The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR’s Current Works shines light on faculty artwork

“Mace,” Angel Fernandez
Photos by David Reid/The Collegian

By Kirsten Mahon/tr news editor

TR Campus’ annual faculty art show Current Works is up in the East Fork Gallery until Dec. 3.

The artists approached each piece with unique perspective, drawing (in some cases, literally) from their own experiences.

Art adjunct Michelle Brandley, who moved to Fort Worth from southern California with her husband, said she enjoys the art scene much more here. The young instructor also teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. Currently for the exhibit, Brandley has one painting up called “Batter Up.”

Brandley believes her painting didn’t have anything in common with the rest of the pieces in the show, but this is true for most of the creations featured. However, the bright colors, abstract ideas and oddities tie the show together.

Brandley’s painting is the first a visitor can see traveling down the hallway that flows into the gallery. Hers is of an elephant peeking behind pouring cake batter. To Brandley, there are sides at

“Untitled,” Marco Rosales
Photos by David Reid/The Collegian

war here.

“I’ve always struggled with food and overeating,” she said.

Her work as an artist has often focused on negative body image and the idea of a person trying to be something he or she is not. Normally in her paintings, Brandley likes to call out big ideas, like the attack of a 50-foot woman, or an elephant in a china shop. The cake batter represents, in Brandley’s words, the power and seductiveness that food can have.

“In the circus, they make elephants look sort of goofy and clumsy, but in real life, they are so intelligent.” Brandley said.

David Vest, a student helper, and Brandon Tucker, a TR graphics specialist, were together when the “Scarborough Fair” photograph in the show was taken.

“Brandon wanted to focus in on the grunt that does all the work for pretty boy in the front,” Vest said.

The picture is of a man in uniform with a serious expression and another man behind him. The man behind has a commanding smile, but facing a pleasing crowd off to the side, oblivious of a picture being taken from such a direction.

Vest and Tucker have recently gone into business together, creating sculptures and artwork for the city of Fort Worth. In the gallery’s corner is another piece the two worked on, “Encroaching Patience,”  which is a robot torso hooked up to a tree stump, holding a bright red apple in its outstretched hand.

“This goes back to the idea of encroaching patience and patience encroaching,” Vest said. “It is simple in idea but complex in construction. It asks the question of what comes from nature. Is it a robot? Why is it wearing a mask? Why is it holding an apple? The apple is an offering of nature. It is something that is beautiful, but, of course, not edible. It’s not what it looks like.”

Angel Fernandez, associate professor of art, has three pieces exhibited in the show: a floor piece, a wall piece and a pedestal piece. The wall “Red Lever” uses fabric and a harder plastic than he

“Batter Up,” Michelle Brandley
Photos by David Reid/The Collegian

normally incorporates in his work. Fernandez said he tends to explore male identity through non-masculine materials, such as fabric that is normally a sign of female, he said.

“My masculinity was formed by all women, you know, I didn’t have that sort of male role model growing up,” he said.

Fernandez said he wants viewers to look at the work and want to interact with it even if they don’t.

“I’ve gone the route of making things very explicit, and people don’t like that a lot of times. [I’ve featured] very masculine and very sexual works,” said Fernandez, who added that approach can lose half of an audience.

Instructor Kim Jenkins said she wanted viewers to think about what makes something art.

“The titles are inseparable from the work,” she said.

One piece is a threshold placed on the floor. Jenkins said it is interesting to watch how viewers simply meandered around her work, but some actually stop to take it in as art rather than another object in the room.

“There’s no way for escapism here,” she said. Jenkins said that her art was meant to be as it is, with the titles prompting the viewer to move into a state of introspection where they look inward at themselves. As an artist, Jenkins said she has explored identity formation, expression and interpretation and aims for her audience to do the same. Another of her pieces in the show is a large sheet of chrome, framed metal, resembling a sort of brushed silver.

“There’s that look of ‘How in the world is that art?’” she said, laughing. “But what makes something art?”

Other artists featured in the show include instructors Penelope Bisbee and Eddie Rawlinson along with publications manager Marco Rosales. One of Rosales’ pieces is used on the main flier for the show.

The exhibit is free. Anyone interested in purchasing one of the works can contact Fernandez in TREF 4219C on TR Campus.

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