Art instructors and gallery director showcase multiple art mediums

Published by Jace Boyd on

Gregory Price’s tiles are part of his non-representational collection. Price used clay and ceramic coating to create enigmatic artwork unrelated to social, cultural or political issues.-photo by Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

The faculty art show opens successfully again as it has for the past 22 years, with only a few exceptions due to COVID-19 hardships.

Four faculty artists and their unique collections of art, Susan Rochester, Noelle Herceg, Tiffany Hokanson and Greg Price are the focus of this year’s annual faculty art show. 

Rochester has been teaching at UCC for 22 years while also serving as curator for all of the campus artwork. UCC has the biggest art collection in Douglas County made up of over 75 current works being displayed across campus. One of these pieces of art is the UCC fountain in front of the admin building. Part of Rochester’s mission has been to display the collection pieces in significant locations that help amplify the art’s message.

Susan Rochester, associate professor, UCC art curator, and Arts and Letters department chair showcases her sky series, featured on the left representing the Italian Renaissance “giornata” or “a day’s work. Shadow on the Trail, featured on the right, is her collage vintage book series, which displays multiple illustrations throughout the book cut-out within its pages. Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

During COVID-19 when time seemed to lose meaning for Rochester, she began her Sky Series which is a chronological marking of 10 days of photos shot at the same time at dusk. This collection was a way to watch the changes as time passed and a way to track time itself.

“It was interesting how it has made me aware of time because I can be in a dark space without light and I know when I need to go (take the photo). It has been interesting how it has affected my whole experience of time,” Rochester says.

Rochester’s creative process involves spending time in her art studio, working with a project book, taking notes, setting up a table specifically for painting, and making sure the table is ready to paint. This includes fresh water, fresh paintbrushes, and a clean workspace. 

Both faculty and students have some of the same issues with time management, Rochester says,  struggling to balance time for classes, home life, and art or creative hobbies. Artists holding onto a good idea, not using it due to the belief they will never have another one is something that Rochester believes holds many artists back.

After 30 years of teaching Rochester feels it is time to retire and her last term of teaching will be this spring. She just feels it is time for it, she will continue her artistic journey and continue as an artist in her personal life.

Noelle Herceg, associate professor, displays her new Gelashell collection which references textures due to expire which parallels memory loss to Alzheimer’s.
Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

Associate Professor Noelle Herceg mainly teaches 2D art. Herceg is displaying her Gelashell Collection, an inspiration of the textures and shapes of her daily surroundings. The collection encompasses anything from strange stains to interesting textures found on walks or oddly shaped vintage containers.

When Herceg first started creating Gelashells, she used Jell-o brand gelatin to create Gelashells and quickly learned that this brand was too sticky and sweet to work with. It was switched out for regular nonflavored gelatin. Through much trial and error with the thickness of the gelatin; Herceg found if it was too thick, it wouldn’t dry out properly and would start to mold. This began as a curiosity about the material and turned into the need to preserve things that were doomed to expire. For Herceg, the Gelashells collection connects to Herceg’s experiences with Alzheimer’s in her family and the need to try to hold onto things such as memories that are bound to fade.

Herceg claims that it was difficult to decide what to show since she mainly teaches 2D designs; however, she is excited to show the students a new format for her artwork.

Tiffany Hokason’s work features the process of deconstruction using elements of scent, color, and placement to depict loss and destruction. Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

Professor Tiffany Hokason, Current director of the Whipple Fine Arts art gallery is interested in the process of destruction, considering what was before destruction and what is to come after destruction. Her pieces in the faculty art show inspire guests to consider destruction as a catalyst, instead of the common perception that destruction is meant to be cast away. There is an outstanding potential for change of creative material since it is never created or destroyed simply transformed into a different material or chemical compound of atoms and minerals.

Hokason’s display contrasts distinctively with the other artists’ works. Guests can smell the ash in the air and the rusted metal from her artwork.

To prepare her exhibit, Hokason did field research, took photographs looking at the loss of homes and loss of life, and collected sensory input on the smell and color of destruction. She wants the viewer to be surprised as well as make a connection without it being forced upon them. Hokason learned how to weld to specifically position her artwork and make bigger collection pieces, in order to make a bold statement rather than showing more simple like a branch lying on the ground.

Gregory Price’s painting is part of his non-representational collection. Price used oil, acrylic and graphite on canvas to create this unique artwork. Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

Greg Price is an associate professor who teaches 3D art on campus, his collection features ceramic tiles and ceramic bowls glazed with intricate patterns and designs.

“My work reflects my interest in craft, materials, and the creative processes. I am an artist/craftsman, a maker of objects. I am drawn to visual ambiguities and consider myself a formalist who understands but rejects the tenets of conceptualism. My work strives to be enigmatic,” Price states.

The faculty art show has free admittance, is located in the Whipple Fine Arts Center on campus, and is open February 12th – March 13th, weekdays from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. There will also be a public reception and artist talk on March 7th at 12 – 1 p.m. 

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