|RPCC student art that will appear in the upcoming show in Lafayette.
Some might say that creating art is difficult. They might also argue that exhibiting art is difficult and intimidating, particularly if one is not an art major or a professional artist. Steven Hadley, Instructor of Art at River Parishes Community College, has encouraged his undergraduates to defy both assumptions. The result is that River Parishes Community College students are debuting their artwork in a professional setting during downtown Lafayette’s Second Saturday ArtWalk.
RPCC Students will be showcasing their work at Gallery R in a show entitled “Collaborations,” which also features artwork by Hadley. Pieces in the show include photographs with subjects awash in a food coloring and water mixture. The work was inspired by minimalist techniques used by renowned artist, Oliver Herring: with an uncomplicated process and only a few supplies, a photograph can capture different aspects of the human personality.
“In class, we could talk all day about the history, terminology and construction of images but I wanted my students to gain the mental and physical understanding of what takes place when you actually make something,” stated Hadley. “It was through this project that many of them came to understand that art is accessible and that process and product can be achieved through a simple act and a skill set like that of a child.”
Hadley’s students couldn’t agree more. “At first, it just seemed like a crazy project,” commented Elisa Batiste, one of Hadley’s students. “But as I worked on it and saw how colors blended together, I realized what I was doing could have been something I saw on one of our classroom slides or in an art store. And most of all, it was fun,” she said.
Hadley wanted this art experience to extend farther than the classroom, so when the opportunity to exhibit their work was available, he took it. “Many of my students don’t have a background in art and might be afraid of pursuing it because they are intimidated by the judgment that comes along with presenting the final product,” commented Hadley. “The showing of the work, in the context of the exhibition and education, will hopefully expose them to the way that the process and product can be interpreted differently by other people.” Andrea Jasmine, another of Hadley’s students stated, “It’s cool that we are having our work recognized in a gallery, and are appreciative and honored that it is being displayed.”
As for the Lafayette location, Hadley stated, “I wanted the students to get as much exposure as possible for their work, and Lafayette has had a growing arts community for many years now. The 2nd Saturday ArtWalk can see as many as 400-600 visitors from all over the state.” The 2nd Saturday ArtWalk spotlights the work of local and touring artists in over a dozen downtown galleries, restaurants, clubs and shops. In addition to art, ArtWalk offers live music, food and drink. The opening reception for “Collaborations” will be Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 6-8pm at Gallery R in The Russo Group Building on East Congress Street. The show runs from the second week of December through the first week of January 2010. “Collaborations” will have the opportunity for showing at RPCC in the Spring 2010 semester.