A Scratch in Time Comes to Snook Gallery

Toni Ortivez
The Paw Print

                This past weekend in the Snook Gallery, located on the first floor of the art building, there was an intriguing display of new artwork. The show, entitled “A Scratch in Time”, had its opening reception Friday January 22, with a tremendous show not only from the student body here at Adams but also from the community members of Alamosa. The opening reception was preceded by an artist lecture headed by Charles Ewing, the show’s juror and local artist. Other artists that were featured in the show and participated in the lecture were Rodman, Cathy Sheeter, Mark Hatfield, Allan Adams, and Diana Bazaldua. 

                Overall, the show had over twenty artists participate in showing their scratch art pieces. As was discussed in the lecture on Friday, the artists of this category of art tend to be thought of as simply craft artists rather than fine artists. However, many, if not all of them, are also willing to fight tooth and nail to justify scratch art as a fine art medium. Scratch art is the process of using a tool to scratch off India ink that has been dried on a layer of clay or porcelain layered over particle board. It is deemed a subtractive process, a term simply meaning that one removes a substance to reveal a new layer or form.

                Why is this so controversial in the art world? Well, for many years scratch art was used in kindergarten classes as an art project. However, over the years, and through the development of much more durable and reliable scratch boards, scratch art has evolved into something much more worthy of the fine art name. Many of the artists that participate in creating a piece of scratch art spend anywhere from fifteen hours to months on their pieces, and with great success. However, a simple description of these pieces cannot bring justice to their amazing detail and overall composition. One must go and visit the gallery to understand the beauty and dexterity of these pieces.

                However, not to cut anyone short of their due praise, there was also another full exhibit on display during this time in the Hatfield Gallery, also located on the first floor of the art building. Although, it was a different medium and was not an artist that participated in the artist lecture, the opening reception was also for Martin Jay McKee, a senior artist displaying many photography pieces that he had spent arduous hours creating and working in order to complete his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

                This show is entitled “Ars Terrae” which, according to McKee’s artist statement, was an attempt to reconnect the viewer or “man” back to nature. McKee believes that through the many distractions that are present in everyday life, we are easily moved to look apart from nature for inspiration and motivation. Many of the pieces are a close up of some object found in nature. However, it is difficult for the viewer to discern what is being shown; we can easily find the connection back to our roots and beginnings. The pieces are fairly abstract but have a strong display of talent and composition. Each piece has a different movement and flow to it, but to fully enjoy the pieces, again, one must view them in person.

Overall, the shows were very successful in both turn out and art displayed and are productions not to be missed. Both shows will be displayed during open hours of the art building from January 22 until February 19. It is open to all students and community members who wish to take a peek at what is on the rise in the art world.

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