Alumni apply education to art world

The tangle of foam tubing and bungee cords, “In this Corner,” created by Wendy Uzarski, class of 2002, dwarfs psychology majors Daneyda Muniz, senior, and Ashley Cervantes, junior, in the Harris Art Gallery. Uzarski, who recently earned an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, was included with nine other alumni in the first invitational alumni show. / photo by Emmah Obradovich
The tangle of foam tubing and bungee cords, “In this Corner,” created by Wendy Uzarski, class of 2002, dwarfs psychology majors Daneyda Muniz, senior, and Ashley Cervantes, junior, in the Harris Art Gallery. Uzarski, who recently earned an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, was included with nine other alumni in the first invitational alumni show. / photo by Emmah Obradovich

Intelligently complex and brilliantly simple artwork at the 2005 Alumni Show in the Harris Art Gallery reflected how 10 artists have applied their University of La Verne education to the world of art.

Alumni, faculty, students, friends and family gathered in the gallery on Nov. 14 for a reception celebrating the artists’ accomplishments.

The featured alumni included Alycia Anthony, Denisse Villalba, Elizabeth Lucsko, Gabino Arias-Cibrian, Kimberly Lambright, Mabel Martinez, Michael Arbogast, Roger Garcia, Steven Lau and Wendy Uzarski.

All the artists brought a different form of media to the gallery including painting, photography, drawing, digital design and multi-media sculpture.
Curator and 2005 alumna Anthony sparked the idea for the show and hopes to make the event annual.

“This is a way to bring alumni back from the field where they can be limited,” Anthony said. “It motivates us and gives us a chance to show our work.”

For Anthony’s piece, she paid tribute to her past and present through paint.

Inspired by her country of origin Malaysia, Anthony took a photograph of her mother and grandmother and recreated the image in oil paint to represent the past.

Then she painted a pattern on top of the image to represent the new.

“It was a way to connect myself to this old picture,” Anthony said.

One of the most eye-catching pieces in the show belonged to 2002 graduate Uzarski. Her multi-media sculpture formed from colorful twisting fun noodles, bright tangled hoses, strategically placed facets all ending in a puddle of pink paint on the gallery’s floor.

Associate Professor of Art Keith Lord called his past student Uzarki’s work “sculpture that paints.”

“She’s playing with very common materials and interesting colors,” Lord said. “It’s a playful, chaotic world but there’s some kind of system.”

Adding to the show’s eclectic mix, Arbogast’s painting showed modern simplicity and composition. Arbogast created a grid-like structure by painting in the lines from chicken wire with black paint on a white canvas.

The project was consistent and something he said he could return to day after day.

“I could let myself do what I needed to do without being over critical,” Arbogast said.

The reception and show gave current students the opportunity to see how past students are applying their ULV education.

“It’s really interesting how there’s a different subject matter with a different vibe for every artist,” said Christina Dobszewicz, a sophomore art history major.

The show offered the alumni a chance to show the results of their education and real world experiences.

Arbogast and Anthony both made mention of their past professors and the value of their small school education.

“We could discover ourselves before we were put out there,” Anthony said. “I know who I am and I am confident with my approach.”

Today will be the last day to see the Alumni Show, as the show ran from Nov. 7 to Dec. 2.

Nicole Knight can be reached at nknight@ulv.edu.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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