Introductory Essay – 2021

Landscape by Cindy Zhou. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size 24 x 18 inches Date 2020

The QCC Department of Art and Design is pleased to present the 2021 Annual Juried Student Exhibition. The collected works represent the talent and year’s labor of our faculty and young artists. It is always with joy, and on occasion unimagined awe, that we witness the creation of complex, eerie, and beautiful work from a diverse group of students learning in multiple disciplines. Participating artists this year are especially commended for their efforts in ad-hoc home studios during the pandemic. An extraordinary amount of resolve and invention was employed. Indeed, limits have been tested and by all appearances, creativity, talent, and dogged skill (on both ends) have won the day. Brava, bravo – you did not falter! So, it is with perhaps a little more boast, a bit more steam from the pipe, and a peep from the whistle that we invite you to have a look at this year’s selection.

This year’s selected works for the Annual Juried Student Exhibition are unique in the shared and novel experience of making art during a pandemic. That said, excepting pointed subjects, little suggests these works were done under conditions any less than in traditional, equipped studios with instructors alongside. The unflappable effort and creativity of our young artists always amaze us. Works remain solid and polished; Jones’s still-life with pristine color and form, Aguirre, Huynh, and Darnley demonstrate admirable attention to detail in their trainers. Still, they are not unaffected; there is poignancy in the emptied faintly lit interiors of Cala, Tyagi, Brown, and Sadikin, Stode’s stalwart portraits, Villarreal’s introspection, Lucas’s resolve, and Velasquez’s prickly tension in Ticking. Benjamin’s Spot Illustration brings relevance. Yeh’s wry, Just do it Later brings a smile; humor is alive. Seto’s Sanguineous-Heavymetal lends a tragic sublimity. And beauty reigns in the elegant austere architectural compositions of Kim and Yeh.

Congratulations and thank you to all the participating artists of the 2021 Juried Student Exhibition, your work provides perspective and brings joy. Thank you to my colleagues, JC, NS, and KP, and to all the participating faculty, your tremendous effort in instructing across the “distance”, your patience, and inventiveness have won the day. The support of the QCC Department of Art & Design, the QCC Art Gallery, and QCC Marketing & Communications is crucial in launching these community events and is greatly appreciated.

Curator, A Coffey