Forest Park Faculty Showcase Their Creativity in Annual Exhibit
Mario Carlos sees things differently than most.
He sees ordinary objects for what they are and as well as what they could become. He sees his art not for what it can earn him, but for what it provides.
“As an artist, my work is purely an expression of my creative ideas, uncolored by other motivations,” said Carlos, an adjunct professor in the Visual and Performing Arts department at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.
Carlos has a piece in the Annual Faculty Exhibit that opens Oct. 11 in the Forest Park Gallery of Contemporary Art. The exhibition showcases a wide range of traditional and contemporary media, including ceramics, drawing, digital art, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
The show provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the work of the instructors who not only share their excitement and expertise with students, but also excel in their personal studio work.
Trained as a figurative artist, Carlos has been working in three-dimensional art for the past few years. His piece in this year’s exhibit is an assemblage. Using a rodent trap, a black face covering and a bag of peanuts, Carlos constructed a display titled “Trap” that speaks to the past year of quarantining during the pandemic.
Or, maybe, it’s just a rat in a trap. Or, maybe, it’s something else. For Carlos, an alumnus of the College, the interpretation a viewer gets from one of his pieces is more important than what he intends as the piece’s meaning.
“I love the creative process,” he said. “I love how things happen like that. It becomes a conceptual art assemblage. It’s not just about the finished product, but the idea is as important or sometimes more important than the finished product.”
That’s what he has tried to instill in his students for the past 18 years at STLCC, including 17 at Forest Park. He inspires in them a passion for the creative process. His approach to teaching and his dedication to his students is why he was named the 2020-21 Adjunct Professor of the Year at Forest Park.
“He values the importance of quality education programs and comradery of supportive faculty,” Norleen Nosri, chair of Visual and Performing Arts, wrote in her supporting letter to the award committee. “He continually provides students with opportunities to advance their educational goals by connecting them with subject resources.
“He freely volunteers his personal time, sharing professional experience and technical knowledge to help students develop portfolios for applications to universities, exhibitions and become professionals in the field.”
Participants in the Annual Faculty Exhibition
Jamie L. Kreher (Photography) -- Kreher's current projects emphasize the photograph’s status as an everyday object while raising questions about preciousness, rarity, meaning and monumentality.
Thomas A. Zirkle (Music) -- Did you ever think about what rhythm is? Zirkle has spent most of his adult life studying the communication of time. I love it!
Sherry L. Brown (Theatre) -- The word “theatre” means the seeing place. Brown believes theatre was created to share people's truth about life.
Mario P. Carlos (Drawing, Painting, 3D Design, Sculpture) -- Carlos is a classically trained figurative painter and currently use conceptual art installation as his main form of creative expression.
Metra L. Mitchell (Figure) -- Within the theater of painting, Mitchell’s work explores universal archetypes deriving from the collective unconscious, conveying both conviction and ambiguity.
Zackary D. Petot (Printmaking) -- Petot explores themes of queer codes within the LGBTQIA+ community which are still referenced or long lost to our current culture.
Catherine A. Burge (Music) -- Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. When good music hits you, you feel no pain!
Ahzad R. Bogosian (Drawing, Painting) -- Bogosian’s work is an emotional response to the landscape, air-land-water, that surrounds us. It continues to inspire him.
Steven D. Thomas (Music) -- Music technology blends computing innovation, recording, composition and musicianship – both traditional and emerging – encompassing technique and application, production and performance.
Alex V. Saccavino (Theatre) -- Here at Forest Park a diverse cast of students and community members explore universal themes of human drama on stage.
Norleen Nosri (Ceramics) -- Nosri enjoys exploring different representations of vessels. My work is a marriage of functionality, respect for tradition and aesthetics.
Dolores A. Kane (Theatre) -- “Unless you learn how to be in your head, you'll never learn how to create." -- Lin Manuel Miranda
James K. Bruenger (Graphics) -- Bruenger is a professional creative by heart. He loves graphic design and fine art.
Daniel W. Stumeier (Drawing) -- Stumeier’s work reflects his experiences growing up in rural Illinois and his contemplation of these experiences against America’s attitudes toward class, race and masculinity.
David A. Moore (Photography) -- Moore’s art dreaming, hovering between the lucid and subconscious through physical and mental spaces, blending the inner and outer eye.
Odell Mitchell (Photography) -- Mitchell believes that photography is important to the document history for family and public.
Dan A. Wine (Drawing) -- Distilling the application of mark making and use of color to simple gesture yet achieving the most potential I can.
Sarah E. Paulsen (Two-Dimensional Design, Video Art) -- Trained as a painter, Paulsen makes art and stop-motion animations that explore identity and the informal configurations of community.
Cory M. Prahl (Photography) -- Prahl’s personal approach to photography: no idea but in things.
Susan C. Dawson (Art History) -- Dawson has an MFA, MS, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in information science and learning technologies.
Roger S. Trietley (Art Appreciation) -- Trietley holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught at higher education institutions since 1993.