Flip Your Wig!
The band’s hi-hats could be heard in the distance, among the trees and in the patio of the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday night as Chaffey College invited students and the public to attend its grand reopening, celebration of Amy Maloof’s ”Props” and annual Student Invitational reception.
After being closed for over a year, the renovated Wignall was debuted as the sun set on Chaffey College’s Rancho Cucamonga campus. Food and music encouraged festivities while artists and board members mingled with guests. Changes made to the Wignall include a new patio relocated entrance and mobile walls within the gallery allowing for a customized layout.
Amy Maloof’s “Props” was officially inducted after being in storage for over 10 years. “Props” is the immense signage in front of the museum mimicking the Hollywood Sign but instead spells out "CUCAMONGA".
2019’s Student Invitational includes five painters, two ceramicists, one videographer and one photographer who came together to display the art they have cultivated.
Syrian-born Sonia Breik’s understanding of who she is and who she wants to be is conveyed in both of her paintings, “The Arabian Horse 1” and “2”. A galloping grey horse in a flurry of red white and blue in one and a serene white horse with a glimmering golden mane in another represent the two lives Breik weaves.
“I carry two countries inside of me, one rooted in the base of the other. I am myself. I am a new country,” says Breik.
After thirty years of marriage, artist Bly Cannon had had enough of “a dangerous domestic situation,” and “allowing [herself] to be a prisoner of another person’s thinking.” Transitioning through cycles of realization, elation and then grief, true transformation began as Cannon says she combined photography, drawing and painting to exploring tensions between the natural and unnatural and organic versus man-made with “Salvation Gates.”
Regina Castillo’s ceramic installation of two adolescents wrapped in a foil like fabric, hugging their knees to their bodies in a cage echoes recent events at the border. Clay for her is a versatile medium as it “can be manipulated into just about anything […] as long as its strengths and weaknesses are respected and understood.” Castillo takes on the righteous duty of using her voice to speak when others cannot.
“Free the Children!” says Castillo.
Noah Cortez says they reap a sense of power from “being able to stretch reality and paint what’s not apparent from a photograph or sight.”
In order to accurately display a portrait, Cortez finds himself confronting his own feelings towards his subjects in the series “Divorce.”
Becoming a mother made Kristin Maxine Crofford reevaluate her life and ultimately inspired her photographic series, with one of the three photographs depicting a businesswoman working on a laptop with two breast milk pumps attached.
Lina Garcia transcends the need to explain art as she knows it is a journey of self. Her experience of travel and quest to find a home within painting influences the portrait series.
“Art speaks for itself. Good or bad is within the creator of the work and the viewer’s eyes,” says Garcia.
Alta Loma High alumni ceramicist Joseph Govè’s experiences in and out of the hospital for reconstructive surgery of his intestinal tract as a young teenager led him to create eerie mask-like faces depicting different phobias in the series “Phobia Masks”. Govè incorporates faux hair, metal and clay to convey these feelings of uneasiness.
Joel Hutchinson explores the in-between grayness of being gay in today’s society and “the act of gender [as] an art form in and of itself,” says Hutchinson.
In the glittering mixed media series, Hutchinson confronts gender expectation and norms that have been imposed on them.
Standards of feminism and beauty set by the media influenced and inspired Alaast Kamalabadi’s video “Gnaw” in which a subject transforms from a comfortable application of blue lipstick to a frantically aggravated removal of the cosmetic.
Chaffey College is one out of over 600 colleges among over 4,000 colleges within the United States that offer a museum of this nature for both established and emerging artists to display their work to the public.