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Diversity training

Works in the Glendale Community College student art show are as different as the pieces’ creators.

May 17, 2008|By Ani Amirkhanian

Students were free to choose the styles and concepts without being tied down to a particular theme for this year’s Annual Student Art Show at Glendale Community College.

That diversity is what makes this show a standout, said Roger Dickes, gallery director.

“The work is very diverse and the show doesn’t have a theme,” Dickes said.

“There are so may different approaches that students engage with.”

The show also provides an opportunity for prospective art students to learn about the art courses that are available to them, Dickes said.

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“It’s interesting to see the skill level that different students achieve within their medium,” Dickes said.

The show, which continues through June 6, showcases the talent of advanced art students at the college.

The works, which include drawings, paintings, ceramics and photography, are selected by faculty from the art departments, Dickes said.

Diversity in styles is evident in the work of two students, whose art is as different as they are.

Aska Tsuzuki, a Glendale resident, is a third-year student at the college.

Faculty have selected her untraditional self-portrait, an oil painting and a ceramic vase for the show.

The self-portrait, according to Tsuzuki, is an unconventional piece but is reflective of her character.

“It’s my ‘oh my God’ face,” Tsuzuki said. “I picked that face because it’s unusual for a self-portrait. It’s unusual but it’s a usual face for me.”

Her ceramic vase is the most symbolic piece in the show, she said.

Tsuzuki, who is of Japanese descent, explores with the idea multiculturalism in her work. Her ceramic vase has a painted tree with roots, which symbolize the diverse cultures in the United States.

“Many people come from all over the world and we still have our own roots where we represent our own cultures,” Tsuzuki said.

By contrast, Burbank resident Linda Rodriguez chooses to illustrate the themes of nature and femininity in her art.

Women are the primary subjects of her art and Rodriguez said she attempts to emphasize the strength women have despite many hardships and struggles.

“I see reflections of a woman’s fortitude in nature,” she said. “I see how nature goes through so much, like storms, and still stands strong. I see the same thing in women.”

Rodriguez’s work includes four pieces — three oil paintings on wood and a charcoal drawing on paper.

Her experience with motherhood is what has inspired her art, she said.

“When I became a mother, it made me look at life in a different way and I started valuing myself more and what women go through,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez’ art is also meant to empower women, she said.

“I want to portray women as an essence of life the way nature is an essence of life,” she said.


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