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Posted 4:32 pm
August 31, 2014
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Art galleries on campus welcome students to express themselves

On a campus strewn with art on lawns, in trees and even in the form of crocheted bikes, many SF State students are still unaware of the three art galleries available to view, free of charge.

Liza Boozer, a former student and artist, knows this all too well.

The sound of giggles and gasps surrounded Boozer as she fumbled around in the bushes to pick up her unnoticed art display of Barbie dolls that had fallen beside the Fine Arts building. As she looked at the dismembered, red paint-spattered dolls, she commented on how the piece is meant to represent the “murder” in eating meat.

“I did it to send a message,” she said.

Though the image is shocking, students continue to walk right by these art displays outside, and barely know about the galleries indoors.

An art piece symbolizing gentrification in the bay area at the "If Elvis Presley was the King, who was James Brown?" opening at the Cesar Chavez Art Gallery on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Photo by Ryan Leibrich / Xpress.

An art piece symbolizing gentrification in the bay area at the “If Elvis Presley was the King, who was James Brown?” opening at the Cesar Chavez Art Gallery on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Photo by Ryan Leibrich / Xpress.

Art history major Rosa Santos, who transferred to SF State from community college this year was excited to see what the department has in store for her. Santos, however, said she had no clue about the gallery in the Administration building displaying alumni work.

“Nobody talks about that,” Santos said, in regards to publicizing events on campus. “(Advertising the galleries has) got to be through Facebook and Twitter. That’s the only way information spreads, not paper handouts, nobody reads those anymore.”

The fine arts department displays two exhibits a semester in the Fine Arts Gallery, but it’s hard work that seems to go unnoticed by SF State’s community.

“The first is a professional, the second is student work,” said Sharon Bliss, the associate director for the Fine Arts Gallery.

Currently on display is Shenny Cruces’ exhibit “Keys,” which is shown until Jan. 5. Cruces received her masters in fine arts in 2011 and continued to exhibit her art as well as teaching after she graduated. Her work includes collecting objects that were once cherished and have found their ways into flea markets and other places.

The art continues at SF State with other exhibits, such as “Allegorical Procedures: Bay Area Collage, 1950-Present,” which opens at 1 p.m. Sept. 20 and features the work of over 20 artists as well as some live performances.

Another event hosted in the fine arts gallery is the 27th Annual Stillwell Student Exhibition. Deliberated by their peers, undergraduate and masters students will display their latest work in video, photography, ceramic, sculpting and more. The gallery will open to the public for free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Nov. 12.

The art gallery in the Cesar Chavez Student Center on the terrace level also regularly hosts free events with food, drinks, entertainment and more. The members of Associated Students, Inc. joined the San Francisco Public Library and the Cal Humanities War Comes Home Initiative to host an open call for veterans or family members of a veteran to submit artwork for their upcoming show “Coming Home: A Veterans Artwork Exhibition.” The deadline is Sept. 30 and all types of art forms from painting to letters and poetry are accepted.

The fine arts department has resources for anyone wanting to admire or get involved in the art scene on campus, but remains unknown to many students.

“I wish people would talk about it more (because) I haven’t heard one thing about the galleries,” said fashion student Riley Johnson. “And that’s disappointing because I want to know more.”