Arranged neatly on the white walls of the tiny space of Gallery V, Pasadena City College (PCC) students showcased their art. The paintings lit up the room with imaginative colors and five unique art styles. Seemingly mesmerized by the work, a handful of attendees admired the room while the artists explained their work.
The exhibition called “Attendance Required” featured five student artists: Elias Lopez, Ellie Haus, Miles Velena, Leah Verdugo and Stavroula Zygouri. Each artist had a very different and unique art style waiting to be viewed by their families and peers.
Zygouri featured an array of captivating mythical creatures all done with different types of mediums. Some of her art was done with acrylics on paper, others were digitally done, and some were even sculpted out of clay.
“Most of my inspiration comes from nature, different animals, people and stories,” said Zygouri.
She explained that her art could take anywhere from four to 11 hours. Zygouri has been painting since she was a kid and started taking it seriously when she was 12. With all this experience in painting, a lot of her art she had showcased was done previous to her art class at PCC.
“While I listen to music I paint for hours and I don’t stop until I finish,” said Zygouri.
On the wall adjacent to Zygouri’s collection was the art of Haus. Haus’s pieces featured stunning women with giant eyes. Many of Haus’ pieces offered criticism on human behavior.
“I’m talking about what humans are doing to each other, the world and the animals,” said Haus.
One of her paintings features a beautiful big-eyed woman holding a white rabbit next to her heart as she applies mascara. Haus explained that this painting, done on her old white blazer, titled “The Victim of Indifference,” is about animal testing and comments on how people know it is happening, but do not care about the animals’ lives. Most of her art makes comments on society and the treatment of animals and nature.
Haus does not only paint about helping the environment, but practices it in her process as well. Haus switched from using canvases to old papers, cardboard and even old clothing.
“There’s so many things I could use as a medium to paint on… I’m trying to keep everything recycled and upcycled,” said Haus.
Her oil paint series “Evolution 1-4” shows the transformation of a soulless woman who is indifferent to the environmental issues of the world. She slowly becomes enlightened and transforms into a person with her eyes open to caring about nature and the well-being of animals.
Verdugo featured a long string of abstract pieces. Her artwork had very delicate detail and cloudy colors. Verdugo has a unique painting process of not sketching or planning anything out. She describes her painting movements as organic and guided by her emotions and thoughts.
“I have bad OCD and a lot of times I feel dirty,” said Verdugo. “So I try to make it look like there’s a layer of gunk and look really disgusting, but I like making it look delicate still.”
Usually much of Verdugo’s inspiration comes from nature and her personal thoughts. Her paintings help her work through her feelings.
“For a week I was having dreams where I was pregnant and it feels like I really have a son,” said Verdugo about her painting “Leo.”
“Leo” is Verdugo’s only painting on canvas and her only painting with vivid colors.
“In my dreams I’m smoking cigarettes and I’m crying because I feel so selfish,” said Verdugo. “So I made this for my son in my dream.”
For more pictures, click the gallery below.