Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    This is who we are

    Grey Foster stands with one of her pieces from #THISISWHOWEARE at Laney College. (Tower/Toni Cervantes)

    Laney student artists explore identity in first exhibit of Fall Semester

    By Jessica Prado

    The June Steingart Gallery at Laney College will host the opening reception for its first exhibit of the fall semester, “#THISISWHOWEARE.”

    “#THISISWHOWEARE” showcases artwork that depicts life and societal influence through the eyes of a group of artists, mostly students, including Lloyd Sosa, Nicholas Espejo, Grey Foster, and Antonio Floriano.

    “The Beginning,” by teresino sanchez de tagle-bartels (intentionally lowercase), is prominently featured just inside the doors of the gallery. A handmade basket filled with marigolds is displayed in peaceful symmetry, draped with fabric woven on a loom.

    “Martian Dusk Mask,” a sculpture by Sosa, sits to the right of “The Beginning.” The piece pays tribute to his Guatemalan heritage. Sosa is a 20-year-old Oakland native.

    Manager and curator Low is also an artist. Her piece, “Beginning Painting,” showcases her budding artistic endeavors. Low was born and raised in Oakland, and is a mother of three.

    “Never judge a book by its cover, you have to know the story.”

    — Grey Foster, Laney Student Artist

    She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a legal studies degree and minor in city regional planning.

    Low has always been intrigued by visual arts and believes “art evokes energy and imagination that transcends our limited understanding about beauty, which is everywhere and everything.”

    Foster’s light display, “Individuality,” consists of an exposed, unlit light bulb hoisted upon a wooden tripod, an open cabinet on the floor, with a jar in the space between its door and shelves, and much more.

    Foster seeks to influence the breaking of barriers with her artwork. Between two of her paintings sits a note from the artist, in which she writes, “Never judge a book by its cover, you have to know the story.”

    Espejo’s collage, “Addicted in the City,” hangs on the wall above Foster’s open mailbox with a small grocery cart inside. Espejo said his work is influenced by real-life hardships created by city life. His piece is made entirely out of newspaper clippings from Bay Area publications, which adds to the sense of real-life trials.

    Although his collages are breathtaking, he doesn’t consider himself an artist. He prefers to curate and create an ensemble of artists to showcase.


    Nicholas Espejo sits with his piece “Addicted in the City,” on display at June Steingart Gallery. (Tower/Toni Cervantes)

    The far right corner of the gallery reveals Aaron Macintyre’s painting, “Peace of Mind,” which was created while his wife was pregnant in 2013. The painting is grooved by parallel lines curving around, almost like fingerprints. Macintyre said that for him, art is more than a hobby; it is a means to say things that words can never express.

    Neighboring Macintyre’s masterpiece is a carefully arranged display of photographs depicting everyday life for Antonio Floriano, fittingly titled “Somos.” It includes photographs from Oakland and Richmond, as well as Michoacan, Mexico.

    The exhibit also features work by Amanda J. Compton, Maria Paz Navales, Melissa Andrea Areuano, So Young Kang, and many other artists.

    “#THISISWHOWEARE” is an apt title for the exhibit. The works on display each have a strong sense of self, whether they are about being an individual or relating to others.


    Jessica Prado is the Social Media Editor for the Laney Tower. Email her at jesscaprado21(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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