How “California Seedlings” came to be at COC

by Cougar News Contributor 207 views0

By Jackeline Barrientos

If you sit outside of the College of the Canyons art gallery, observing students as they walk past, you may
notice that the majority of students completely ignored the new mural wrapped around the outside
part of the art gallery. They are either too busy on their phones, talking to their friends or just trying
to get to their destination.

The mural, called “California Seedlings,” was painted by Devon Tsuno and was put on the west exterior
gallery wall. Tsuno has also made abstract paintings, social practice projects, artist books, outdoor
paintings that focus on water use and native versus non-native vegetation.

“The mural is actually a painting that I made, it is just reproduced on a bigger scale,” said Tsuno. “I don’t
plan what I am going to paint, it is just a process just like all my other paintings.”

With “California Seedlings,” the art gallery takes art that normally would be inside on a canvas outside
and puts it on a wall.

“The space is a special place for people to come together,” said Tsuno.

Tsuno is influenced by Japanese 19th century prints. His vibrant works are inspired by the dynamic flora
competing for space in urban environments. According to his biography, he is currently an assistant
professor of art and design at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

“The material of the mural is hard to work with, [and] it needs to get smooth and lined up correctly,” COC PIO Eric Harnish said. “It’s not that simple; it’s pretty complicated, and the art gallery found and hired the artist and the
professionals to design it and install it. All the other art displays have always been inside the art gallery but with this one, it is an external art instead of an internal art exhibit.”

What makes this mural different from others is that it was not painted on the wall directly
but was applied on a graphic film wrap to temporarily transform the outside of the building into a bright
colorful space.

“It is an extension of the art gallery,” Harnish stated. “This is the first time that COC has done something like this.
The art gallery director, who has only been here a year, wanted to do something different. The material is vinyl so it is like a giant sticker. However, vinyl does not last forever when exposed to the sun, so it will have to
come down.

The cost of the mural was just over $10,000 and was funded by the College of the Canyons Foundation,
which serves as the college’s fund-raising entity.

The mural will be on display until May 31, 2019.

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the spring. If you
are unable to visit the gallery, you are welcome to contact the gallery to schedule a viewing
appointment. All art gallery exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

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