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Emerging artists showcased at Millard Sheets Art Center

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Liliana Castañeda
Arts Editor

The Millard Sheets Art Center at the Fairplex in Pomona hosted the fifth installment of the “SoCal MFA Juries Exhibitions,” which is based on the idea that an already experienced artist is chosen as the “juror” to choose a few art pieces from a variety of emerging student artists from the Claremont Graduate University.

“I think most of the art constitutes a free minded theme with the untraditional ways that they were put together,” said Maria Arellano, a Duarte High School student, about the exhibit.

Devin Troy Strother, a New York based artist was this year’s juror.

His pieces are known for their texture and vibrant neon colors. In many cases they are paper cutouts layered over each other.

“I think the artist chose pieces he thought meant something important and could speak for themselves” said Adriana Arellano, 24, a Pomona resident.

Strother’s style of overlay can be seen in one of the pieces he chose called, “The Life and Death of Clementine,” by Haylie Roche.

“There is a dull orange color beneath a mess and chaos of other colors. I think all these colors are something that affected Clementine, emotions or other individuals,”said Julia Turner, senior IT major at Grand Canyon University.

The rectangular painting exuded dark tones like burgundy red and ashy green, with gray rags layered on top of the painting and heart stains on them.

The occasional burst of color would draw the attention to a bright blood red.

Near the center of the piece was what appeared to be a discarded condom, with colorful glitter within it.

The wrapper of the condom could be seen on the opposite end of the piece, alongside a red ticket.

This all seemingly told the story of this so-called Clementine.

“I feel like I was really drawn to the pieces because it felt like society was trying to establish norms and then at some point the paintings were like, ‘let’s try to break those,’”said Jocelyn Cuellar, a Grand Canyon University student.

An installation that one can assume many reminisced over was one called, “I Thought I’d Live Forever, but now I’m not too sure,” by Briar Rosa.

The theme of the installation was 1990s childhood nostalgia, with Disney princess pillows lining the floors and the main display of an old television set playing “Sonic 2” on the classic Sega Genesis game console.

Hair products and Seventeen magazine issues littered the floor including on the New Kids on the Block comforter which lay directly in front of the TV.

Walking by the installation felt like walking by the room of a teenager from a different decade, maintaining its rowdy and unruly atmosphere like what one would expect from a modern teenager today.

The games near the TV were unorganized, and the classic Pogs discs ready to be traded with other kids.

“It reminds me of when I was a kid and would occupy my mind with the simple things. However, as you grow up you realize that you can’t live like that anymore,” said Julia Turner.

This exhibit will be open through March 7, Mondays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with complimentary parking.

Liliana Castañeda can be reached at liliana.castaneda@laverne.edu.

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