The Show Still Goes On! AC Visual Arts Students Display Work in Virtual Galleries

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At the end of each semester, Angelina College art students display their works inside the Angelina Center for the Arts gallery on the AC campus. The gallery typically hosts four student shows per year, offering those students an opportunity to learn how to prepare their work for exhibition in a professional setting.

Because of the recent pandemic, resulting in overall campus closures, this semester’s artists were forced to complete their studio classes on-line, and their chance to showcase their work in an open gallery was canceled.

Gallery curator Le’Anne Alexander wasn’t satisfied with seeing students miss out on the chance to show off their skills. With the help of fellow instructor Jan Anderson-Paxson and those students, Alexander was able to create a “virtual gallery” – an online format designed to share the students’ works with the community. Modeling the AC exhibition after other galleries found world-wide, Alexander was able to ensure the public would be able to enjoy the students’ creations.

“It was a goal I’ve had for the AC Gallery for the past year or two to be able to extend our gallery shows past the date of exhibition closure,” Alexander said. “Other galleries around the world create virtual tours and publish books about their exhibitions as a way of reaching those who can’t make it in person, and as a record of the event. I felt that if we were to be a modern gallery, that we should get on par with this trend.

“The pandemic took away the option to have an in-person exhibition but also gave me the time to sort out how to approach an online show. I did some research as to how others were approaching the same issue and chose the best option available to me at the time.”

The online exhibition is done in two parts; one is a virtual gallery space (found at https://bit.ly/acstudentartexhibition) and the other formatted as a magazine-style publication (found at https://bit.ly/3c9bdbr).

Alexander added that even though the virtual tour will become a permanent part of every semester, “it is important to also contnue to have the in-person exhibition, as students learn the invaluable skill of how to exhibit their work and prepare a gallery show.”

Participating students included the following:

From Alexander’s Basic Drawing class: Cynthia Morales, Hunter Cruz, Ashley Matthews, Audrey Romo, Kenneth Hescott and Amber Weaver. From Alexander’s Basic Design class: Tyderius McCoy, Rut Delagarza and Ashton Wells. From Alexander’s Painting I class: William Tomkins, Ashton Wells, Caitlyn Meyers, Ashley Matthews and Kayla Bergeron.

From Paxson’s Digital Publishing I class: Josh Giles, Guillermo Gutierrez, Nylan Holifield, Francisco Lopez, Shelby Pickard, Esmeralda Ramos and Ty Thomason. From Paxson’s Photography class: Patrick Harvey, Anna Mahan, Austin Peña, Aura Stein, Ashton Wells and Juan Zamora. From Paxson’s Communications Photography class: Kendall Cole and Demee Martinez.

“While we are sad that we couldn’t have our exhibitions in person this year, we are proud of our students for their work and perseverance in this crazy time,” Alexander said. “The students are very excited about the new online format, and we hope to continue promoting them in this way alongside our in-person shows in the future.”

For further information, contact Krista Brown (kbrown@angelina.edu) or Le’Anne Alexander (lalexander@anelina.edu).

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Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.