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MSJC > Art Gallery > MSJC Art Gallery | Current Exhibit

MSJC Art Gallery | Current Exhibit

Peter Mitten – The Sculpted Landscape

January 14 – May 22, 2019


Artist Tour and Reception:
Wednesday, February 20, 2 - 4 pm

The MSJC Art Gallery is pleased to present Peter Mitten - The Sculpted Landscape.  Installed in and around campus, this exhibition allows for students to engage with three large scale public sculpture in an outdoor setting.  Inspired by natural processes like erosion, these cast bronze and aluminum sculptures stand in strong contrast to the surrounding buildings and rectilinear campus design.  Peter Mitten is a longtime and cherished sculpture instructor in the MSJC Art Department.  The Sculpted Landscape is a special opportunity for the school and community to celebrate this local artist!


Echoes of Shawanasee is the largest of the three sculptures.  It is installed on the grass in the quad in front of the library.  The dark patina of the mass is jarring as you observe it standing like a sentinel in the empty lawn.  As you approach the work, you see that what appears to be one large form is made up of a number of smaller, carved rock-like shapes.  These shapes are assembled at slightly askew angles, giving the work a sense of dynamic movement.  You soon notice that Mitten has expertly sighted the sculpture to echo the San Jacinto Mountain range in the distance.  The San Jacintos have been a source of inspiration for many of Mitten’s works.  


On the southeast corner of the quad sits Gorge, a single composition of two large forms.  The artist uses the separation of the two works to charge the viewers experience of the sculpture.  Giving the piece even more impact is a boulder-like form that sits atop the left hand side, appearing ready to tumble down the side of the work at any time.  


Threshold is positioned at the entrance of the Music Department, building 600, a quiet and less trafficked area on campus. Like Gorge, this piece uses negative space as its major compositional idea.  The placement of this sculpture offers a moment of quiet contemplation and will hopefully become a threshold to meditational thoughts and inspirations. 


Peter Mitten is a long time MSJC faculty member, having taught here for over 10 years. His studio is in Hemet where he draws inspiration from the natural beauty of our area. Mitten has many permanent public installations including the Lee County Library, Ft. Myers, Florida; City Hall, Palm Desert, California; Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas, and many more. His work has been shown in Yuma Art Center, Yuma, Arizona; Western Alliance, Denver, Colorado; Tijuana Cultural Center, Tijuana, Mexico among others.

Life Meets Life!
The Collision of Art and Biology

January 22 – February 28, 2019


Curators Tour and Reception:
Thursday, February 7, 2 - 4 pm

The MSJC Art Gallery is pleased to present Life Meets Life! The Collision of Art and Biology curated by Michael Plotkin (Biological Sciences Chair) and John Knuth (Art Chair and gallery curator). This exhibition represents a collaboration of departments, disciplines and ideas. As noted art and science writer Johanna Kieniewicz stated, “Science and art are both ‘tools’ with which to explore our world, and understand what it means to be human.” 

Leonardo da Vinci painted arguably the most famous painting in the world, The Mona Lisa. Around the same time, he was creating this masterpiece he was designing the first parachute, sketching designs for a helicopter, working on a deep-sea diving suit, and studying anatomy. It wasn’t so long ago that science and art walked hand in hand through the halls of academia. Biology, in particular, and art overlap in that both profoundly contribute to our sense of who we are, orient us in time and space, and inform our sense of what it means to be alive.

We hope this show is a fun and humorous look at how our world functions. This show will explore art and biology through various media including: painting, photography, sculpture, taste, and touch.  We hope Life Meets Life! will encourage you to explore and unlock two departments, one of the biological and one of the artistic. We hope you find cracks and slippages that lead to new thoughts and new possibilities. We hope this exhibition leads to free thinking and big ideas.  As noted contemporary artist Joseph Beyes said “Art for me is the science of freedom.” 

Gallery Hours:

Monday - Thursday, 10 - 4 pm

MSJC Art Gallery

1499 N. State St. Building 1400

San Jacinto, CA 92583

(951) 487-3585