Teachers to inspire through art exhibit

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Super Sherbert Fun Machine, 2014 Hot glue, aerosol on panel 20×16 inches by John Medina

Correction: The exhibition is titled “Glue, Paper, Print.”

NVC event kicks off exhibition series this semester; artist will speak Wednesday.

By Austin P. Taylor


An exhibition by two Texas artists and schoolteachers opened Monday and will run through March 5 at Northwest Vista College’s Palmetto Center for the Arts.

The exhibition, “Glass, Paper & Print,” will feature the works of John Medina and Adam Palmer. The exhibit is meant to display the upbeat side of San Antonio’s local art scene.

It will include pieces that range from watercolors to silk-screen paintings, a technique popularized by the late Andy Warhol.

NVC art instructor Rachael Bower is curating the exhibition. She personally picked the artists.

“I felt that these artists really complement each other,” Bower said. She said showing local artists would inspire the students who attend the exhibition and show them the principles of design.

Both Medina and Palmer are Texas natives and high school teachers who derive inspiration from their childhood experiences.

Medina’s love for art is deeply rooted in the memories of his mother.

“She was the first person that I saw being creative,” he said. “Seeing her use her creative abilities to help provide for us always inspired me.”

This would help him earn a bachelor’s in sculpting at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and a master’s in sculpting from Northern Illinois University. Medina is currently serving as the department chair at the Alameda School for Art + Design in downtown San Antonio.

Medina’s “Super Sherbert Fun Machine” is a playful piece, at first glance. Hot glue is used to give the piece a look similar to that of melting ice cream. This look is meant to draw the viewer in and challenge their ability to resist touching the art.

“I used to work at a summer camp and I’d often take the kids to get some ice cream. They would almost always buy ice cream shaped like their favorite cartoon character.” Medina said.

“But when they would open the wrapping, it (the ice cream) would never look as good as the pictures.”

The children’s disappointment intrigued Medina.

He wanted to capture that fleeting moment of pure joy, “the bliss of just having an ice cream.” Of course ice cream melts, a concept that isn’t lost on Medina. This is what inspired him to give the piece a look similar to ooze through the use of hot glue.

“I wanted to show a moment of foreboding; you have it now but it won’t last forever.” However, this wasn’t his only reason for using hot glue.

“One of the things I like to do is elevate these materials. I like to give them an importance that they usually don’t have.”

Palmer’s piece, “A Brief History of Modern Art,” also uses a variety of colors that Palmer says represent the creativity he found in childhood cartoons. However, it also seeks to show the history of Palmer’s inspirations in a non-objective style.

Palmer hopes this piece will be a sort of magnum opus for his screen-printing work.

“I tried to make a screen print that encompassed everything I’ve done,” he said.

Palmer explained how he found inspiration in television.

“I grew up in West Texas — Monahans, to be exact — so everything I watched was the opposite of that,” Palmer said.

Palmer said TV shows that inspired him included “The Love Boat” and a Japanese animation titled “The Mysterious Cities of Gold.” Palmer cited the saturated colors and the goofy nature of these shows as inspirational elements.

Palmer would use this love of art to work through an undergraduate program in printmaking at Angelo State University in San Angelo and a graduate program in printmaking from The University of North Texas in Denton. Palmer currently teaches at Crowley High School in the Fort Worth area.

With this art exhibition Bower hopes to inspire students. Palmer said he hopes to do this through his oddball personality while Medina wants to challenge the way people feel about art exhibits in general.

The exhibition is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

This will be the first of three exhibitions curated by Bower this spring. She will also be curating an exhibition by Vista’s fine arts instructors in March, and a student showing in May.

Medina will also be hosting an art talk at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the gallery. He will discuss his work in the exhibit and what has led him to this point in his career.

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


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