Exhibition showcases alumni talent


Lifestyle Reporter
Gallery 2 at the University Galleries is currently featuring works of art by Texas State Alumni that reflect their current creative practices.

Corn husks, brass, silver and corn silk can be seen throughout The University Galleries during the 15th Annual Alumni Invitational exhibition.

A group of six Texas State Alumni from the School of Art and Design are currently displaying their work Sept. 9-Oct. 7 at the galleries. Chad Dawkins, interim gallery director, said the group utilized several different materials, including paintings, ceramics, metal photography, printmaking, sculpture, performance and video.

Dawkins said exhibition participants were chosen based on faculty input.

“It’s cool to have these alumni come back and to be able to see a lot of them move on to other parts of the country or display their works in other art galleries,” Dawkins said. “It’s a nice way to show the current students what work looks like after you leave—almost like motivation.”

Featured alumni include Laritza Garcia, Brandon Gonzalez, Suzy Gonzalez, Kristy Richard, Michael Menchaca and Hope Mora.

Dawkins said each piece of art represents the diverse nature of Texas State graduates.

Kristy Richard said the work she designed was inspired by her passion for ceramics.  

Richard said working with ceramics to create a glazed teapot was relatively simple.

“Ceramics are probably our most commonly used dinnerware beside paper goods,” Richard said. “We eat from ceramic plates especially when dining out. We drink from ceramic mugs and eat soup and cereal from ceramic bowls.”

Richard said she came to Texas State with the dream of one day becoming a professional artist.

Richard said several of her professors gave her the tools to be successful and have a positive impact on members of the art community.

“My professors have been very important in my journey as an artist,” Richard said. “I still keep in touch with them, they still critique my work and I’m grateful for it. I hope to have that kind of impact on someone, no matter what their occupation is.”

Brandon Gonzalez said he was honored to return to the place that helped him grow as an artist and person.

“It is exciting to circle back to my roots here because it continues to mark a line that connects disciplines of worlds,” Brandon Gonzalez said. “Texas State has allowed for my ideas and practices to develop on the edge.”

Suzy Gonzalez said she constructed her piece out of chicken wire, newsprint, corn husks and silk.  

“Making a life-size corn husk doll involved being covered in wheat paste goo and became so fun and messy that I almost forgot I was trying to make serious art,” Suzy Gonzalez said. “There’s a lesson to be learned there.”

Suzy Gonzalez said she reflected on undergraduate days to find inspiration for her new exhibit.  

“The last time I showed in Joann Cole Mitte was for my Texas State thesis exhibition, so it was helpful for me to think about my past work from my present perspective,” Gonzalez said. “I can see what concepts and materials stuck, and how they have evolved.”

S.J. Zavala, business sophomore, said she enjoys taking time to view each display.

“Even though I’m not an art major and don’t consider myself an artist, I’m a huge fan,” Zavala said. “I usually come here anytime I feel a little overwhelmed, it calms me down. I just love how an artist can go from nothing to making something so meaningful.”

Follow Ana Flores on Twitter @Anak2813.