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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC alumna has artwork displayed on SE Campus

By Mathew Shaw/se news editor

Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian  Silhouette of a Girl (Athens & Nashville), René West
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian Silhouette of a Girl (Athens & Nashville), René West

The works of art by a former TCC student and instructor are currently displayed in SE Campus’ Art Corridor II as part of René West: rePresentation.

Christopher Blay, SE curator of Art Corridor galleries, described West’s works as “a collection of print-making and photographic processes.”

She uses images that are in the public domain and works on top of them, he said. An example of this technique would be West’s newest series of work, Reinvention, which consists of images from the J. Paul Getty Trust’s Open Content Program. These images are black-and-white photographs of women and young girls.

West said there is a strong sense of history in these images.

“As I work with images, concepts are revealed, and this drives the narrative,” she said.

One image West used was a photograph of a young girl with braided hair working in a factory, which was originally taken by Lewis Hine, an early 20th century photographer who West said used his photographs to address issues of immigration and child labor laws.

“As I looked at this strong girl child, I thought of how the Industrial Revolution encouraged people, including children, to leave the farmlands in search of opportunity in the cities and factories,” she said.

To complement this concept, West added a city in the backdrop behind the girl.

Most of West’s works spotlight women because that is a subject West knows best.

“I am looking for something that resonates, something I understand, a story I can tell,” she said.

West’s works also relate to the idea of authorship, Blay said.

“She employs techniques that are part of the conversation of art history,” he said.

West, who now teaches the history of photography at Amarillo College, said this knowledge definitely informs her art-making.

In her series, City Walls, which consists of images resembling spray-painted murals on concrete, West said she was inspired by two main influences.

“One [influence] is a response to the thriving subculture of street art,” she said.

The second influence, she said, is “the history of documenting the arbitrary marks on city walls” by the use of photography.

An alumna of TCC, West studied photography on NE Campus from 1990 to 1992 and taught on the same campus from 1996 to 2003 as an adjunct instructor.

Her biography and portfolios of some of her works of art can be found at renewest.net.

The exhibit will run 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday until March 6.

Stone Blind, René West
Stone Blind, René West
The Raven (Edgar Allen Poe’s house), René West
The Raven (Edgar Allen Poe’s house), René West
Farmer’s Daughter, René West
Farmer’s Daughter, René West
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