by Cynthia Cheng, Santa Clara Weekly
Former students of Mission College’s Art Program were invited to submit artwork for “Homecoming: Art by Mission College Alumni.” This Vargas Gallery exhibit will run through Oct. 5. Jewelry designs, sculptures and paintings are among the various mediums shown. Lynne Todaro, Art Instructor and Vargas Gallery Director, curated this exhibit.
Near the entrance of the gallery is a seven-foot tall sculpture of an hourglass called “Tempus in Vitro,” which translates to “Time Within Glass.” The spatial artist who created this work is Steve Dellicarpini. A resident of Santa Clara, Dellicarpini graduated from Mission College in 2016 with an Associate’s Degree in Studio Art.
“My hourglass is meant to illustrate that sand is a limited resource,” Dellicarpini said of his sculpture, made of paper mache, acrylic, sand and steel.“I do a lot of bronze casting and one of the main materials we use to cast bronze is sand. I wanted to know where the sand is coming from. So the sand we buy from Home Depot comes from Monterey. I remember seeing the CEMEX Lapis sand mine off the Monterey Bay. I did some research about the sand mine. I saw that the sand mine had been operating for a long time. It’s a touchy subject between this sand company and the State of California and how much sand the company is taking off the coast. The company sells the sand.
“Hourglasses are typically made from glass, which is also something made from sand,” Dellicarpini continued. “The whole aesthetic of the hourglass resembles a building under construction. My message is that it would be good to be aware that sand is limited and we should look into using different materials to do construction with.”
Elizabeth Jimenez Montelongo, a visual artist, took art classes at Mission College in 2011 after graduating from San Jose State University in 2010 with a B.F.A. in Art. At the exhibit, Montelongo showed a few paintings. One of her displayed works is an oil on canvas showing Aztec dancers and bright blue hues called “Agua/Water.”
“This is a painting of Aztec dancers in the Bay Area,” Montelongo said. “I paint them because I have Native American heritage. So those Aztec dancers are dancing in a traditional indigenous dance ceremony. I named this piece ‘Agua.’ A lot of the Aztec dances are about the energy of natural elements, such as the earth, water and different animals. The painting represents the energy of rushing water.
“We, as people, are made of 70 percent water,” Montelongo continued. “We need water to live. And plants need water to grow.”
The Vargas Gallery is located inside the Gillmor Center at Mission College. Mission College is located at 3000 Mission College Blvd.