Spring is supposed to be a time of beauty filled with blossoming flowers and green grass. Instead, in Livermore, the sight of the browning hills marks the season of allergies. Sneezing, running noses and itchy eyes are more than enough to make some want to rip their eyes out of their heads.
Las Positas College Spring Fine Art Festival is bringing the beauty back in spring from April 25 to May 17. Paintings and photos line the floor of the gallery in the Mertes Center for the Arts, while LPC Art Instructor, Bill Paskewitz, arranges them on the ground to prepare for them to be displayed for the upcoming art festival.
“I try to hang it so that will make the most amount of visual sense. Each piece will kind of stand out from each other so that no one piece dominates,” Paskewitz said.
Students prepare all year for this festival. It gives them a chance to show off their skills. They can even sell their paintings if they want. This is the Super Bowl for LPC art students. They can use work from as far back as last spring or as recently as a week before the festival.
“You’re always thinking, oh, this is a good one for the festival. I’m going to put it away,” Emily Escott, one of Paskewitz’s students, said.
Each student submitted two pieces, which doubled their chances of winning one of the cash prizes offered. There was $2,500 worth of cash prizes given to the lucky students who won.
The top prize is $500, then $400, then three people will be given $300, another three will receive $200 and finally two people will be given a $50 gift certificate. There is also a $1,000 scholarship provided by the Pleasanton Art League. The scholarship may be given to one person or spread out to several individuals.
The artwork is spread out in a couple of places. The majority of them are displayed on the walls in the library, where it is a little hard to admire the pieces between students quietly studying. Then in the Mertes Center for the Arts where the paintings share the gallery with photos and are admired together.
“It has a nice variety in terms of art forms and also in terms of color. It’s very appealing,” LPC English instructor Dan Wightman said. He’s a frequent visitor to the Mertes gallery. “I come in here a lot. When it changes up, I always try to come in.”
Sharing the gallery is the only thing they have in common. The Spring Fine Art Festival is only for the paintings. The Annual Spring Fine Art Photography Exhibition is for photography. They are judged separately and awarded on different days. The Fine Art Festival announced the winners on Thursday at 1 p.m. The person who judged the festival was Ken Ball, owner of the Figurehead Gallery on Second Street. The winners of the Annual Spring Fine Art Photography Exhibition will be announced on May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Spring Fine Art Festival winners will be posted on lpcr1.onlinepreviews.info on Friday.