E Street Gallery holds ARC student art show


‘My Flea Has Dogs’ is a sculpture featured at the E Street Gallery for the American River College Student Invitational Exhibition. The art show will be open until Oct. 31. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

Joseph Daniels

A painting of the Earth blowing up, an art piece that is made out of oak galls and a sculpture of a flea infested with dogs were all art works featured at the American River College student show at E Street Gallery.

The gallery sent out a letter to artists who were on a mailing list of current and former ARC students.

ARC student Neil Putnam’s series of paintings of an exploding Earth looks almost as if they could belong on the covers of graphic novels.

"Front Row Seat" by Neil Putnam is part of a four panel pastel. The piece is featured in the American River College student invitational exhibition that will be open until Oct. 31. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)
“Front Row Seat” by Neil Putnam is part of a four panel pastel that features the Earth blowing up. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

While Putnam said that he did not think comic books were an influence on his works, he did mention how he used to draw his own comics as a child and said he recreated drawings of Todd McFarlane, the creator of the Spawn comic book series.

“When he came out I was really into him, because the way he sketched was very similar to how I did,” Putnam said. “I wanted to learn anatomy better when I learned how to do put in the perspective of my ideas better.”

Putnam said the act of painting a communication experience between the artist and his canvas.

“I basically see it done, and then I trace it,” Putnam said. “It has its own voice, and I just paint of that voice of whatever that medium is.”

“My Flea Has Dogs” is a sculpture of a flea that has miniature dogs on its back. It was sculpted by Michelle Lutche.

Lutche also had other sculptures to showcase for the art exhibit as well, including one depicting a crab, which was called “Thirty Three and a Third.”

Both the crab and flee sculptures had a mechanical feel.

Lutche said that sometimes she would build the sculpture first and then come up with the title, but with “My Flea Has Dogs” it was the reverse.

Patricia Wood, who was working at the gallery, said that she was pleasantly surprised that the gallery received as much 3D art this time around.

“That’s actually kind of nice, because it is usually the other way around, it  seems to be the semester of sculpture,” Wood said. “We have a big sculpture show on campus, sculptures around the area and now we have this.”

Alexander Clay Harper, the sculptor of “Zen River,” which was made out of oak galls, said that his artwork is mostly inspired by nature.

"Zen River" by Alexander Clay harper is an art pieces that utilizes oak galls. Harper said that his art work was mostly inspired by nature.  (Photo by Joseph Daniels)
“Zen River” by Alexander Clay Harper is an art piece that utilizes oak galls. Harper said that his work was mostly inspired by nature. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

An oak gall is an irregularly shaped growth that can be found on trees, and is caused when wasps inject a growth hormone into the tree.

“I just like to showcase the beauty of nature,” Harper said.  “I don’t have any specific message in my artwork, other than to showcase the beauty of nature.”

The exhibit will remain open through Oct. 31.