The Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery presents “Collector” by Matthew Craven

Haley Duval, Reporter

Haley Duval
LA based artist Matthew Craven’s textbook Primer in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery at Bakersfield College.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery located in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library at Bakersfield College was proud to present and showcase COLLECTOR- Matthew Craven and his body of work in their recent art exhibition. 

Craven is a Los Angeles based artist known for his history-based collages for reconfigured original historical figures into new aesthetic compositions. 

He received his MFA from School of Visual Arts in New York and his BFA from Michigan State University.

Alternating between handmade and found images Craven‘s combinations focus on illustration, collages, and paintings, and his art appears images of marches of tribal chieftains, Masonic leaders, and American generals and presidents throughout history.

The directors of Jones Art Gallery Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston, art professors here at BC, have the opportunity to bring artist known more outside of the Bakersfield community to showcase their art at BC, especially to the art students. 

“It’s been a good opportunity for us to expose the students to an artist that are making a living, making work, and expose them to what comes after school,” Wrest said.

Wrest has been familiar with Craven’s work for a while. He noticed Cravens book released and the success Craven had achieved of himself lately and was given the opportunity to ask Craven to showcased his work at BC.   

Wrest said Craven got to talk to students during his showcase about his experiences as an artist, what he has done to make a living from his art, and talked about his work in the art gallery. 

Wrest said it’s hard to pick just one favorite art piece of Cravens’. 

Haley Duval
Matthew Craven’s work centers around found imagery combined with hand-drawn geometric patterns.

“His work has changed since I first came across it and I think I have always interested in the way he combines images and colors in his work. But most recently the work he has in the gallery connects closely in a lot of classes that I teach, art history wise,” Wrest said, “He uses a lot of images in our art textbooks that he uses his collages with, so that kind of fun for the students get to see some of the things they see in class in his artwork as well,” he continued.  

Wrest said there will be a new artist next fall to showcase in the art gallery.