Art as education

Student Art Exhibition

Drew Hilstad’s “The End” is just one of many interesting pieces at TMCC’s Student Art Exhibition.

Drew Hilstad’s “The End” is just one of many interesting pieces at TMCC’s Student Art Exhibition.

Photo By David Robert

There is quite a lot to see along the various walls of TMCC these days. On view is a diverse cross section of student work. The exhibit is broken up by medium and housed in different galleries across the campus.

“Hannibal’s Crossing” is a ceramic work by William Chan and is surrounded by many other sculpture works in the TMCC library. In “Hannibal’s Crossing,” six white, speckled elephants with beady eyes and varied symbols on their backs pull a cart housing a colorful bird and snake. Tethered together with a leather cord, the humorous elephants and their exotic passengers wind their way in clumsy fashion along the floor, referencing a historical event with a comical approach.

Photography has a strong presence in this year’s exhibition as well, and both Alison Heckt’s “untitled” and Irwin Sowkin’s “Rancho del Taos” elegantly demonstrate TMCC students’ proficiency in compositional and printing skills. Kimberly Sayles’ photograph, “Room With a View,” a dramatic and stark document of an abandoned house, truly catches the eye.

The most immediately arresting work, however, has to be a painting by Drew Hilstad. At first glance, "The End" seems pleasant enough, consisting of two figures in the foreground, holding beverages and standing on the beach, ankle deep in water. Painted in a gamut of blue, the colors and the sun seem to warm the sky and the waves. In fact, if it weren’t for the untimely apocalyptic event unfolding before the subjects’ dazed stares, this image just might make for another pretty landscape painting. But screaming downward from the left corner, a cloud trail angles towards the water. A meteor, a plane—perhaps an act of God. Something has crashed into earth not too far from the shore, and an enormous and ominous spray erupts. Hilstad’s painting is both entirely strange and truly awesome. Like much of the current work on display at TMCC, it asks to be seen.