A fruitful look at art


Citrus deserts were offered to the audience at the Levan Center after Professor Emeritus David Koeth spoke on Oct. 7 about how citrus inspires his art.

Amanda Hernandez, Reporter

David Koeth, a retired BC professor, spoke about his citrus art pieces at the Levan center on Oct. 7.

Koeth had a decent-sized audience and many trickled in throughout his presentation.

Koeth began his artistic career as a graphic designer and spent 20 years in the industry before he came to Bakersfield College and became an Art Instructor.

Interestingly, his artistic nature was first noticed in first grade when the teacher asked the class what color a tree was. He boldly yelled out “They’re kind of gray with green moss and intensive brown.” His classmate said, “No they’re not, they are brown.”

It was then that he realized he viewed the world differently than most people did.

During his presentation, Koeth introduced the basic concepts of art through very popular quotes. He presented one by Pablo Picasso which states, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” The purpose of this was to highlight this idea that art isn’t invented, it is re-created.

Although Koeth has done many different types of art pieces, one of his major ones was the Citrus designs he created out of mandarin peels.

He began this design in 2009 after he noticed mandarin peels lying on his desk. He was a professor at the time, and had minimal time between classes to eat, so he always had mandarin oranges.

The peels had been in the desk for quite some time and had hardened. It was then that he began playing around with them and used his new ideas to create what would later become the Citrus series.

All of the materials he used to create this piece were recycled, which later helped him uncover the meaning of his artwork.

He went on to explain that they signify this idea of using recycled materials to re-create something and the shape of the work being a circle stands for community, earth, the suns, the planets and various other things.

Koeth’s work was recognized in many different public showings, and he has received many different awards. Speficially, he won a second place award at the Surface Gallery in Bakersfield.

After the end of his presentation, the Bakersfield College culinary team had many different citrus dishes prepared for the audience to taste. There was citrus soup, citrus ceviche and citrus pasta.

If Koeth could give artists any advice about entering their work into shows, he stated, “You have to personally create art and disconnect from it and allow others to connect to it.”