December 10, 2021 | NEWS | By Susie Dummit | Photo by Maren Greene

On Nov. 30, 2021, Packard Hall debuted “Coalescence,” an exhibit featuring work from the art department’s staff members. The show runs until Dec. 10, 2021.

Featured in the show are artists Jennifer Azadmanesh, Christiana Palma, Donovan Dickey-Banmally, and Heather Oelklaus. Throughout the exhibit, there are multiple different mediums used with several themes.

Heather Oelklaus is the print workshop supervisor who organized the event. Her work features found objects and photos, constructed and collaged to have a deeper meaning. Each piece addresses issues related to isolation during the pandemic, the education system, police brutality and presidential elections.

Jennifer Azadmanesh started working at Colorado College as the art department’s academic administrative assistant in August of 2021. She has created art her entire life but started painting seriously about 32 years ago. The showing features four of her paintings, done with oil and acrylic paints. She describes the theme of her work as creating a setting where someone once was and where someone will be again.

“We are surrounded by commonplace things that surround us, but do we stop and view them with appreciation, for their designs, for how light plays on them, are we absorbing color/patterns and paying attention to what feeling this observation elicits?” Azadmanesh said. “By creating a snapshot of everyday settings, I am calling attention to the process.”

She is represented by the Sandra Phillips Gallery in Denver and continues to stay active in entering shows.

Christiana Palma has been the 3-D arts workshop supervisor at CC for the past two and a half years. She cites the inspiration behind her work as “equal parts external environment and family history.” Her work includes jewelry, garments, knives, photopolymer prints and screen prints. She describes her work centered around the processes involved in creation, using art as a vehicle for exploration.

“There’s something deeply satisfying about knowing you are participating in a form of creation that has existed for centuries before you, and will continue to exist in some form centuries after you,” Palma said. “The work presented here is what survived through moves, mood swings, and (slow) maturation.”

Donovan Dickey-Banmally is the paraprofessional of the art department. He says his work is centered around small, fleeting moments in his life. His work features digital photographs and oil paintings.

“It has been such a pleasure to show alongside my fellow art department staff members,” Oelklaus said. “To work with such talented and passionate artists is a daily gift I receive each day while working at Colorado College.”

The response to the exhibit has overall been positive.

“The last time I participated in any kind of art exhibition was for my senior thesis a few years ago, so it is very flattering to hear that both students and faculty respond positively to your work,” Palma said. “Especially considering I don’t make pieces with the intent to display them, nor have I ever been keen on showing my work to anyone, even when asked.”

The exhibit closes its doors on Dec. 10, so it’s not too late to head to Packard Hall and see the art for yourself.

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