New exhibit features teachers’ sabbatical work

(“Olena,” ink and graphite on paper by Rebecca Ramos.)

APTOS — The latest exhibit to come to the Cabrillo Gallery, “Findings: Excerpts from the Sabbatical Studies of Dawn Nakanishi & Rebecca Ramos,” officially opened Jan. 29 and will run through March 2.

The show, curated by the gallery’s Program Instructor Beverly Rayner, presents artwork and materials produced by Nakanishi and Ramos during their most recent sabbaticals from Cabrillo College. Both are longtime teachers in the college’s art department.

“Really, this kind of exhibit is all about the artistic process,” said Cabrillo Gallery’s Program Coordinator Victoria May. “It gives people an idea of how an artist goes about their work.”

A sabbatical is an extended paid leave from full-time teaching that is often used by educators for study or travel. Traditionally, sabbaticals are about a year long, though Ramos’ was about six months. Both Nakanishi and Ramos spent their sabbaticals traveling, experimenting and learning new processes.

Nakanishi, an art studio instructor and head of the Small Metals and Jewelry Area at Cabrillo, has researched and learned the Japanese decorative metal craft known as Mokume Gane, or “Wood Eye,” for use in metalwork and jewelry. She uses traditional design in an attempt to connect nature to her cultural heritage. Wall hangings, photography and her jewelry is on display at the exhibit.

Ramos works in printmaking and traditional drawing. Through her studies of Hawaiian indigenous and native plants, she aims to explore everything from nation building to ecology and the environment. Her part of the exhibit is presented in a studio-type format, including a desk set up with tools and equipment. She even printed off her sabbatical reports to show.

“Being teachers themselves, the educational aspect of this show is very important to both of them,” May said.

A reception is planned for Thursday, from 5-8 p.m. Nakanishi and Ramos are scheduled to speak to the crowd at about 7 p.m.

The artists will also both offer free demonstrations in the upcoming week. On Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nakanishi will demonstrate the Mokume Gane metal craft process. On Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ramos and Cabrillo printmaking students will be printing small etchings incorporating the Chine-collé technique. The etchings will then be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

The Cabrillo Gallery is located on Cabrillo College’s Aptos campus at 6500 Soquel Drive in building 1000, below the library. For information, call 479-6308.


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