Bakersfield College art faculty create an exhibition displaying inspiring artwork


Professor Darrin Ekern artwork titled “False Flag” at The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery

Razan Makhlouf, Photo Editor

In a time of uncertainty, when the art world came to a stop, artists did what they always do:  found beauty, inspiration, and meaning in their work.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery presented an exhibition of work from the Art Faculty of Bakersfield College.

Eleven artists were featured in the 2021 Bakersfield College Art Faculty Exhibition, and their work displayed expressions of stress, chaos, change, loss, and peace.

The exhibition contained 18 works including photography, acrylic and watercolor painting, paper collage and a woodblock print.

Ronnie Wrest, gallery co-director and art history instructor said, “the past 18 months has changed the way many of us work, interact with our community, and go about our daily lives. We found the continuation of a daily routine in our typical art practice as a good therapy for the team’s environment that we were in,”.

Department chair and art faculty member Kristopher Stallworth displayed his artwork at the exhibition. In his abstract, yet actual place depicting images, he wanted to explore a different way of approaching the landscape. “In some ways, this parallels my experience through the pandemic. My world became much smaller, and it gave me a chance to focus on life’s little details,” he said.

Art professor Adel Shafik used acrylic pouring techniques to replicate color, texture, value, and ambiguity in his artwork. “My work does not focus on the subject matter, but on the movement of the mixed colors, and constant change of these images when I use a hairdryer, a straw, and a paintbrush. What is fascinating to me is the outcome of the work of art that is produced using these techniques,” he said.

While some artists’ work was disrupted through the pandemic, they still managed to find therapy and maybe normalcy in their art practice. Jeffrey Houston, Professor of Media Arts at Bakersfield College said, “I was still able to do the hiking process exploration through the pandemic. Aside from national park closures I wouldn’t say my art was disrupted,”.

On the other hand, Darrin Ekern, Ceramics/ Sculpture Professor at Bakersfield College, explained that his art process was disrupted. “My practice was really corrupted because I work in such a physical medium and my home studio became my class,” he said.

Along with Wrest, Houston, and Ekern, other faculty artists displayed their artwork like Professor David Koeth, Dacey Villarreal, Gina Herrera, Jamee Eaton, Joseph Tipay, and Nyoka Reed.

You can visit the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery Monday through Thursday from 1-4 p.m. The artwork will be on display through Oct. 22