Spring Art Exhibitions Arrive at TMCC

A Version of You I Forgot by Brock O'Brien.
Jared Libby

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Art Galleries is excited to showcase four new exhibitions featuring local artists running Monday, Feb. 12–Thursday, March 14, at locations on the Dandini Campus. There will be an opening artists’ reception on Feb. 21, from 5–7 p.m., at the Student Center and Red Mountain Gallery on the 3rd floor in the Red Mountain Building on the Dandini Campus. Refreshments will be available, and galleries are free and open to the public.

TMCC Main Gallery

Best in Show featuring Cesar Piedra, Kara Savant, Richard Jackson and Tom Drakulich

This exhibition’s curatorial practice carries conversations with friends, peers, and mentors. Exchanging ideas, perspectives, and collaboration are the project’s premise. In Cesar Piedra’s words, Best in Show is an ode to chats with Kara Savant, Thomas Drakulich, and Richard Jackson. For a time, they shared studio space where they challenged, experimented, and critiqued each other’s work. Through their discussions and interactions in the studio, they developed a unique camaraderie, receiving invitations to display work in group exhibitions, developing an atmosphere of healthy competition, and encouraging one another to create their finest work, selling for the benefit of local fundraisers and organizations. Best in Show grants audiences access to these moments of discourse and cooperation and permits them to choose who they believe to be the best artist in the show.

“Having known all the artists, I was familiar with their unique individual styles, but the exciting part was to see them all in the same space exhibiting together. It isn’t simply about conversations between friends but an artistic competition. The notion is interesting because it permits engagement with gallery visitors, giving their input and casting votes for their favorite work. Which of these artists and friends will win best in the show?” said Kyle Karrasch, Art Galleries Curator and Visual Arts Instructor.

Red Mountain Gallery

Hunter/Gatherer by Mark Combs

Combs’ inspiration for Hunter/Gatherer comes from the original peoples of our lands, who hunted for animals and plant-based edibles. When they found them or made a kill, they thanked them or the land for providing a meal and tried to use as much of the collected material as possible. Modern people now do their “hunting” in grocery stores with exuberance, looking for the best buy or selecting the “kill.” We cook, eat, create memories, discard our leftovers, and move to the next meal. We haunt the same stalking grounds or choose new ones. Sometimes, we let others do it for us. Combs’ work is about providing those memorable feasts, harvesting leftover items (bones, cans, packaging), and combining those found objects into food or packaging-specific items. Combs memorializes the portion consumed (eaten or used) with needle-felted wool. The “ghost” of the image is combined with the reclaimed materials to create the final work.

“Comb’s exhibition, Hunter/Gatherer, is about shared human experience and a relatable topic: food. His work portrays this concept through a modern lens as people hunt in grocery stores, no longer open plains. A wool ghost replaces the sustenance, combining reclaimed materials to produce the final work. He is documenting personal and group experiences, drawing on the viewer to find something comfortable in the imagery that engages their memories and provides a moment of reflection, to pause and consume,” Karrasch said.

Erik Lauritzen Gallery

Every Time I Thought of You (or: every moon since the day we met) by Camryn Maher

Camryn Maher is a mixed media and installation artist who creates work about emotions, color, memories and experience through her synesthetic perceptions. Camryn utilizes painting, collage, ephemera collection, photography, light, and fiber work. She explores color relating to emotions, memories, and experiences. She is motivated by synesthetic perceptions, encounters with nature, and feelings that don’t leave. Maher creates work that encapsulates instances of deeply touching personal experience, intending to communicate poignant moments and motivate internal reflection and resonance.

Every Time I Thought of You (or: every moon since the day we met) is a body of work reflecting on persistent emotion, time passing, and unconscious ritual. This work explores her subliminal and perseverant capturing of over 100 moons during two years, representing what we yearn for, what we hope for, and the words we’ve never been able to say. Every Time I thought of you (or: every moon since the day we met) invites a deeper look into the gentle compulsions we’re prone to keeping and the meaningful and sincere qualities of regular, extraordinary things,” Karrasch said.

Red Mountain Student Gallery

A Version of You I Forgot by Brock O’Brien

O’Brien’s paintings evoke the most beautiful thing that can create art: emotion. Emotion fuels his work and tears him down so he can build something new. Throughout this series, he shines a light on sexual assault and rape. For O’Brien, this project is personal. He aims to show how it affected himself and the emotional progression surrounding such trauma. He drew inspiration from the Japanese art form of “Kintsugi,” gluing broken things together with gold paint within the cracks. Using this idea of gold and this technique, he wants to express the beauty within the broken and show a sense of healing.

In this series of paintings, O’Brien incorporates imagery of famous sculptures influenced by Greek and religious figures, mainly from the Renaissance Era. The paintings tell a story of growth, trauma, and real-life experiences. O’Brien wants the viewers to find their interpretation and meaning in the piece. He wants his audience to ponder what he is trying to say through vivid wonder. Most of all, O’Brien wants viewers to be able to relate to his work no matter who they are. The ability to draw on his life is something he leans on in his work as a sense of catharsis; doing so helps him to get through rough areas of his life. By depicting sexual assault and rape within these paintings, O’Brien hopes to address this heavy subject in a way that many people can relate to.

“O’Brien’s show, A Version of You I Forgot, is deeply emotional and personal for the artist. It addresses a topic that can be hard to convey, and O’Brien has bravely done so with this body of work. It is coming to terms with the trauma endured and the act of self-healing. Incorporating this idea of gold and this technique in fixing something broken, O’Brien aims to express the beauty within the despair and show a sense of restoration,” Karrasch said.

For more information, please visit the Art Galleries website or call 775-673-7233.