Art education students’ paintings go on display in GC Gallery


Students in the Art Education program at the College of Education will headline an art exhibition in the Graham Center Student Art Gallery that debuts Sept. 12.


The exhibit, called Painting in the Gardens, features landscape and architectural paintings created by graduate and undergraduate students in the spring and summer art education ateliers. The students’ work will be on display through Sept. 26.


“It’s always exciting to have your work shown,” said Solangel Rodriguez, 24, who earned her bachelor’s degree in the summer and started her master’s degree in art education this fall.


Professor David Chang, who taught the atelier courses, said his students first learn about landscape painting and then conduct their own research to learn more about how master painters used different techniques to create landscape art.


After completing their research, students then dive into a weeklong painting session that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


“The course is intense,” Chang said. “but I paint along with them. We go from a blank canvas and I take them from abstraction to completion.”


Students also huddle together and share techniques that work for them.


“Everyone has a wide range of skill and experience and it’s really great because you learn so much from everyone around you,” said Melissa Guanch Carter.


Guanch Carter chose to paint scenes from trips to Italy and France that inspired her. She also chose to paint a scene from Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens that recently was recognized in the annual Paint Me Miami competition.


At first, however, she didn’t know how her assignment would turn out.


“I didn’t start landscape painting till about three years ago,” Guanch Carter said. “l didn’t think I was going to like it because it seemed like it was so detailed but it was almost therapeutic. You can’t draw every single leaf or detail you have to suggest certain things.”


Rodriguez agreed, adding she and her classmates had the freedom to choose whether they would present nature as it appears today or whether they should change the composition or the light to make things appear more flattering.


She chose to focus her painting on the architectural beauty of Vizcaya that may not be obvious to the casual visitor.


“I didn’t want to focus on the house or the gardens because that’s the first thing people see,” she said. “What grabbed my attention were statues over by the dock.”