By Sarah Trexler
It’s not everyday that Tyler Junior College art students get the opportunity to showcase their artwork professionally in an exhibit style environment.
Once a year, TJC art department selects 2-4 of their students for the art student showcase. Rachel Bonner, Fernando Alejandro and Winford “Win” Page are three students who have unique and eye catching pieces using a multitude of media such as oil painting, mixed media, and graphic art. They will be displaying their work throughout the 2013-2014 school year at the art gallery in the Wise Auditorium Fine Arts Building. It takes confidence and courage to be vulnerable enough to present original artwork for all eyes to see. The process to envision artwork is a ‘creative conscious choice’ to express the feelings and emotions from the artists point of view in a visual form.
“Art is more than a prestigious painting … it expresses … our emotive side of what it means to be human,” Art Professor Derrick White said. “It (art) is also how we interact and communicate with one another.”
Bonner, Alejandro and Page were presented with an art performance grant, qualifying with sufficient grade point average, and will showcase their talent in a fall and spring exhibit.
Each artists works are direct representation of things in life that are close to the heart. Alejandro, a working tattoo artist, pours his soul into his work telling stories about tradition and heritage as well.
Bonner, the only art student who works with oil paints, is the queen of value and contrast in her paintings and drawings of family and friends. She also started a series of black and white paintings involving cancer patients.
“I like being able to look at a portrait and know that person has some story to tell,” Bonner said.
Page reaches out to his inner child, including memorable cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Elmer Fudd. Page, a cartoon lover, uses nostalgia to “warp the viewers understanding of the familiar.”
“I want people to remember… being a kid and watching Saturday morning cartoons,” Page said. “We (adults) forget what it’s like to be young… and I try to bring that to the table.”
At times, the process of creating a piece of work becomes frustrating. Sometimes frustration is an “understatement.” The work envisioned never comes out as perfect as imagined and White encourages his students not to become discouraged. He treats each art session as an opportunity for art students to further their skills, ability and technique.
“My paintings rarely go as planned,” Bonner said. “Thankfully I’m learning to accent that and just go with it.”
Learning and teaching comes full circle in the art department. Both students and teachers inspire one another to develop skills artistically. Two out of the three selected art students said that continuing to grow as an artist will always be in their future. Whether it means branching out to people with different skills or stepping out of a comfort zone, the art students find inspiration by working with other artists.
“I almost hope that I never have complete faith in my ability because then I would stop trying to grow, and it’s important to me that I keep trying,” Bonner said.
The gallery will be open 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday-Friday until Dec. 12 in Wise Auditorium with free admission and open to the public. For more information, contact Derrick White by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 903-510-2233.