Putting theory into practice

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Paul Northway, Northwest Vista College art professor, created the “Eve Builds Her Last Sandcastle Before Eden is Lost to the Sea. Adam Likes the Feeling of Warm Sand Between His Toes” ceramic image located at the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College. Northway’s ceramic image expresses climate change and relationship. Northway and other NVC art professors nominated their artwork to the faculty exhibit in Palmetto. The exhibit is from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. through April 24. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

Members of Northwest Vista fine arts faculty display art pieces.

By Austin P. Taylor


While doing a residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center last year in Montana, Paul Northway, art professor at Northwest Vista College, found inspiration for his ceramic art piece “Adam and Eve Decide Not to Live in Sin Anymore,” which is currently on exhibit at Northwest Vista.

He was watching TV news and decided to focus on the social issues of today, while offering his own satirical twist.

“I see my work as a playful attempt to look at the rash decisions we’ve made as a society,” Northway said. 

The fine arts department of Northwest Vista is hosting an art exhibition featuring the works of its faculty members, including Northway’s “Adam and Eve” piece. The showing, which is open to the public, runs through April 24 in the lobby of the Palmetto Center for the Arts.

Rachael Bower — an art instructor who has contributed some of her own work — is curating the exhibition, which opened March 27.

“I’ve been working here since 2013, and I can’t remember another faculty show happening since then,” Bower said.

Bower has contributed three pieces to the exhibition. She’s showing a series of acrylic paintings that express the conflict between the desire for security and the desire to venture into the unknown.

Bower takes pleasure in showing students what their instructors have been working on.

“We teach them day in and day out,” Bower said. “We teach them all kinds of theory, but they rarely get to see what we’re working on.”

The exhibition shows the unique visions of 12 faculty members from fine arts.

One of the larger works — a vase-like object that’s about the size of a standard mini-fridge — was created by Diana Kersey, a full-time adjunct.

A professional potter, Kersey created two large ceramic vessels. The pieces do not have a formal title. They share similarities with the common wicker basket, except these vessels are much larger and the holes in the design are intentional.

“These are transitional pieces for me,” Kersey said. “Trying to define them with a title didn’t feel right.”

By transitional, she means they’re unlike anything she’s made.

“I wanted to take what I’ve learned from my past and see where it’s going to take me in the future,” Kersey said.

Northway’s “Adam and Eve” piece also blends the past and the future. It is part of a series meant to satirize biblical themes of marriage by juxtaposing them with modern issues.

In the ceramic piece, Adam and Eve have undergone a modern wedding ceremony, and neither of them seems particularly excited about it.

Northway’s other works focus on issues such as climate change and immigration.

“History is filled with stories of mass migration,” Northway said. “I wanted to examine the causes whether they be water, food or climate change.

According to Northway, the student response to his work has been pleasant.

“Some of them walk up to me and say they got a good chuckle out of the pieces,” Northway said.

The exhibition can be viewed at the Palmetto Center of the Arts 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 

For more information, call Bower at 210-486-4761 or email rbower3@alamo.edu.


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