CSUSM art exhibit showcases creativity through April

Melissa Lugtu, performing A Feeling of Volcan Mountain, 2022./CSUSM

Call it From the Mountain,” an art exhibition by Cal State San Marcos students, faculty and community, is currently on display and runs through April 6 in the School of Arts gallery.

The exhibition, which showcases sculpture from students’ creative activities and research along with data visualizations by students developed in collaboration with service-learning partners in conservation research, features work that extends from CSUSM’s pollinator garden to the shores of the Pacific and reaches the summit of Volcan Mountain.

“It incorporates many relationships to CSUSM and the surrounding environment, from how student artists researched environmental issues to creative explorations of the insect world by local grade school students led by CSUSM STEAM ambassadors,” said Lucy HG Solomon, associate professor of art, media, and design.

An opening reception is being held Feb. 23 from noon-1:30 p.m. in the Arts building foyer.

Kaitlyn Reiter’s sculpture Corrosion, 2022./CSUSM

Also represented in the art exhibition are research-based artworks created by CSUSM students working with service-learning partners, whose conservation research drove their designs.

“Sculpture II students pay tribute to an artist of the past, through appropriation with a new message, and bring awareness or a solution about a current issue in society,” said AMD lecturer Sandra Wascher, who co-curated the exhibition. “Small objects are transformed in scale and functionality by Intro to Sculpture students, who also explore the possibilities of various materials into sculptural forms.”

The long wall features a collection of invented insect species by area K-12 students created with CSUSM’s STEAM Ambassadors.

This exhibition is supported by the Clarence E. Heller Foundation.

CSUSM also worked with exhibiting grade schools Community Montessori Oak Hill, Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, and Homeschooling in Nature.

Daisy Perez’s sculpture Bleached Coral, 2022./CSUSM

STEAM ambassador and exhibiting artist Aidelen Montoya worked with CSUSM on the grade school display as well as in the role of a service-learning partner.

“Being able to go into the mountain and connect with it while collecting samples was a great experience,” Montoya said. “It made me get a feel for the community and the foundation of Volcan Mountain, which I then was able to reflect this care and dedication in my pieces. Volcan Beaded Specimens not only reflects the mountain but the community. In my ‘Lichens and Moss’ sample, I like to think of it as a metaphor for the community and the mountain. Lichens and moss often grow together, the mountain brings the community together, and the community takes care of the mountain.”

Jillian Benedict
Amaya Castaneda
Abigail Franco
Karolina Lopez
Esme Mendez
Haley McMillen
Amber Miller
Gissel Munoz
Daisy Perez
Kaitlyn Reiter
Alex Resendiz
Lucille Rivera
Tiarra Turner
Sandra Wascher
Anna Weitz
Nicole Wong

Data Visualizations
Jillian Benedict
Melissa Lugtu
Aidelen Montoya
Heatherlee Morton
Evie Reese
Lucy HG Solomon

STEAM Ambassador Facilitators
Jasmin Perez Arango
Melissa Lugtu
Aidelen Montoya
Melanie Wollrabe

Community Research Partners
Alleco Finland Conservation Research
CSUSM Pollinator Project
Nature Enrichment Program
Volcan Mountain Foundation


Story used by permission by Tim Meehan, CSUSM News.

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