Artist turns photos into art

By Rodolfo Trujillo & Freddy Monares 

Two exhibits featuring East Los Angeles College students opened yesterday at the Vincent Price Art Museum.

Artist Farrah Karapetian experiments with image making and the posture of people within a scene of social unrest in the exhibit “Los Angeles Times,” at the Hoy Space.

Not to be confused with the newspaper of the same name, this exhibit is part of Karapetian’s ongoing work with local students to address a topic that has taken place in their community.  Karapetian worked with a group of photography students for two days, going through pictures from a variety of protests that they could use as a background for their images.

She took her inspiration from a photograph she saw in the newspaper, where a man had fallen off of a bike during a protest near MacArthur Park and was bleeding from the head while others were around him. “I was looking at a picture of his posture after having fallen. I felt really moved.  I wanted to address a student body with an image that they were familiar with.  I wanted them to learn about postures,” she said.

Karapetian guided the students, giving them a sense of what scene they would be in.   After that, they were free to act as they wished to portray what they would do in that scene. There are three enlarged photograms.  Two are experimental, playing with the opposing themes of civil disobedience and law enforcement.

The third photogram is the one based on the newspaper photograph and shows a person on the ground with another holding a hand to help  a person get up.  Karapetian said that she wanted to leave it up to the students as to how they would react in such a situation.

Just downstairs from the exhibit was the Juried Student Art Exhibition. Students from ELAC who have taken a course in studio art, architecture or photography in the past two academic years submitted three pieces of work for the exhibit.  Salomon Huerta judged the exhibition. Huerta has had his work shown in exhibitions around the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Erik Recendez and Manuel Lopez were the juror’s prize recipients for the exhibition.  All three artists displayed their own artwork, ranging from a ceramic model to pastel paintings. Their influences were as different as their pieces were.

Rodriguez said her work was inspired by feelings. She said in the future she wants to try mixed mediums, ceramics and paintings, in one piece of artwork.  Recendez’s inspiration came from collective imagery and dream-like states. He incorporates a mask-looking figure with a combination of nerve endings that show how movements in our face work.

While Lopez simply says that, his inspiration comes from the spring season. He explains that he lived in Chicago and moving back to Los Angeles allows him to enjoy the climate. “I feel grateful and it’s a humbling experience,” said Lopez about being one of the three recipients of the juror’s prize.

Both exhibits will be on display until August 17.  The museum hours vary.  The phone number is (323) 265-8841.  Their website is






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