At the start of the fall semester, there’s a lot of running around—duplicating materials, checking your mailbox, bustling from building to building to find each of your classes. During the hustle of these early days, I found myself noticing the same piece of art appearing everywhere I looked: outside of the library, in Sierra Vista, in the Administration building. Finally, the third time I came upon the sculpture, I stopped to really look at it.
These sculptures, created by local artist Joan Zierhut, have added a unique dynamic to the early semester hustle, for even as we are rushing across campus to take care of our busy schedules, immigrants are hurrying to cross a dangerous borderland filled with serious risks. This sort of socially conscious art is moving, enlightening, and encourages us to view an issue with new eyes—exactly what we hope to bring to our students every semester.
And this is far from the only art on campus. You’ve probably also noticed the mural on the side of the library building, which, together with the decorated planters, has created a beautiful and artistic aesthetic over there. Art can be both intellectually engaging and atmospherically calming, and both are important, it seems to me, on a college campus.
Art is flourishing here, and that seems especially valuable where we are. As a community college, we have the opportunity to bring the arts to our local community and to students who may not otherwise have access to the arts, and in doing so, help to enrich their lives (and our own).
As I discovered in putting this issue together, our faculty and staff here are a multi-talented bunch, creating artwork such as paintings, sculptures, photography, quilts, crocheting, virtual worlds, papier-mâché dragons, sketches, ceramics, and musical performances. I was blown away by the variety of submissions I received, and I am including all of them, whether professional work or hobby, in our faculty and staff Art Showcase.
Other articles you’ll see in this issue include a sneak peek at the new wearable swag from the Guild, a discussion of repeatability for arts courses with the Senate, a look at one Garfield student who uses art to bring opportunities to prison inmates, an examination of exercise and the human body as a work of art, a history of the dance department, spotlights on the GCC orchestra and the new Creative Writing AA, and more!
So get comfy, dive in, and enjoy this arts-themed issue of Chaparral.