Bringing the campus together through the arts

Tyler Stallings poses in front of art inside the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion.

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion resides in a center point of campus, constantly surrounded by students — the smell of Starbucks coffee beans wafts through the air as you walk through the shiny double doors.

Surrounded by socially and politically expressed art sits a man tucked away in a modern, yet bland office. Creative passion floods through his mind as he plots his next venture as the heart and soul of the arts pavilion on the Orange Coast College campus.

As Tyler Stallings rounds out his first year as the director of the arts pavilion, he looks back on his career path, the accomplishments he made in the last year, and his future plans for the arts pavilion.

Born in New Orleans and raised in the Southeast, Stallings first found a love for art through film and comic books, citing “Star Wars” as the seminal thing that made him think about art.

 “I was 12 years old in 1977 when it came out and it really inspired me to make my own movies with friends,” Stallings said.  

Sparking his interest in organizing and bringing people together to put on a show — or in this case the making of a film — Stallings started to develop his talent for curating without even knowing it.

“My senior year of high school really cemented my love for art,” he said. “I took a ceramics course, and I had never really worked with my hands and the magic of suddenly making something that never existed was the thing that really convinced me and developed my passion.”

Always on the move and with a constant flow of ideas, Stallings is persistent, radiating with a smile and the urge to help others succeed.

 After graduating from the Atlanta College of Art in 1990, he moved to California to attend the California Institute of the Arts. He started to organize exhibitions in an effort to gain exposure while also working part time at the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood.

Stallings credits a curator at the Municipal Art Gallery who helped him believe that curating could become a serious career avenue.

“I often think about that moment because it was his generosity in providing someone an opportunity,” Stallings said. “I think I’ve always remembered that because if it hadn’t have been for him, I would not be where I am now and I’ve made it an effort to try and do the same with my students.”

Entertainment design major Enrique Del Rivero Ferrer, a student assistant to Stallings said, “Tyler gives me the freedom to put my aesthetic theme into what I am creating. I get to be a big part of this place. It’s been a really cool experience.”

Taking on his second semester at the arts pavilion, Del Rivero Ferrer works with the showcased artists and has been developing exhibit brochures for each show and the general graphic design for the pavilion.

“Tyler is really funny, and it’s been real fun to be a part of this,” Del Rivero Ferrer said.

Del Rivero Ferrer plans to transfer to art school in Pasadena and Stallings will connect him and help provide him a similar position at the school’s art gallery once he is attending.

Prior to starting his venture at OCC, Stallings worked at UC Riverside for 11 years and is passionately driven to bind OCC together through the arts pavilion.

“It’s an exciting time for me to be here, and also to help provide some vision for the Doyle,” Stallings said. “I want to expand beyond the footprint of the arts pavilion itself to more of the campus.”

Stallings envisions a public art program including art on a vinyl wrap that would be temporarily displayed on sidewalks or buildings across campus.

One of Stallings’ dreams would be to create a horizontal mural program between the awning of the arts pavilion and Starbucks mirroring the Sistine Chapel and dreams of art festivals with performance aspects to help bridge campus and the community.

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