Instagram becomes a museum

As part of last year's Mass Appeal art exhibition, framed photos lined the walls inside the Arts Pavilion. Because of the COVID-19 quarantine, this year Mass Appeal has been moved online to Instagram.

As one door closed for Orange Coast College students another one opened.

Like so many other events at OCC due to COVID-19, the 2020 Mass Appeal juried student exhibition was originally cancelled.

But Tyler Stallings, director of the Frank M. Doyle Center Arts Pavilion, and Kim Garrison-Means, an art instructor, came up with an idea to move it online as well as give students an opportunity to get involved in staging the annual art competition.

“I knew in the back of my mind I wanted to continue in some way, as well as get students in the Exhibition Design Certification program involved,” Stallings said.

The exhibit gave students studying to be curators some hands-on work experience that they normally wouldn’t have, he added.

Curators develop and organize new collections of art by designing exhibits as well as researching extensively about different styles of art.

Students were given the opportunity to create new guidelines for the Mass Appeal show, come up with awards and find a way to display the art submitted.

Student Jeanette Gonzalez said the undertaking required some innovation.

“We based our guidelines on previous years and got approval,” she said. “Some guidelines did have to get changed because we were now online though,” Gonzalez, a 24-year-old fine arts major said.

Some of the changes included how artwork was submitted as well as size of pictures because they needed to be able to fit in the frame of Instagram.

Pictures were submitted through email and could only be works from 2019-2020. People submitting work must be enrolled in at least one class at OCC.

The awards also had to be different this year because they didn’t know how many students would submit work, as well as what kind of artwork would be submitted. A total of 63 students submitted work to the show and they are all posted on the gallery’s Instagram account at @occthedoyle from now through May 16.

Because of the limits of marketing, the curators were unsure how many students heard about the new way art would be displayed, and were worried about coming up with categories for art submissions and not having art pieces fit under that category. They also worried that an art piece would be submitted without an appropriate category for its style.

“Depending on the media we receive we will create awards because we want it to be fair for everyone,” said Lisamarie Garbutt, a 24-year-old art history major.

During these difficult times students everywhere are still trying to find community and not feel so alone. Doing this art show felt like they were bringing the art community back together, organizers said.

“This show really allowed us as an art community to come together, even though we are not all physically together, and still show everyone what we are creating,” said Maria Perea, a 21-year-old illustration and studio art major.

Although things are constantly changing day to day, people have become creative with how to connect with each other — the OCC 2020 Mass Appeal is a example of that creativity.

“I’m excited. Sometimes limitations provide new opportunities. This has created a new dimension for every artist now and in the future,” Stallings said.

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