Annually, the STC Art Faculty Exhibition showcases work produced by full-time and adjunct faculty, but this year’s exhibition is much earlier than its usual January time slot and caught some faculty off guard.
Because the time change was sudden, only about half of the potential faculty are showing work, but there is still plenty of art to see. As usual, there are diverse points of view, and these are expressed primarily through paintings and drawings.
One freestanding sculptural ceramic piece represents the 3-D areas. This year’s exhibition is a fine opportunity for students, colleagues, and the community to gain insight into the art leadership at the college.
This type of group exhibition is difficult to define in terms of descriptive or unifying factors. All the art is good and worth seeing, but the artists represented here have already established visual directions that uniquely separate them from each other.
Additionally, there are no surprises, which could provide an intellectual focus to the show. Into this predominately introspective exhibition mood, a contrasting spark is provided through the extrovert personalities of Carl Vestweber and Alexander Comminos.
Vestweber’s cheerful collage greets visitors in the entrance space prior to the more contained mood that dominates the main gallery. The single 3-D piece in the show, Comminos’ exuberant ceramic, “The History of Conquest”, gives us a conquistador searching for unknown and exotic places, leaving a trail of ruins beneath his feet. Overall, the “Art Faculty Exhibition” has an aura of dignity, with works of modest size gracing the four walls.
Revisiting the ongoing themes of some of the other artists is a renewable pleasure. Phyllis Leverich tells us more about her visual preoccupation with the complexities of the mind/body dynamic in a mix of time and geographical references. Her inward quest is visible with her beautiful mixed-media encaustic, “Despite Her Efforts All was Revealed”, in which a skeletal image is seen within a classical Greek torso; a background mechanical diagram supports the image.
Contained frustration and rage pour from Scott Nicol into his “Untitled” encaustic drawing that seems at war with itself. Joints attach bone-like shapes to create deadend or circular references and different colors identify possible opposing forces. The controlled calm of his lines and shadows holding this frenetic energy throws us into a conundrum of fascinated wonder. On a less frentic note, Luis Corpus’ hyper-realistic graphite drawing, “Baby’s First Mugshots”, is illusionistic perfection, and although the title seems cute, it may express the future fears of parents living in this area, or even question the limits of the law.
Eduardo Garcia’s “Borderwall Scream” linoprint is his latest screaming man image commenting on the current situation.
Chris Leonard reacts to unspecified events as he offers advice for our restless times with his of two cats watercolor title, “Put Your hands in the Air Like You Just Don’t Give a Kitty Cat Pitter Pat Care Pair (Don’t Shoot).”
But through it all, Rachael Brown and Tom Matthews are at peace. Brown’s three idyllic “Floating Gardens” paintings reflects a recalled tranquility both in its imagery and style. “White Entry” by Tom Matthews is a silent painting of pale neutrals with a central white wall. What entry does it offer in its clearly defined wedge? Maybe it is the desirable, or even final, entry into silence.
Nancy Moyer, Professor Emerita of Art, UTRGV, is an art critic for The Monitor. She may be reached at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 2019 STC Art Faculty Exhibition
WHERE: STC Art Gallery, Bldg. B-103, 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., McAllen
WHEN: Through Sept. 19
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.