“It’s All About the Benjamins”

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Petermark Varela and Daisy Gutierrez enjoying the reception for the "It's All About the Benjamins" art exhibit.
Petermark Varela and Daisy Gutierrez enjoying the reception for the “It’s All About the Benjamins” art exhibit.

IMPERIAL – Hidden treasures hang on the walls and sit on the tables in an unsuspecting building in a small, but beautiful, gallery, displaying the many artistic gems of our county at the Imperial Valley College.

The Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery is currently hosting its most recent event, titled “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS”. In an open call to the students and residents of Imperial County, this event provided artists an opportunity to display and sell their work for the first time. All pieces in the art show have been priced for $100 dollars or less and range from paintings, to sculpture, to photographs, and multi-media pieces.

The gallery display featured artist Katharine T. Jacobs, a Northern California native living and working in Portland, Oregon. Using traditional dark room techniques and large format film she created several large prints paired with printed statements such as, “My heart and arms already feel empty without you.”

Carol Hegarty, gallery director and an associate professor at IVC, revealed that the artists featured at JSL gallery are chosen and interviewed at the beginning of the year, and presented throughout the semester.

Hegarty also expressed a desire to “always do better”, and has noticed a slow and steady growing support for the artists, not only at Imperial Valley College, but the county. She is hoping to consistently have more shows and hopes to one day see the Imperial County become a destination for artist to come to.

Even though there has been steady improvement, what is needed most is financial support from the community, Hegarty added. So far, the gallery has seen its most successful event to date with the “All About the Benjamin’s.” Over 15 pieces have been sold.

The gallery is free and open to the public. It’s current exhibition will be on display through Wednesday, December 3rd. Information for other events and schedule can be found at the IVC website and the Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery Facebook page.

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