For Oklahoma City Community College student Edgar Martines, this semester’s art class assignments represent more than a list of grades leading to a degree. They’re worthy of a showcase, a portfolio to present to potential employers and sponsors.
“Having my work on exhibit like this, it’s been nice to be able to share with people directly and see what they think and what they like,â€ he said. “The portfolio will definitely be useful. The entire experience has been very worthwhile.â€
The public is invited to enjoy the works of Martines and 10 other art students during the OCCC Visual Arts Capstone Exhibit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 6. The Inasmuch Foundation Gallery is at the north end of the Visual Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave.
In addition to Martines’ body of work, the exhibition features pieces by artists Amanda Melton, Brittani Aryes, Daniel Grothe, Eden McIntosh, Elizabeth Scroggins, Javier Sanchez, Krissa O’Connor, Nacole Acosta, Savannah Reece and Troy Williams. The exhibition contains work done in a wide range of media and styles, including paintings on canvas, works on paper, cardboard, ceramics and mosaics.
A reception kicked off the exhibition, giving art lovers a chance to meet the artists and discuss their creative efforts. Art Professor Jeremy Fineman said past events have led to sales and job offers. The reception and ongoing exhibit are also part of the learning process because the experience gives students an opportunity to put a price on their skills and interact with those who might be interested in buying their work. Not everything is for sale, however – sometimes it’s better to save something for a professional portfolio.
Students also learn how to install their art as well as remove it. That means patching walls to maintain good relations with gallery owners, he said.
“Everything they do during the semester is designed to serve the students’ goals, whether it’s transferring to another school or directly going to work at a museum,â€ Fineman said.
Martines’ preferred medium is ceramics and sculpting, which is clear in his “Mitosis,â€ for example, a flowerlike emergence in ceramic and glaze, or “Jack,â€ a thoughtful humanoid figure in ceramic with red iron oxide. He expects to reach his associate degree in visual art next spring and would like to teach someday.
Martines is still developing his personal art statement, which weighs heavily on improvisation: “I build until I find balance,â€ he said.
For more information, Fineman can be reached at (405) 682-1611 ext. 7838.