Exhibition represents artist’s transition from student life to real world – The State Hornet

A Sacramento State alumna’s transition from school life to the world beyond the classroom is the theme of the Union Gallery’s newest exhibition: “Right Now (and Yesterday).”

The colorful, abstract art exhibition will display Sac State alumna Caiti Chan’s artwork from the past year, ranging from her last semester of classes earning a master’s degree in painting, to now working as a full-time artist and at a retail job.

Chan said the exhibition’s name is a reflection of the changes in her life after graduating, and how they affected her art. “Right Now” represents her current work after finishing her degree, while “(and Yesterday)” represents the work she did in her last semester at Sac State.

“(The work from “Right Now” is) very new, it’s very raw, it’s not looked at by any professors not looked at by really anybody except some of my Instagram followers (and) some of my friends,” Chan said. “The new work’s not based in academia.”

Ian Harvey, a painting and drawing professor whom Chan cites as her mentor, said her interactions with other art students in class helped her grow as an artist .

“I’m just one voice, and one pair of eyes; in class there’s twenty voices and twenty eyes and she took full advantage of that,” Harvey said. “She was always out there looking for advice. She really built a community for herself and used that community, which is really hard to do at this university, a drive in-drive out university.”

“Right Now (and Yesterday)” will be Chan’s first solo exhibition as an artist. Union Gallery Director Rebecca Voorhees said that she invited Chan to open the exhibit out of her appreciation for Chan’s style, method and medium of choice.

“I just really enjoy her style and ideas, and I felt that as a recent master’s (degree) graduate she’d be a great candidate for a solo exhibition,” Voorhees said.

Chan combines saltwater and isopropyl alcohol to create moving explosions of color by using squeeze bottles to squirt paint and ink onto a canvas laid on the ground. Chan said the movement and transformations of the substances’ inability to mix together remind her of growth and being alive. 

To add more texture to her abstract paintings, Chan lays cellophane on top of the painted canvas. A method she developed over summer is reusing the same sheet of cellophane across different canvases, causing remains of paint to be transferred for a new piece and calling it a “sister…

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