By Melody Ortiz
The annual “New Voices” exhibit opened in the Vincent Price Art Museum on September 5, to display original pieces by East Los Angeles College students.
The museum’s website describes “New Voices” as an exhibit that “highlights exceptional artworks” from different departments at ELAC.
The website also says that this is the first time submissions from the Theater Department were included. “We are always trying to give every department a little, you know, recognition,” said Jorge Claustro, museum preparator of VPAM.
Before introducing the juror and curator for the exhibit on opening night, the director of the Vincent Price Art Museum, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, welcomed visitors and spoke a few words.
“This has been a place that has given the first step to so many artists that are very important, especially within the Latina and Chicana community,” Rivas said. She continued saying, “Talent is something that is within this community and we are looking for those new voices.”
This year’s juror was Allison Agsten, the director of The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art, a new institution downtown. Agsten decided which submissions made it into the exhibit, as well as which would take the top three places.
Agsten said that before coming to the event, she took her staff to the federal building as she was one of the many who were upset upon hearing the news about DACA. Agsten said, “There are places in town, I know this is one of them, the Main Museum is another, where we support you and your community,”
Agsten went on to express how grateful and honored she felt to take part and judge the submission for this year’s exhibit.
With so many unique pieces, Agsten said choosing was “almost impossible.” In the end, first place went to Katherine Cordero for her Mayan bust. Masami Scorvelcin took second with an untitled quilt-like piece made from porcelain, hemp cord, and a metal bar. Finally, third place was awarded to Eduardo Urbina for his photograph title “Venice Dukes.”
Many pieces in the exhibit showed expressions of political views, some obvious and others more subtle. Artist Janet Macias explained that she expresses her feminism through ceramics.
Macias’ piece, Eres Muxer, is a pink, ceramic spice tray in the shape of a flower. The five containers sitting on the petals are each lidded with an individual vagina with a container shaped like a single breast placed in the middle of the tray.
After pointing out a few other artworks that she believed went with her theme, Macias said, “That’s kind of how we express our political views. We use different mediums.” While Macias expressed through ceramics, others used photography and paint.
“New Voices” is open to the general public until November 4. Admission is free. The Vincent Price Art Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.