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Arts Council Gallery: Lassen College Faculty Inspire With Art

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facultyshowDuring the month of March the Lassen County Arts Council will be featuring the inspirational work of Lassen Community College’s art and design faculty; Michael Giampaoli, Lori Collier, Randy Panfilio, Bev Mendoza, Lynn Fuller, Lois Mankins and Trudi West.

An artist reception will be held this Thursday, March 13th, from 5:30 – 7:30.p.m at the LCAC Gallery, 807 Cottage Street, honoring the artists. This reception is a great opportunity for the public to meet and visit with each of the faculty members and to find out what true inspirations each of them are as artists and instructors.

Michael Giampaoli spent much time in San Francisco during his youth where he would frequently visit the De Young Museum. This early exposure to the fine arts, along with much encouragement from his family, inspired Giampaoli to become an artist. The beginning of his art career was spent using his skills for social and political commentary. He, later, began to draw his inspiration from nature. He spends most of his time teaching many fine arts classes at LCC, but during the summer he uses his time off to paint. The work being shown this month at the gallery was largely completed in the summer of 2013 and is a compilation of oil paintings, which is a medium that Giampaoli enjoys because it gives him a larger degree of control in blending the correct colors.

Lori Collier, director and instructor of the digital graphic design program at LCC, was inspired to become an artist by her family. Her primary inspiration was her mother who was known for her painting, enameling, and ceramic work. Lori’s love for art comes from being able to express her emotions through various mediums.

The central theme of Collier’s art is how technology and science has transcended our senses. As Collier says, “The art represented here is a reflection of our times and of how science and technology have altered our senses. Is it real or is it virtual? We have come to a point in our culture, as a society, where we cannot believe what we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell as being real.”

“Some might say this is great and the glass is half-full, but is it?” She expresses this through the use of acrylic and mixed mediums, emphasizing the constant change of our modern world.

Randy Panfilio grew up in a small logging town located in Mendocino County. The rural atmosphere and large community of artists helped create an atmosphere for learning. One person in particular, Hilda Pertha, helped advance his career as an artist. She had her own in-house studio where she was able to begin to teach Randy how to paint. She encouraged him to expand his knowledge of the arts. Panfilio took art classes whenever he could, mostly during the summer months. He began his formal career as an artist in Humboldt County, after which he went from LCC to Chico State. He finally ended up in San Francisco as an art major.

Bev Mendoza is a local artist who teaches painting, printmaking, and art appreciation at LCC. Interested in the creative process for as long as she can remember, Mendoza draws her inspiration from a myriad of experiences in her life, from political, social, and cultural influences; to the nature and beauty in her environment. She finds inspiration for her work from both her travels and at home. Mendoza works in a variety of mediums and often finds that the subject dictates the medium she chooses. She loves the spontaneity of watercolor, the directness of acrylic, and the depth of color of oil paints. She also enjoys printmaking, creating Lino cut prints, wood block Moku Hanga prints, and Monoprints.

Lynn Fuller trained originally as a scientist. He was fascinated by the natural world in all its various forms. He began by shooting color slides that he was able to show entire classes via slide projector. At this point, he realized that he really loved how he could capture the entire essence of nature with his photography. This realization drove him to take more classes in traditional film photography.

After a while Fuller moved from shooting nature as a primarily scientific undertaking to seeing photography as an art-form and his photos as artwork. Fuller drew his inspiration from nature and how he could best portray its intricate beauty. He extensively studied the techniques of the masters of the nature photography world; primarily Ansel Adams.

Fuller uses many techniques for his variety of subjects from macro lenses on DSLRs for flowers to shooting on film through telescopes for astrophotography. His love of the natural world has reflected itself strongly in all of his shows including this body of work. He could best describe it’s theme as simply: Nature.

Lois Mankins was inspired to become an artist by her 3rd grade teacher, who had given the class an art lesson on how to draw trees. From that point on, Lois was hooked. Most of Mankins’ inspiration came from nature. Aside from teaching photography at LCC, Lois also enjoys drawing, painting, and gourd art. Mankins uses a variety of mediums such as photography and Zentangle, which is the process of ‘creative doodling’ and patterns. Lois’ inspiration for this body of work is primarily experimentation with Zentangle. Lois creates for one reason: she enjoys it. She is not interested in competition; she simply loves art and displaying it for others to see.

Trudi West is relatively new to the faculty at LCC. She began drawing from a very early age. West loved the arts, but did not know how to pursue them or even if she could. A professor told her that she could go to art school and make a living at doing what she loved. West’s time in art school was where she first found her own style of painting. A professor lectured on a subject, which he called Heteroglossia. This was a word that he created to describe the idea of looking at an object and seeing all the various facets of it. He described it like how the English language has a huge variety of dialects, but all of them are essentially the same language.

West implements this technique by collecting a bunch of objects from various environs, such as her house, yard, the forest, and the store. In her mind, she has found connections between these objects, which she depicts in her paintings. She also uses this technique in her current body of work in conjunction with her love of poetry to tell a story.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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