“Suggestivism” at CSUF art gallery

In Art, Arts & Entertainment, Student Art
Photo: Daniel Enos

The busy streets of Santa Ana, complete with rushing traffic and fast-paced pedestrians, give the Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center a serene feeling. Upon entering the art gallery one quickly notices the carefully spaced art pieces mounted on the classic white walls. Gentle lights illuminate loud, detailed paintings and structures that parallel the streets outside.

Nathan Spoor, the curator of the featured exhibit called “Suggestivism,” collected 53 pieces to feature at this exhibit, which he describes as “a new ideal of beauty.”

In the beginning of the exhibit, Spoor is quoted on an information board, describing the chosen artists to be demonstrating “a maturity of personal style and mastery of technique, yet they inspire audiences’ participation in interpreting the meaning of the works by in large part avoiding pat or didactic narratives. For these artists, dogmatic theories and obtuse academic rationalizations have little weight. Suggestivists are more interested in the sheer power of imagination.”

Some of the pieces include but were not limited to paintings, musical instruments, figurines and molded statues.

One of the featured pieces was a two-headed white deer, furry and innocent, dressed in white Victorian boots in the lightest shade of sky blue. But inside the stomach of the deer was a tiny scene of a snowy cemetery with a single widow dressed in black, sitting on a bench among the tombstones. The juxtaposition between the white, snowy deer and reference to death leaves the viewer in wonder.

This is just what Spoor intended with the theory of suggestivism. He wanted the viewer to see what they themselves wanted to see and to walk away with a sense of depth within. Each viewer sees the art in a different form and appreciates it on an individual basis.

A crowd surrounded the art by Kris Lewis called “The White Flag.” It featured a side profile of a beautiful raven-haired woman wearing a soldier’s masculine slacks and boots, but topless and showing her natural, bare breasts. She is looking far into the horizon, gently holding a white flag and a rose. Some in the crowd say she is letting go of a forlorn lover, others suggest that she is giving up on a long adventure of love and turmoil. Either way, Spoor’s intention is being met. Each viewer is walking away with a different impression of what the art piece suggests, but all are left with the feeling of depth and emotional movement.

Spoor’s art exhibit will be featured until April 17th at the Grand Central Art Center. The Grand Art Center also serves as a residence hall for graduate art students that work in adjacent studios around the gallery. It also includes an intimate theater and hosts community programs such as flamenco dancing lessons, lectures and family art classes.

Patrons may also purchase smaller versions of the paintings at the gift shop, which also includes iPad and iPhone covers with the images of some of the featured artwork. Admission to the art gallery is free and it is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday. The gallery is closed Mondays. For more information, visit GrandCentralArtCenter.com.

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