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Delta, MJC offer plenty of art options

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Delta, MJC offer plenty of art options

A rotating exhibit schedule brings fresh artistic perspectives in a variety of mediums to the L.H. Horton Jr. Art Gallery at Stockton’s San Joaquin Delta College.

Photo contributed/


POSTED November 9, 2012 11:29 p.m.

Paintings. Sculptures. Photographs.

It doesn’t matter the contents. Whether it’s the L.H. Horton Jr. Art Gallery at San Joaquin Delta College or the MJC Art Galley in Modesto, a double dose of culture and art is only a short drive away.

And its not just the work of students that ends up on display inside of the minimalist spaces that draw people from the outside community as well.

Delta will be showcasing the work of California street artists while MJC has tapped into the work of famed Bay Area photographer Mel Lindstrom and his decade of pictures taken in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

Here are a few tidbits about each of the local cultural havens and what they have to offer:

• L.H. Horton Jr. Gallery – For more than 40 years local artists have turned to San Joaquin Delta College for the opportunity to showcase their works in an environment where appreciation for art and an understanding for the culture that surrounds it is commonplace.

Support for the space, however, wasn’t always constant.

Opened in 1975 as an offshoot of the Artist in Residence program, the Shima Center site functioned through 1988 before it was reconditioned for non-arts usage. It stayed closed through 1997 when it reopened thanks to a refocus on the Fine Arts at the college, and a wide array of exhibitions have been shown ever since.

Students that aspire to pursue art beyond the classroom often get their first chance to showcase their work through the gallery, but it also provides regional and even national artists the chance to give new markets a chance to see their work up close and personal.

And not having to take a trip to San Francisco or Sacramento to enjoy quality works, in the eyes of some students like Judith Malloy, makes the overall experience that much better.

“It’s brings something special to the college,” said Malloy. “Even if you’re not into art it gives you a chance to find something that you appreciate.”

• Modesto Junior College Art Gallery
– The space is anything but cluttered.

Depending on the showcase, the walls themselves can be nearly bare and the open floors and sterile interior give the impression that the space goes on forever.

But for Hector Mendoza, it’s the layout of the MJC Art Gallery that helps set it apart from other local offerings – giving up-and-coming artists and students the chance to get the big city feel without having to travel or get the difficult invite to show their works.

The types of art shown rotates.

Photographs, sculptures and paintings adorn the space – sometimes nearly all at once depending on the exhibit – in an attempt to keep within the designated guidelines of the school’s art department.

“You don’t have to go to San Francisco to enjoy art,” Mendoza said. “There are a lot of things here that you can enjoy. People don’t think of Modesto and art, but it’s a part of the experience.”

— JASON CAMPBELL
209 staff reporter

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