Clatsop Community College students enrolled in the Spring term Basic Design class taught by CCC Art Instructor Kristin Shauck are exhibiting a five by eight foot acrylic mural entitled Auto Pop at Lum’s Auto Center in Warrenton. The mural has been up since June 14th and will be on display through the end of July.
The Basic Design course includes an overview of Modern Art movements, color theory, and the principles of design. In a project pulling these concepts together, the students chose to create the Auto Pop mural as a service learning experience aimed at promoting dialogue between faculty, students, and community members, while integrating meaningful fine arts learning experiences beyond the classroom and directly serving the community creatively. The students decided upon a very popular subject as their theme— the car.
Americans have had a love affair with the automobile for well over a century, and owning a car has become an essential part of the American Dream. Basic Design student Loretta Maxwell describes how this subject resonates with her own personal experience: “I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s when some of the best cars were made. Doing this mural made me very nostalgic. I love those great classics. I got my Learner's Permit on the day I turned 15 and a half, and I've been driving ever since.”
The Pop Art style was a natural choice to express this subject. Pop artists during the peak of this movement in the 1960s celebrated commonplace objects and people of everyday life, in this way seeking to elevate popular culture to the level of fine art. Basic Design student Rachel Fackler sums up the Pop art style as “a gateway to being colorful and being bold! The thick and thin lines of pure black really bring out the vibrancy of the color spectrum." Famous Pop artist Robert Indiana characterizes this movement as “basically a U-turn back to a representational visual communication, moving at a break-away speed...Pop is a re-enlistment in the world...It is the American Dream, optimistic, generous and naive."
Working collaboratively is always an enriching experience as well as a challenge, as several of the Basic Design students reveal. Danielle Peterson expresses her personal experience collaborating with her classmates in creating the mural, “I enjoyed researching the older cars and piecing the design together with my fellow peers. I found that many of us had similar connections with certain models of cars and we would share our stories while we painted. I learned many different techniques when painting this piece and I had a lot of fun mixing the various colors I had to use.” Danielle also describes her thought process in learning how to work within the assigned complementary, triad, and tetrad color schemes, “At first it was complicated trying to work with a limited color scheme. But when I got further along in the process and found that when I added white, black or other hues and values, the color range would expand even further and I wasn’t that limited after all.“ Brooklyn Andrews explains, “This mural has been super fun: I learned a lot about mixing colors and making them ‘pop.’ If I were asked to paint another one, I would have to say yes. This has been a great learning experience.” Mckenzie Cokley also enjoyed the collaboration, “This was my first mural project and I think it turned out awesome. I would definitely want to do another one here soon!"
CCC administrators attending the reception on June 14th at Lum’s celebrating the mural’s unveiling commented on various aspects of the mural: “It showcases America’s love of the road in vibrant color and is the perfect ode to one’s car,” said Kristen Wilkin, Dean of Workforce Education and Training. “It is my pleasure to see all the art work created by our students,” said JoAnn Zahn, Vice President of Finance and Operations. Tom Gill, Director of Institutional Research, described the mural as a “stunning exploration of color combined with iconic images.”
Participating students included: Brooklynn Andrews, Mckenzie Cokley, Holly Eckhardt, Rachel Fackler, Jacki Hoard, Tinamarie Lagerquist, Gael Marin, Loretta Maxwell, James Misho, Danielle Peterson, Samantha Trotta, Adam Yaws, and Maggie Young.
Thanks to Lum’s Auto Center for providing this venue for the exhibition of the Auto Pop mural.
Please direct inquiries to: Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472.
Attached image (L to R): Pam Lum, Dr. Lawrence Galizio, Loretta Maxwell, Rachel Fackler, Danielle Peterson, Maggie Young, Brooklynn Andrews, Tinamarie Lagerquist, and Kristin Shauck attend the opening reception for Auto Pop at Lum’s Auto Center in Warrenton.