Cheyenne Paul, Undetermined, 2020, Woven jacquard tapestry, 37 by 47 inches (Photo by Grant Vetter)

MCC art gallery up and running again

The MCC Art Gallery will reopen and feature artworks from students, faculty, and local artists to introduce these artists to the art market after it was closed due to the pandemic.

The Art Gallery held its first event a few weeks ago. A panel of local Arizona artists discussed digital art and NFTs. It is thought to have brought necessary conversations about the art world moving forward.

The MCC Art Gallery showed digital art and analog art. The show was broken down into seven different sections. “It was to show the evolution of digital art in the last four or five decades. We have everything from digital illustration to glitch art to video art, internet art,” said MCC Art Coordinator Grant Vetter.

Vetter was a moderator for the first event since reopening. He is attempting to show elements of modernized art.

“We wanted to have a panel up here to educate people about both the positive aspects of it and the pitfalls, things to be aware of and be cautious about,” said Vetter.

The showing brought needed attention to the Art Department at MCC, as most art is digital or analog  made by students in the department. The questions shared during the event gave insights into what artists will need to know to be able to make money and be successful in the art industry.

Most of the art in the gallery is made by students at MCC, while others are made by faculty and other local Arizona artists. The gallery is a chance for students to begin to publicize their artwork.

Students can submit their work or be involved with workshops that are offered by MCC. “I would say 90-95 percent of the art that is in here is from here. Even if you are not an artist that is studying for an associate in digital art you can still be in the program,” said Vetter.

Malena Barnhart is a faculty member with MCC whose artwork is showcased at the MCC Art Gallery. She is a digital art and photography professor at MCC. This is not her first time having artwork in the show.

Barnhart also encourages her students to submit their artwork to the art gallery. Most students feel intimidated by having their artwork being in a gallery, however she has different ways to get students involved.

Barnhart’s students realized that it is not hard to get their artwork in the gallery.

Cheyenne Paul, Undetermined, 2020, Woven jacquard tapestry, 37 by 47 inches (Photo by Grant Vetter)

“I offer an extra credit assignment and I nag them everyday until they’re tired of hearing about it. I think that like the easier it is to do it, the less intimidating it is,” said Barnhart. 

For many, this is the needed push because most students get positive feedback once they submit their artwork.

Since the pandemic, there have been some changes to the art gallery. One change that has occurred with the art gallery is its leadership. This is Vetter’s first year as the art coordinator.         

He has hired a new staff that will help him facilitate the gallery.

An adaptation that Vetter had to take on was brought on by the pandemic.

“The big change is just making sure that we maintain social distancing and that we have things here that meet health standards that weren’t necessarily in place before the pandemic,” said Vetter.

Vetter had no doubt the gallery would reopen once more places began to reopen. Many within the program feel that Vetter has stepped up to the plate to make sure the gallery’s first showing would be a success and people would be engaged during the show.

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