By Mickie Shaw, Multi-Media Editor
Young artists surrounded a long table with a purple plastic table cloth; it’s covered in cardboard pieces cut in different shapes and sizes to mimic pieces of food, an artificial lunch, but the project is not a class or for a gallery display.
In the ceramic’s art classroom, with its beige chairs and long tables, is the work space for the Valley College Art Club, which brings a varied group of people together all of whom have a creative urge and desire to bring their imaginations to life.
Patty Hernandez carefully painted a red jumbo rotary dial telephone, while another club member painted a matching red equally oversized phone hand piece.
“Right now we are making props for a photo set, so people can try on these props and take pictures in them,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, a 21-year-old humanities major, started the Art Club in the fall of 2017. Dressed in a colorful coat and having two very small stars tattooed under each eye, Hernandez has a constant smile. After being told there was no school art club, she was encouraged to start one on her own.
“I told a few friends and said, ‘let’s start the art club,’ and they were down for it,” Hernandez said enthusiastically. “They were like yes we are the power team let’s do this. In the summer we got the group together and that fall semester we started the art club.”
The current art club project is a life size robot costume with a food tray and phone. It’s a creation made with great care. Constructed completely from cardboard, the full chest and back plate will sport a large silver helmet. Painted in silver and blue with with a lavender neck ring and blue LED lights, the large helm has protruding cone shaped spikes from its sides and top. The robot’s head looked like half a pin wheel. The bot even had his own story.
“The robot that we have is a love sick robot, and if you check his breaker box all the levels are low and he is about to self destruct. He eats all day, freezer food and he attempts to call his ex-girlfriend on an hourly basis,” Hernandez said with a broad smile.
The club members have an aqua tote bag sitting on the table full of color paint bottles and pencils, while a silver metal pitcher holds an endless number of paint brushes in various sizes. The club is completely self funded by recycling bottles and cans they collect. Every two weeks, they earn $20 and use it for paint and supplies.
Members in the club are a diverse group of people male and female. The young artists laugh and tell jokes while working on their creation.
Nineteen year old art major Samantha Munoz joined the club after moving to Los Angeles from Palmdale.
“I wanted to find people who had the same interests as me, hopefully the same major as me.” Munoz said in a shy demeanor. “What I like best about the club is that I can express in my own way and have my ideas get out there.”
Munoz plans on teaching 2D animation when she graduates.
One of the club members, a tall and lanky young man with dark curly hair and a short scruffy beard, put on the robot’s chest piece and tried his best to do a robot dance, while Stevie Rader focused on painting what were supposed to be French fries. The 27-year-old Rader is an animation major at CSUN who transferred from Valley. She still attends the club meetings at Valley.
“I have been drawing my whole life,” Rader said. “I like hanging out with people and seeing other people’s art work.”
The deadline for the robot’s completion is fast approaching and its chest still needs to be painted. The other props are near completion. It will be part of a display for Halloween.
The club is more than a place to create art and brainstorm new ideas. Friendships are formed and the atmosphere is animated.
Hernandez reflected on her own creative spirit.
“Art is more of a life style than it is a hobby or a career for me.”