Distinctions melt between art teachers and students

Helene Harbom's Lidded Jar

The Columbia Art Center's annual Student/Faculty exhibit has an installation that freely mixes their work together, so they're treated the same in terms of their creative output.

When it comes to making art, students and faculty alike explore the visual possibilities of the various mediums on display in this exhibit.


The melting attributes of watercolor, for example, are astutely handled by instructor Robert Coe in his watercolor "Fish." It depicts a fishing shack constructed atop a pier. Shades of brown, yellow, purple and other colors melt into each other in this peaceful scene. Coe's watercolor "Reflections" favors loose zones of color in order to depict two white buildings and several trees.

Instructor Joyce Bell's watercolor "Barn Highlights" is visually designed in such a way that bands of assorted colors are used to present a barn within a rustic landscape. Bell gets very close to her subject in the watercolor "Tulips," which features densely clustered and colorful tulips in a flower bed.


Colors definitely are melting in student Lisa Ver Steeg's watercolor "Viola," in which the floral colors blend and blur against an abstracted green background.

And the blending of colors is quite subtle in student Dora Strope's watercolor "Rose of Sharon," in which the pale white and pink tones seem very calm.

Linda Fishman's "Clementines,", colored pencil drawing

By contrast to those artists going for slightly blurry effects, student Linda Fishman's colored pencil drawing "Clementines" is a crisp depiction of seven of them within a still-life composition that also includes a blue bowl and a vegetal-patterned tablecloth.

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Just as precise is instructor Cassandra Welker's acrylic painting "Blue Crab," a tightly cropped image in which a single specimen is sharply depicted against a wood deck.

Not surprisingly, this exhibit's photographers also find a lot of their subject matter in nature. Instructor Dennis Gilbert's photo "Peace Lily" is a carefully arranged and lit close-up in which a single large white flower casts a shadow.

Sometimes artists quite literally make their mark in some of the other exhibited mediums. Student Dick Roepke's ceramic "Incised Vase" has vegetal lines incised into its otherwise smooth surface.

Instructor Joe Vitek's ceramic "Orange/Brown Stamped Jar" has quite a few swirls and arced lines worked into its surface. The hands-on nature of making such a jar comes across clearly here.

And, of course, such ceramics typically are functional pieces that are meant to be used by their owners. Student Willie Kalyniuk's six clay "Tumblers" have slightly indented sides that are made even quirkier by their calligraphic lines decorating their sides.


A non-ceramic piece that almost seems too pretty to use is student Iris Mars' "Amber Interrupted Swirl." It's a fused glass tray whose wavy colors would brighten up any table or shelf.

The annual Student/Faculty exhibit runs through June 19 at the Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth in Long Reach Village Center in Columbia. Call 410-730-0075 or go to