PCC Students Create Art “Under Quarantine”

Published on May 23, 2020

Carissa Mordeno Paccerelli, “Bel Canto.” 18 x 24”. Acrylic on canvas, 2020.

Pasadena City College students haven’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from creating art that will be featured in an online exhibition.

Nine students enrolled in a studio art course in PCC’s Division of Visual Arts and Media Studies used a variety of media, including GIF animation, oil on cotton muslin over plywood, and acrylic on canvas.

Elias Lopez, “The River of Lava.” 48 x 36”. Oil on canvas, 2020.

The students included in the exhibition are Chi-Yun Cheng, Tom Davis, Vivienne Irene Elizabeth, Carla Hendricks, Angeline Kim, Elias Lopez, Carissa Mordeno Paccerelli, Mia Rose and Molly Steele.

Among the pieces is Steele’s “Sheering Factory,” a 6 ½-minute video the 31-year-old says was shot on 8mm film in New Zealand right before the pandemic. It captures everything from fields full of grazing sheep to graffiti-covered abandoned buildings, a forest stream and a beach at sunset.

“I use the imagery and soundtrack to illustrate a desire to break the mold of old ways and to explore a new horizon of a life in common,” Steele told Pasadena Now. “My hope is that the video serves as a lullaby of anti-capitalist pacing that introduces joy and meditation into this transitional moment in history.”

Molly Steele, still image from “Sheering Factory.” Super 8 film, 6 minutes 31 seconds, 2020

She says this is her first video piece and first time using 8mm film.

“I shoot exclusively on film in my stills photography practice, so working with 8mm has always felt near,” said Steele, a reportage photographer who originally attended PCC to study botany. “With film, there’s an inherent texture that suggests memory and dreaming, due to the warmth and softness. It’s important to me to make use of non-digital tools in a digital age because I feel more inclined to be present in the moments I’m shooting, and relax my expectations for perfection. The colours and textures that I’m able to effortlessly get from the Super 8mm film in particular feel cohesive with my stills work and are able to act as an extension of it as well.”

Tom Davis, “Fragile.” 40 x 23.5”. Oil on cotton muslin over plywood, 2020.

Steele says she draws inspiration from artists such as Hayao Miyazaki, Justine Kurland and Thomas Cole.

The exhibition at rebrand.ly/UnderQuarantine will go live at 12 p.m. on May 29.

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