Over the years countless art teachers have given hundreds, perhaps thousands of Bakersfield College students the confidence to paint their first canvas.
Now that the college is celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Wylie and May Louise Gallery's first exhibit of the year will showcase five recently retired art faculty members: Al Davis, Al Naso, Chalita Brossett Robinson, Harry Wilson and Marlene Tatsuno.
"Basically it's a reunion because we're also showing the work of current and part-time faculty," said curator Margaret Nowling. "So we hope lots of friends and former students will come to (tonight's) opening."
Titled "Interplay," the exhibit includes artwork in a variety of media.
Nowling shared some background on each of the artists and their work.
For example, Robinson, who retired in 2005 after 36 years at BC, is showing one large canvas, a warm yet powerful oil painting of a robust female nude, and two smaller pieces of her granddaughter done on paper.
Wilson, who taught fine arts photography during his 34-year tenure, is exhibiting "Giant Glass." He shot the black-and-white picture of a San Francisco street scene when he was in graduate school and printed the negative for the first time only recently.
Davis, a 2006 retiree, painted his delicate watercolor, "The Puffins," last year. It is notable for his deftness in executing the precise circular objects that seem to float around the five unusual birds.
Naso, who has specialized in pen and ink drawing during much of his long career -- he retired from BC in 2000 -- has recently been using computer graphics to add color to his intricate designs. His "Floral Burst" is an example.
Tatsuno, a ceramicist, has a three-piece display called "Ring Around the Rosie," a spherical form that sits on sand in a shallow bowl. She retired in 2008 and like the other four honorees, is still active as an artist.
Current faculty members whose work is being shown have drawn on a number of styles, ancient as well as contemporary, for their contributions.
Department chairman David Koeth's piece is part of his humorous creation "Things I've Heard, Seen and Said"; Laura Borneman has a striking charcoal drawing called "Stay Out and Stay Alive"; Cameron Brian contributed a large -- approximately 48-inch square -- collage made from scraps of billboard material; Emily Maddigan has two ceramic pieces; there are four collages by Deborah Rodenhauser; two pieces in acrylic and oil notable for their texture from Armando Rubio; Adel Shafik, who is experimenting with encaustic, has a diptych landscape -- two pieces that form a single image; and Kristopher Stallworth contributed three digitally printed photos.
There is a charge of $15 to attend the reception but from Tuesday through Oct. 10 it is open to the public at no charge.
The gallery, named for the late BC economics professor Wiley Jones and his wife, May Louise Jones, is located in the foyer of the Byrd Library.
Visitors should use the Haley Street entrance to the campus. Parking fees are suspended for tonight's opening reception. After that, however, visitors are asked to follow campus protocol by parking in the visitor spaces adjacent to the library.