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Nine styles

April 06, 2001

Young Chang

Inside the ugly exterior of a temporary trailer, past the chaotic

construction of a new art center at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa,

the works of nine Southern California artists bloom on chic, white walls

of a makeshift gallery that was once colored paper-bag brown.

From very contemporary-looking oil collages portraying the angst of a

controlled man to naked women shrouded partly in beige cloth, OCC's

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"Different Strokes" exhibit shows works in different mediums -- tempera,

gold leaf, lacquer, etc. -- and styles.

"It's stimulating," said Irini Vallera-Rickerson, director of OCC's

Art Gallery and organizer of the show, which runs through April 19. "You

get inspired by seeing all the different approaches and all the

experiences."

Featured artists include Suzanne Currie, a Newport Beach artist whose

paintings are meant to be hung as well as laid on the floor to be stepped

on; Donna Westerman, an OCC professor who mixes her own paints with eggs

to make tempera; and Roger Whitridge, who also teaches at the school and

paints images with a shrouded woman theme.

The other artists are Deborah Davidson, known for her mystical and

spiritual style; John de Heras, whose art reflects Mayan history; Tom

Dowling, who is conceptual in style and plays with words in his

paintings; Nick Boskovich, known for the way he plays with light; Tom

Krumpak, with his strikingly colorful, abstract style; and Craig Antrim.

"We wanted to have a show with different techniques, so students could

see them," Vallera-Rickerson said.

Currie enjoys scraping and "pecking away" at her own painted surfaces

to see what lies beneath. Her oils and acrylics show traces of this --

some of the scratched off areas have been partly painted over, others

have been left au natural.

"There's an element of the unknown about it -- you don't know what's

gonna come of it," she said.

Five of her pieces lay on the floor, like floor mats. Visitors are

free to step on them because they're meant to be walked on. "The

irreverence, in some way, of walking on it somehow appealed to me," said

Currie, who started playing with this mode of presentation after seeing

it done at a craft show.

One of her hanging pieces, "Red, Red, Red," is done completely in

shades of -- what else -- red. This was a difficult one, she said,

because the composition didn't seem to end.

Whitridge's work uses more subtle colors. In each painting, there is a

woman whose face is shrouded by cloth -- one of technologies first

inventions, he said.

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