Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Student exhibition showcases UTSA’s best


The Student Art Guild’s juried exhibition, “Revolutions,” is big.

Metal tentacles tear through a wooden door and descend splintery steps, scores of white ceramic discs line a back corner and spill out onto the floor, and a bicycle frame shaped like an obscene word greets visitors at the entrance.

Three-dimensional artwork monopolizes most of the floor space of the George Yepes Studio at the Blue Star Big Grain Mills. The exhibition, which also includes photography, painting and printmaking, represents the best of UTSA students’ recent work.

That the show consists mostly of three-dimensional work is no accident. Student Art Guild president Larry Crist explained that Bill FitzGibbons, Blue Star art center executive director, was chosen to select works for the show because of his background in sculpture. “Most of the shows in previous years seemed concentrated on painting, and I’ve always felt sculpture was kind of left out,” Crist said.

This fall’s exhibition is also unusual because no best of show piece was chosen.

 “We decided to do something different; best of show was kind of an elitist thing,” Crist said.

The exhibition is entirely student organized and executed. Art Guild vice president Erich Rodriguez said one of the most difficult aspects of setting up the gallery was the time constraint.

The Art Guild became a UTSA Registered Student Organization (RSO) for the first time this year. Registering, according to Crist, is indicative of the Guild’s greater involvement on the UTSA campus. This semester, the Art Guild has hosted film screenings and offers life drawing sessions on Fridays.

According to Rodriguez, the entire show is powered from three electrical outlets. “We were dealing with this building that was basically a shell,” he said. Crist agreed that supplying power to spotlight the artwork was a challenge. He said the art guild worked on the gallery for approximately three weeks, erecting free standing walls, painting panels and covering corrugated tin and bare wood.

Despite the gallery’s location–visitors must walk to the Big Tex Grain Silos behind the main Blue Star center, then walk on a dirt drive to larger rear buildings–Friday’s opening was well attended.

“I’m proud of the show,” Crist said. “There was a better flow of people this year than last.”

Senior art major Jessica Rivera created her three-dimensional piece, “Untitled Number 1,” from handmade ceramic disks painted white.

The discs, which very in size from one-inch diameter to saucer-sized, spill down the wall from room’s corner at eye-level and spread out onto the floor.

She said the piece is meant to evoke a characteristic she calls “barnacle.” “A barnacle doesn’t discriminate,” Rivera said. “It will attach itself to any physical matter.”

“A lot of people look toward nature to create art; I try to look at characteristics,” she said.

Rivera’s work will also be on display beginning this Thursday at the UTSA Satellite space at the Blue Star art center. She plans to attend graduate school to study ceramics after completing her degree at UTSA.

Sophomore art major Derek Brown’s wire and mixed-media sculpture, “Ugly George,” sits atop a chair, which he said he found in a scrap pile in front of the sculpture building on west campus. “I didn’t just want a white thing for a pedestal,” he said.

Brown can often be found at First Friday selling tee shirts. He and a group of artists formed the House of Sprouts, which sells clothing embellished with original silk-screen designs.

The House of Sprouts’ quirky style is balanced by a globally-conscious business ethic. They only screen on shirts that are either made in the United States or purchased in thrift shops so as not to support foreign sweat shops, Brown explained.

Other show highlights include Vicky Stephens’ color print, “Cym,” which received first place in the print making category. Her print juxtaposes organic and mechanical textures in a six section grid. Primary colors accent sections. One resembles a mesh screen, another recalls magnified microorganisms.

Samantha Medellin’s sculpture, “The Room I was in,” evokes a violent release of energy. Black metal tentacles burst forth from a wooden door.

The student art exhibition is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

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