MSJC Art Gallery Exhibit: Beach Bodies

February 24, 2016

Featuring Emma Gray, Justin Hansch and Caleb Lyons

February 29 – March 31, 2016 Gallery Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 – 4 pm
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 3rd 12:30 – 2 pm
San Jacinto Campus Art Gallery 1499 N. State St., 92583, Building 1400

Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery is pleased to present Beach Bodies, a group show featuring new works by Emma Gray, Justin Hansch and Caleb Lyons. These three Southern California painters make images of the human figure that stretch the idea of representing the figure. Beach Bodies looks at new ways of painting the figure and engage with painting that often involve humor and sincerity.

Emma Gray’s oil paintings may be humble in scale but her ideas and gestures pack a punch. Gray paints nude women on icebergs. These figures are floating in ridged, inhospitable territory but they are defiant in their isolation. Her paintings offer a positive feminist position of strength of character in a changing environment.

Justin Hansch’s Bather pieces occupy an unusual territory. They reference Yves Klein’s female forms in the void but made with quintessential Southern California materials - bleached beach towels and avocados. Hansch presents the beach towel as a place of mystery and memory. These works present a place that an idea figure is and maybe is no longer.

In his series Bodypainters, Caleb Lyons paints wall sized canvases of abstracted figures. The subjects of these paintings are body painters, painting each other's bodies in a variety of colors and shapes. The double meaning of the subject plays with the idea that Lyons is painting bodies and that the bodies are painting themselves into the environs of the picture plane. His unstretched canvases feel spontaneous upon initial viewing, but a strong sense of composition appears in his paintings.

Emma Gray (b. London, England) lives and works in Santa Monica, CA. Gray who studied portraiture and journalism, has returned to painting more seriously in the last couple of years. She has worked in contemporary art in many iterations, most recently as an advisor and curator, building private collections and working in depth mentoring and fostering the careers of a small group of artists. Her Los Angeles project space 5 Car Garage, established in 2013, has been extensively covered in local press and in magazines such as ArtForum, Frieze, Flash Art, ArtReview and Art in America. A former editor of ArtReview who studied at University College London.

Justin Hansch (b. Dana Point, CA) Lives and works in Ventura, CA. Hansch’s paintings communicate big ideas in a language that is deceivingly humble. His work often delves into the California psyche. He has had solo exhibitions Adult Contemporary, Steve Turner, Circus Gallery and China Art Objects in Los Angeles. He has shown his work internationally Paris, Beijing, Germany, Sweden and Copenhagen. He has an upcoming solo show at The Finley in Los Angeles.

Caleb Lyons (b. Highland Park, IL) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Lyons’s entrepreneurial practice takes many forms, he frequently holds artist drinking salons at roving bar Squatters and has been the owner director of Adult Contemporary, Old Gold and artLedge galleries. Lyons has recently shown his work at Roots and Culture, Chicago, IL, Planthouse in New York, NY, and with Arturo Bandini in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

For more information contact John Knuth at 951-487-3585 or or visit

 Woman by Emma Gray

by Justin Hansch

Bodypainters by Caleb Lyons