Vibrant, Diverse IVC Art Show has School as a Common Nucleus

Guests enjoying and discussing the variety of artwork at the Ruth Williams: Shapes & Colors art show on Thursday evening.
Guests enjoy and discuss the variety of artwork at the Ruth Williams: Shapes & Colors art show Thursday evening at Imperial Valley College.

IMPERIAL — In recent times, art appreciation has grown exponentially in the Imperial Valley. This awareness was evident by the high attendance at Thursday’s Ruth Williams art exhibit at the Juanita Lowe Gallery at Imperial Valley College.

“Every year we ask for artists to apply to show here,” explained Carol Hegarty, the organizer of the event. “And we never know who’s going to apply. In this case, we just happened to have these three artists who, although fairly diverse, all have a commonality by having a connection to IVC.”

Entitled “Ruth Williams: Shapes & Colors,” the local artist’s paintings will be on display at the Lowe Gallery from April 7 to April 27. Also being displayed at the gallery are the works of artists Peter Suczek and Israel Carrillo.

“Ruth Williams was a former student of Juanita Lowe, who was the founder of the art department here (at IVC) and who the gallery is named after,” said Hegarty. “She does a lot of other things, but she chose to show her abstract work at the gallery. Peter Suczek taught painting here at IVC. He retired in the spring of 2005, although his main subject matter was psychology, interestingly. But he had enough credits to qualify to teach painting. He lives in Oakland now as a retired professor and travels. Israel Carrillo is also an alumnus from IVC.”

“What was interesting was when we sat down to look at the applications, we thought these were really diverse people, but they each have IVC as sort of a center nucleus. And even though they do different things, there’s a commonality. Once we hung the show, it became even more obvious to us,” said Hegarty.

All three artists had a unique style, yet all were connected, in a sense, by their time spent at the college.

“The use of medium is really fun because Ruth’s paintings are all acrylic,” Hegarty explained. She has an abstract style while Peter does fairly traditional still life and figurative things. He used oil for his paintings. Israel is doing mixed media. He has a younger, hipper vibe to his paintings. So it’s painting coming out in all sorts of different ways.”

“It was a lot of fun putting together and now the show is here,” commented Hegarty. “I think it’s a great show for people who love painting. It’s very vibrant, lots of color.”

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