Kellogg Gallery goes virtual, new exhibitions on the way

Although the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery is not physically opening this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and staff at the College of Environmental Design are continuing to work remotely to create more channels to showcase artworks virtually.

Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Art is preparing to launch two virtual exhibitions, the Poly-Kroma Senior Portfolio Virtual Exhibition and the 2D3D+ Virtual Exhibition. Both events will open Sept. 1 and allow students to showcase their work to potential employers.

“I’m excited to see peers and friends of mine being recognized for all of their work,” said Kaitlin Espinoza, a fifth-year psychology student. “Our school carries a lot of talent, and it is exciting to be a part of a community that constantly inspires me.”

Poly-Kroma is an industry portfolio showcase displaying fine art and visual design work from graduating students. The website is built by the art department itself, with help from upper-class students that conceptualize the theme and design of the site. It includes a portrait of each student with a link to their portfolios, allowing employers to view a variety of work from each student.

“Our professors gave us the perspective that we are the creators of the world,” said Steven Andersen, a design graduate student featured in this year’s virtual portfolio exhibition. “We have the power to showcase what needs to be seen and tell the truth where it is applicable. This gave me the opportunity to be the designer I am today.”

Mahan Asghari, a recent graduate who majored in visual communication design, will be featuring her painting for the Poly-Kroma Portfolio Exhibition. (Courtesy of Mahan Asghari)

Being in the middle of a global pandemic, graduates have been struggling to land job opportunities, therefore the exhibition came as a big relief, Andersen added.

Unlike the Poly-Kroma showcase, the 2D3D+ exhibition will allow art students in all academic standings to participate.

The 2D3D+ exhibition is an art showcase where students submit their best art compositions to be featured. Out of all the submissions, 49 students will be chosen to be in the exhibition. Industry professionals will judge all submitted artworks and award students that turn in the best pieces.

The two events were initially scheduled to be held in May at the Kellogg Gallery but were canceled due to the pandemic. “We weren’t able to do the show at the end of April or May,” said Michele Cairella Fillmore, the university curator for the Kellogg Gallery and Don. B Huntley Gallery. “So, at the end of the school year, we asked students to submit their entries and give us time to create a website just for 2D3D. It’s the first time we are doing this.”

Alejandra Arevalo, a third-year visual communication design student, will be participating in the 2D3D+ Exhibition with her assemblage titled “Under ICE Custody.” (Courtesy of Michele Cairella Fillmore)

This year, the show includes four-dimensional and five-dimensional art. Four-dimensional art consists of art in video, where something is changing over time. Five-dimensional art is interactive and includes designing websites and video game software.

“Art is supposed to make people provoke thought and create conversation. That’s the true message behind good art,” Cairella Fillmore added.

 Although viewing art from a computer screen is different than being able to see it in person, students and faculty are actively building their online presence through social media, virtual exhibitions and online catalogs for the public to interact with.

To attend the Poly-Kroma and 2D3D+ virtual launch on Sept. 1, visit their websites at 2d3dplus2020.com and poly-kroma.com.

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