Eager students, ranging from 2-12, and parents flooded into the 2nd Floor Gallery to preview the 2020 exhibit at Grayson College on Jan. 24.


GC Art Professor Kristin Erickson asked the students to look at all the art in the Gallery and then stand by one art piece that they especially liked. With Erickson’s encouragement, each student had the opportunity to share why they were attracted to each artwork.


Sean Howell liked the large 6 foot fish because it was sharp and made with newspaper. Lily, who is only 2, chose an art piece with a heart in it. The variety of art selected by the students gave Erickson an opportunity to introduce simple concepts of composition and design. She also spoke a bit about various media involved in the exhibited art.


The 20/20 Show at the 2nd Floor Gallery officially opened on Wednesday and an artists’ reception will be held on Feb. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m.


“This exhibit asks artists to explore the connections between the past and the present, between what was and what could be, creating a clearer vision of who we are and where we find ourselves as individuals, as a society and as humans,” Erickson said about the show prospectus.


Since most of the art in the 20/20 exhibit is born out of self-reflection, the idea is that people of all ages will connect with some if not all of the presented art.


“A new year, a new vision,” she describes the gallery’s plans for 2020. “Reflecting on the past can help bring focus to the future. As students of history we become the architects of the future. Art students for generations have studied the great masters before producing their own masterpieces, examining their visual inheritance and leaving an artistic legacy.”


The 6-foot long paper Mache fish created by Steve O. Black is titled “Ecce celestial ichthys” which means “the old celestial fish.” While the fish is a generic fish, the title gives it several layers of meaning through the title as well as the changes in color which represent the levels of maturity. “Ecce!” is Latin for “Lo!” or “Behold.” The ichthys or ichthus, from the Greek ikhthys is a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish.


Another work on display is a spiral of keyholes done by Jeanne Sturdevant, an artist from Greenville and a long-time contributor to the Grayson shows. It would not be intuitive to know that there was a keyhole on the tag of a hearing aid but there is a hint about her hearing loss in the title, “Sensory Underload.”


Sturdevant offers an artist statement about artmaking: “Painting requires desire and risk. I strap on my skates and tenuously glide to the middle of the frozen pond. It’s exhilarating when it feels as though it’s working, but humbling when I realize the weaknesses of my efforts. I am attracted to materials that readily accommodate many changes (and don’t let you fall through into icy water). So, back to work I go, hoping to finish with a flourish. I know it’s done only when I can re-visit it and not see weaknesses that need addressing. I can get lost in the process. It’s my world, but I still require the balance of the rest of my life.”


After finishing up at the gallery, Gabe Howell asked if the group of home-schoolers and parents could visit the art classrooms which they did. Besides visiting the drawing and painting class, they all were treated to a tour of the ceramics lab where they were invited to see the huge kiln. The art field trip was capped by a cat making exercise for kids and adults which Erickson promised to fire and return to the makers.


Howell is responsible for designing the art curriculum that brought this group to Grayson College from Gunter.


Again, the artists’ reception for the 20/20 Exhibit will be Feb. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the 2nd Floor Gallery, 6101 Grayson Drive, Denison. For additional information contact the GC Visual Arts Department at 903-463-8662 or message http://www.Facebook.com/Grayson Visual Arts Department.