This beautiful work entitled “Colias Eurydice” by New Mexico based artist Jo Whaley is featured in the two-part exhibition Selections from the Collection, a showing of works that highlight women and their contributions to art located in both the MCC Art Gallery and Drachler Art Library.
Jo Whaley’s work is held in the permanent collections across the country including Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Diego’s Museum of Photographic arts, and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Whaley’s photographs in the series “The Theater of Insects” include real insects with imagined habitat backgrounds. All items are arranged intuitively into environments similar to that of dioramas found in Natural History Museums. However, the environments that Whaley creates are manufactured and often disparate from insects. Studio lighting is key to unifying these elements. A click of a camera finalizes the work’s performance.
This beautiful work entitled “Autumn Study” by Arizona based artist Mayme Kratz is featured in the two-part exhibition Selections from the Collection, a showing of works that highlight women and their contributions to art located in both the MCC Art Gallery and Drachler Art Library.
Mayme Kratz is a prominent artist showing work for over 30 years including major museums such as Phoenix Art Museum, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, ASU Art Museum, and the Triennial Sofia of Painting in Bulgaria.
Kratz’s work immortalizes and celebrates that which is often dismissed as debris or organic waste and reveals a reinvigorated perspective to the ignored, overlooked and stepped-on. The alluding to cellular and crystalline design draws the viewer to contemplate the infinitely large and impossibly small. It is at once deeply personal and utterly universal.
MCC Art Gallery has been celebrating women artists in our two part exhibition Selections from the Collection which is split between the MCC Art Gallery and the Drachler Art Library.
Today we are celebrating Black artists in the MCC Art Gallery’s permanent collection featuring the work Butterfly no. 6, an aquatint etching dating to 1971 created by the prolific printmaker, art professor and philosopher, Emeritus Marion A. Epting. Epting has described his own work as “perpetual alternation of opposites [or] simultaneous coexistence of opposites…appears in almost everything I do.” An impactful period of his life that sparked this outlook is when he was asked to teach a course on African Art at Chico State. Epting’s viewed his appointment at that time as being related the idea that “I was Black.” He explains the connection to his own work, “I am concerned with the play of opposites: opposites which are not conflicting or competing, but complementary as necessary parts of the whole. I believe in the simultaneous coexistence of opposites. This idea has persisted for so long and has been perpetuated by so many civilizations that is the closest thing to a ‘truth’ that I know. Lao Tzu, Marx, Freud, Levi-Strauss, and the majority of Saharan African cultures all incorporated this concept into their beliefs.” Impacted by the experience, Epting’s interests in physics, algebra, philosophy, and art became merged. Epting became the first Black tenure-track professor at Chico State in 1969, and while serving as Chair of the art department and member of the Academic Senate he was revered for creating a thriving Black community among students, staff, and faculty at Chico State.
International artist Antoinette Cauley was born in Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.A.) and draws her inspiration from the grittiness and beauty within her place of birth. Her work is heavily influenced by rap music and Black American hood culture with a feminist tone and an overall focus on female empowerment. Visually, she combines the dynamism of rap music with powerful punches of vibrant color and deep, emotionally driven messages. Cauley attended Mesa Community College where she studied Fine Art with an emphasis in painting. During this time she held a two year apprenticeship with nationally renowned American oil painter Chris Saper who taught her the ins and outs of the fine art industry.
Along with her unique and distinguishable paintings, Cauley is most known for her nine stories tall mural of Civil Rights activist, James Baldwin in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Cauley has won several awards for her works including first place at the Artlink 19th Annual Juried Exhibition in 2019. Along with her awards, Cauley has been featured on various television and print publications including PBS, NPR, JAVA Magazine, Forbes and was named one of Phoenix Magazine’s “Great 48: 48 Most Influential people in the state of Arizona” in 2019. Cauley is now based in Berlin, Germany but remains heavily involved in the Phoenix community.