy has been a beader, with two of her sparkly pieces in the show — Sunrise and Twilight are clear ornaments draped in woven nets of tiny beads in colors that live up to their titles.
“I started with making Christmas ornaments but you don’t just have to have ornaments for Christmas,” McCarthy said. “I like to play with color. It’s very soothing.”
Over the years, Jinny Angelis has created art in many ways, from photography to painting, but pottery keeps drawing her back.
“The energy of making something is kind of special,” Angelis said. “Art of all types is just fun, expressive work.”
After a career in the high-stress field of thoracic surgery, Paul Whitwam was looking for something fun — something different.
He discovered Jan Pacifico’s pottery classes at UNM-Valencia and has been working in several different mediums since.
His piece in the show is an oil piece of the bosque in fall colors. Whitwam laid the paint onto the canvass using a palette knife, creating an image that’s more relief than strictly two dimensional.
“I like making things that leave it up to the eye of the person seeing it,” he said of his painting.
Eric Vargas and Kimberly Petrs are both digital media arts students who enjoy working in conventional art forms as well as virtual.
Petrs, who wants to be an animator, said her pencil drawing is an old master’s recreation. The black and white piece is a woman gathering wheat in a field, one breasts bared.
“I enjoy the female form, drawing them,” Petrs said. “The challenge to this piece was getting the wheat and folds of the fabric right.”
Vargas’ more modern piece is made from mostly found objects, such as metal cables and mesh. It is a visual interpretation of Mick Gordon’s “At Doom’s Gate,” he said.
Despite being a DMA major, Vargas said he prefers creating real-world art as opposed to virtual.
“You work with it, put your hands on it. It’s a very pleasing effect when you’re working on something,” Vargas said. “I’m getting my DMA degree because the world itself is more and more going that way, so why not evolve art the same way?”
Helping students evolve and grow is something Julia Lambright, a teacher and art coordinator at the campus, sees as her primary job.
“I teach the 2D foundation classes, such as painting and drawing, which is really getting people inspired to go on. I love it,” Lambright said. “A lot of the students in the classes are not art majors, but they learn from the basic principles of form and design and then it’s all hand-eye coordination and practice.”
As an instructor, Lambright said she can “preach my dream to them. They might not start as art majors, but when they change, I say, ‘Ah ha, another.’ I’m getting them one by one.”
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.