Faculty creativity highlighted in virtual show opening Sept. 13

After two years, the LMC Art Department will host the Roll Call Art Exhibition online.


Art by Donna Fenstermaker

“MVC Light 3” watercolor painting.

Sarina Grossi, Editor-in-Chief

Art is an expression meant for the human eye and desires to be seen. For many artists, the restrictions put in place by the pandemic have proven to be difficult, especially when it comes to showcasing their art to the public. The Los Medanos College Art Department, however, has overcome this difficulty and will be holding the Roll Call Art Exhibition virtually this fall, opening Sept. 13.

The exhibition, usually an annual event, highlights the work of LMC faculty and staff in all departments. It last took place in 2019 before most in-person events on campus were canceled. It will be the second art event to be held virtually with the first being the 2021 Student Art Show.

Though the virtual world differs vastly from an in-person art show, LMC Gallery Director Carol Ladewig was able to closely recreate the environment with the help of the Kuntsmatrix platform. With this virtual space, artwork of any medium and size can be scaled properly to proportion, have 3D rendered modeling along with videos of the art as well. Ladewig plans to work with technicians to have the gallery utilize each function to enhance the artwork presented.

“Our gallery director has done a really good job of posting [the gallery] and finding a venue that best suits the work and actually looks like you’re going to a room,” said Donna Fenstermaker, an art professor at LMC who submitted three paintings to the exhibition.

By using a virtual art gallery, the art department is able to put together an art show easily. With the simple download of an image, Ladewig can upload the art to the virtual space and place it in any position she finds suitable. Unlike previous galleries, there is no limitation on the size of the artwork, there is little physical labor involved, and the virtual gallery is relatively inexpensive in terms of moving the artwork to the gallery space.

The platform hosts two rooms and can hold up to 45 art pieces. The space also offers virtual tours, taking the viewer from piece to piece with only the click of a button. For viewers who don’t like formal tours, Kuntsmatrix also allows them to explore on their own and view the artist information along with providing lists of the work featured and thumbnails of the art.

Ladewig said that the gallery gives viewers an opportunity to think about both art and life at a deeper level.

“There’s a lot of ability to react to and think about their experience, what’s happening in the world,” she said.

The virtual gallery provides more accessibility for those who cannot travel all the way to the gallery on campus while also providing new exposure to the artwork. Ladewig said in the future, the art department hopes to hold both in-person and virtual galleries concurrently.

Lucy Snow, a ceramics and sculpture professor at LMC, submitted three 3D sculptures to the exhibition. She said that one of the most exciting parts of this show is seeing the talent of faculty members outside of the art department and finding a shared interest with them.

“It’s kinda like finding somebody speaks a language, like say you spoke some really kind of obscure language, and then finding out that somebody across campus spoke that same language,” said Snow. “You’d be like ‘Oh, my people!’”

With this exhibition being available and accessible to the public, Fenstermaker hopes that LMC students gain a new perspective and understanding from the show.

Art is a really human thing, and it’s something that we all do and have done… it’s like a physical materiality and I think seeing that… to at least have a feel for what’s possible, I think is just really important and vital.

— Carol Ladewig

“Some students have never been to a gallery, some students have never been to a museum,” said Fenstermaker. “It shows them professional artists who take themselves seriously, working amongst them. Exposes them to things they never have thought of before.”

A large goal of the show is to examine art as a shared experience and reveal what creative people are truly capable of.

“Art is a really human thing, and it’s something that we all do and have done,” said Ladewig. “It’s like a physical materiality and I think seeing that… to at least have a feel for what’s possible, I think is just really important and vital.”

Snow looks forward to the possible inspiration viewers will find at the exhibition.

“The fact that we have this show to kinda show off how far out there we can go with our creativity is kinda fun,” she said, adding that she hopes it will inspire others to “try something creative.”

The Roll Call Art Exhibition will be held from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14, with an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 16. To find out more about the gallery exhibition, visit the LMC Art Department page.