The Gaucho Gazette

Petaluma Art Show: “Discover”

Ella Ban and Jessica Tang

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

At the quiet, mildly neglected Petaluma Art Center, anything is possible. From floral and fauna paintings to collage art and a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Art Center has seen it all. Most recently, they debuted their spring exhibit, titled “Discover.” Featuring the work of up-and-coming local artists, this show was the culmination of an annual art competition in Sonoma County. Five winners were chosen from a pool of 80 applicants and featured in the gallery as a means to promote their work and hopefully help kickstart their career and launch them into visibility: Catherine Sieck, Jenny Harp, Kala Stein, Dayana Leon, and Jaynee Watson. The featured artists were all extremely different, which made their works play off each other in interesting ways but created a sadder, emptier, and more dismal picture than the grand effect they probably hoped for.

The art show was split roughly into two sections (with no apparent theme). The first room was small, and the space seemed inadequate for the art. The art show had one almost completely empty wall, and almost half the room was empty. The art pieces largely looked very lonely, except for Catherine Sieck’s art, which was grouped all together in one section.

Speaking of Catherine Sieck, her art was beautiful. She created art by cutting patterns and silhouettes out of paper, in intricate motifs and designs. They subscribed easily to a traditional aesthetic sense which was very easy to appreciate; discovering all of the different motifs in the twelve featured pieces made the experience more enjoyable. She created an art piece to represent every month of 2016 and wrote a poem featured with the corresponding month, which had good evocative language.

One of the most interesting exhibits was by Dayana Leon. In addition to a couple of paintings that seemed to mock traditional standards of feminine beauty by just painting extremely unnerving and ever-so-slightly wrong portraits of women trying to be beautiful, Dayana Leon created an installation representing the room of a girl obsessed with beauty. There was a computer playing an extremely unsettling parody of YouTube makeup tutorials (rather than sound, there was just creaking, and wind-up toy noises, and vaguely chitinous rustling), and a few normal-looking objects that were really weird and uncomfortable upon second glance. For example: a wig that was made out of carpet, a photo frame containing fake eyelashes. It was a chilling commentary on how women are forced to try and meet these standards of beauty, but because they weren’t meant to be confined in that way, and there is something unnerving about it.

The weirdest pieces there by far were the abstract art pieces by Jaynee Watson. Her art was made of pieced-together “found objects,” such as carpet, wood, plastic, blood, nylon, human hair. The pieces she used all had the dilapidated quality of flotsam washed up on the beach and bleached by the sun, or trash picked out of a shack in a landfill. For clarification: that was most likely her intent. Her work conveyed an emotion like the despair you feel when your house floods, then drains, and then you spot the spots of mold climbing up the wall and rotting the once-beautiful substance of your home.

Overall, the exhibit’s pieces were engaging and interesting, but the arrangement and atmosphere detracted from the impact of the art as well as the ability to enjoy the show.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation. Inflammatory and inappropriate comments will be removed.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The student news site of Casa Grande High School
Petaluma Art Show: “Discover”