By Jon Huang
De Anza College's Student Art Show is online for the first time, thanks to the campus's closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual showcase is usually exhibited on campus at De Anza's Euphrat Museum of Art.
The virtual exhibition features over 60 student artists. It's separated into a main gallery and an Art at Home Gallery that addresses the ongoing pandemic. The show runs through June 30.
"I felt so happy seeing the different types of art being showcased and seeing my work included," said student artist Francesca Jassir, whose acrylic painting "Feline" is in the show.
Student artists are grateful that the Euphrat was able to adapt the show to a virtual format.
"I feel that this is not the ideal situation," said sculptor Anton Nguyen, a Los Gatos resident. "But given our current circumstances, it is awesome that they were still able to make it happen."
Sculptures such as Nguyen's "Corporate Care" may lose something in a two-dimensional format, and the student arts say they miss the opportunity to interact in person with visitors to the show. At the same time, there are positives to moving online.
"Its accessibility is definitely a benefit," said Alyanna Posadas, who is originally from Illinois. "I was able to send the link to my friends and family back there."
Posadas has a multimedia work, "I Belong," in the show.
Beyond the showcase, student artists had varying responses to the pandemic.
"I am on a complete artist's block," said Nguyen. "By not going outside and stimulating my thoughts, my creativity stays stagnant."
The absence of standard class schedules has been disorienting for some.
"Each day seems to just go by without any changes," said Jassir. "I have been trying to stay motivated and take this extra time to practice my art skills."
Others see sheltering in place as an opportunity.
"My artistic progress was actually significantly impacted in a positive way," said Posadas. "I've taken a lot of that newly realized free time to really work on my technical skills."
Pandemic notwithstanding, the students see their art as a way to gain perspective during a stressful time.
"My art has also made me realize I am human, I make mistakes, but I also am capable of growing and getting better," said Jassir. "Through my art, I learn patience, and to be grateful and happy with my own art journey."
No matter its format, Posadas said the student art show is a way to bridge the social distancing imposed by the pandemic.
"Seeing an artists' work is seeing the world through their eyes," she added. "Sharing their experiences through art can be incredibly powerful in bringing people together."
The De Anza College Student Art Show is on view through June 30 at https://www.deanza.edu/euphrat/studentshow.
Jonathan Huang is a student intern at De Anza College's Euphrat Museum of Art.