by Merritt Beckett
Art & Entertainment Editor
“For the first time in 104 years the University of La Verne has a fine art gallery to stimulate students to honor the arts and to be challenged and affirmed by them,” said Professor of Art Joella Jean Mahoney of the new Harris Art Gallery located in the Landis Academic Center.
Mahoney presented the inaugural exhibit in the Harris Gallery with a reception and opening last Friday titled, “Joella Jean Mahoney: Thirty Years, Paintings 1965-1995.”
The large-scale landscapes, inspired by her passion for beauty of the Southwest, celebrate her thirty year affiliation with the University.
“It’s nice to honor a faculty member that has contributed so much to the school. This was long overdue,” said George Stone, assistant professor of art.
Mahoney came to La Verne in 1964 to teach studio art. She had just completed her Master’s of Fine Arts at Claremont Graduate School and was eager to share with students her excitement about the process of making art.
Mahoney renders her landscapes by creating small realistic works on location while back-packing in the Southwest. Her love of nature and a keen sense of its rhythms are expressed in her work.
“My work honors the planet,”said Mahoney. “My major paintings use as subject matter the vast and dramatic landscape of the Southwest.”
The exhibit and the opening of the Harris Gallery mark the beginning of growth and gives an on-campus foundation to the visual arts.
“This gallery is an extension of and an acknowledgement of our growing department,” said Stone.
Art Department Chair Ruth Trotter is excited about the benefits of having a fine art gallery on campus.
“Art needs a place to be seen, this gives us that. This gallery enriches the entire University by giving us a place to share work,” said Trotter.
The Joella Jean Mahoney exhibit will be on display through March 1. The hours of the Harris Art Gallery are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.