A vast community of art lovers and artists alike crowded City College’s Fort Mason campus during its annual open house, where an array of sculpture and painting demonstrations, sales and exhibits flooded the building.
Visitors were invited to view work by faculty and students at the Coffee Gallery show, which runs through Jan. 28, and to purchase items from the 38th Annual Holiday Exhibition and Sale, which ended Dec. 2.
“This is my first time doing the show,” jewelry artist Jared Williams said. Among Williams’ display pieces were textured silver rings, metal flowers and other small pieces of metalwork, valued at an average of $40.
Baroque and renaissance pieces were played on mandolin and acoustic guitar in the Coffee Gallery as spectators walked about the space to examine the display cases of various pottery, paintings and photography, glasses of wine in their hands.
City College student and sculptor Jaime Teran demonstrated alabaster sculpting inspired by marine and anatomical beauty.
“I hope to get some feedback from people who attend the show, good and bad,” Teran said.
The sale, however, was the main attraction of the open house that night. Individual rooms specialized in the sale of a specific medium, whether it was framed photography, sculptures or other ceramic pieces.
Two rooms were dedicated entirely to prints and printmaking, showcasing tables and bins filled with hand-made prints ranging in a variety of sizes, textures and prices.
The polar mediums of metalwork and watercolors peacefully shared a display space, selling delicate jewelry and framed portraits.
The ceramics department alone displayed the wares of 32 students, where they were the majority of the vendors in their section.
It was but a mere fraction of the work of students from art classes in all of City College, ceramics instructor Oliverio Quezada said.
In another room of mostly oil or acrylic paintings for sale, canvases were purposefully arranged to play with the viewer’s eyes.
As one’s vision traversed the wall, evidence of a constructed, visual dialogue among otherwise unrelated pieces was seen.
“It was all laid out on the floor, and we very carefully arranged the pieces so that they speak to each other,” painting instructor Claire Brees said.
The open house has consistently had a strong artistic community over the years, with a current mailing list of over 1,400 recipients.
“We’ve been doing this for 37 years. I’ve been here for all 37 years,” printmaking instructor Anita Toney said. “Usually, it’s totally packed by this time.”
The possibility of Fort Mason campus being shut down as part of City College’s consolidation plans were present in the form of a department-wide petition and faculty input.
Show assistants, meanwhile, walked around the open house wearing black shirts with the words “ASK ME HOW TO SAVE ART AT FORT MASON 2013” printed in bold red letters.