Art Imitates Life At Mesa


Mayra Figueroa Vazquez

“Megamall” by Jen Trute (photo editing courtesy of Sandra Guerrero).

Mayra Figueroa Vazquez, Staff Writer

       New exhibitions opens at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery featuring eight local artists advocating different ecological issues California faces.

       On September 7 a reception was held on campus. Attendants heard all artists give a brief explanation of their work and the environmental problem each artist chose to support.

       Danielle Susalla Deery the curator for the Endangered: Exploring California’s Changing Ecosystems exhibit said “people aren’t aware of what’s happening.”

       “Human impact is causing environmental degradation” said Deery hoping to use art as a method of educating people on the subject.

       One of the ecological issues highlighted in the show was the extinction of California’s native birds. Local artist Stacie Birky Greene highlights this issue in her drawings of these creatures on the endangered list.

       Greene draws a parallel between the rapid extinction of these birds to “things that could actually happen to us in the long run”. Her drawings are featured on recycled paper she made hoping to make a connection to one of the many reasons these birds are endangered.

       The decrease in the bee population was also addressed in this collection. Local artist Stephanie Bedwell sculptures metaphorically showcase many dead bees covered in wax.

       “The colonies are collapsing because parts of it aren’t working anymore so it seems like a metaphor for us, that we’re collapsing because we aren’t working communally anymore,” said Bedwell.

       Other issues addressed in the exhibit include the extinction of many creatures such as the San Joaquin Kit Fox native to Bakersfield, the California Flora, as well as the decrease in the frog population, and issues presented by the rise of carbon dioxide in our air system.

       Local artist Michael Field’s photographs titled “Niland Marina Country Park, Salton Sea” were also part of the exhibit and highlighted the scarcity of the Salton Sea Shorelines. “Most people are in denial about climate change,” said Field.

       “If you look at our federal government they’re turning a blind eye to climate change and going out of their way to spread disinformation.” Field believes that art is a way to inform the public on this matter.

       Kira Carillo Corser, local artist and activist, works with nonprofits such as Sea Changes to bring awareness to our changing ecosystems. Her piece “Plastic Bottle Fish” highlights the problems our oceans face such as plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change.

       This collection will be available until September 28 in the art gallery located in D101. The gallery is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m..