What’s Hiding at the Palmetto?

On Friday morning, a group of 110 students from the Henry Ford Alameda School of Art & Design are coming to Northwest Vista to view our current  exhibition “Glue, Paper, Paint” by John Medina & Adam Palmer. This exhibition is one of many that has been on display at the Palmetto Center for the Arts for the past few years.

While outsiders are continuing to learn what Palmetto exhibits have to offer, our NVC community may not realize the gem on campus. Palmetto’s gallery space is open to the public throughout the week and showcases art that not only inspires but will excite visitors.

Rachael M. Bower, NVC instructor of Art, who is curating several exhibits this year, says “We take a lot of pride in what we do here in the art department and it is great to share it with as many people as possible!”

Organizing or curating an exhibit can be a full-time job and despite Rachael’s already busy schedule, she has found time to turn Palmetto’s walls into a masterpiece. Rachael shares some of the significance of the art and artists who are brought to Palmetto.

Why that artist? I chose these two artists (John Medina and Adam Palmer) because they were both educated in Texas and now teach art (both at the secondary level) in Texas. John is the chair for the Henry Ford Alameda School of Art & Design in San Antonio and Adam is the art teacher at Crowley High School in Crowley, Texas. I wanted to bring in contemporary, teaching artists to inspire our students to see what they can achieve with a career in the arts.

I am a printmaker by trade and the art network is very wide-reaching. Printmakers share studios, participate in trade portfolios and exhibit in group shows often – these opportunities to work with a variety of artists, near and far, has helped me to establish a lot of wonderful contacts. When I moved to Texas a few years ago, I became aware of all the printmakers that work in our great state! I was introduced to both artists’ work by mutual friends in the print community. When I realized John Medina was also in San Antonio, I knew I had to have him come and speak to our students. I also enjoy that both Adam and John work in a variety of media, in which I was excited to showcase.

Last year, I curated an exhibit of all women artists from across the country. The show was titled, “Creative Connections”. That show also spoke to the community that is formed between artists as a result of graduate school and professional development by way of workshops and conferences. Though the show was comprised of printmakers, the work varied from silkscreen to lithography, collage to watercolor paintings, colored pencil drawings and sculptures made of found objects.

Why that art? I chose John Medina and Adam Palmer to exhibit together because both artists work nonobjectively.  That is, their art focuses on the elements of art and principles of design. Their use of color, line, unity and pattern is varied and dynamic. These are the design principles I teach my own art students to recognize in a work of art, as they learn to form a critique and create their own successful compositions.

How much of an impact do these shows have on the students and the college? 

I hope that it does impact the students, to awaken their creativity and inspire them. The color palette of both artists is saturated and playful, which brightens up the gallery space in a delightful way. Having this art on campus at the Palmetto Center for the Arts provides the students an opportunity to view art in person, rather than projected images in a lecture or small reproductions in a textbook. It is also wonderful to have the art here in the PCA building, where students can experience it in their day-to-day schedule. I think it is important for art to be a part of our everyday life!

How important is it for the college to have these shows and share them with the community?

We rely on the community for support and we want our students to take pride in our college. Actively engaging the students and community with our program is important. Their are plenty of opportunities in the city to see great works of contemporary art; our exhibition space provides a chance to see high caliber art on the Northwest side!

To learn about future exhibits and artists, visit http://www.alamo.edu/nvc/academics/pca/ 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *