Alumni artists return to roots, show art to inspire

This piece by Sandra Lara titled “The Helpers are on the Way,” will be featured in the “Making It” exhibit in Gallery 219. Photo courtesy of Sandra Lara
This piece by Sandra Lara titled “The Helpers are on the Way,” will be featured in the “Making It” exhibit in Gallery 219. Photo courtesy of Sandra Lara

“Making It,” an upcoming Eastfield exhibition, will feature seven alumni artists to inspire students and allow the artists to revisit their roots.

Iris Bechtol, art professor and curator for the exhibit, said it’s important for artists to return to where they started.

“All of the alumni that are showing started in community college,” Bechtol said. “I think it’s important for our current students to see their work, and hear how they accomplished that. As a way to come back and say, ‘See, you can do this too.’”

The artists are Jeremy Biggers, Brennen Bechtol, Chris Blackhurst, David Dreyer, Daniel Driensky, Sandra Lara and Kathryn Vestal.

Lara, Blackhurst, Bechtol, Vestal and Biggers will be in attendance for the opening night reception Oct. 10. There will also be an artist panel Oct. 24 in which the same artists will be available to answer questions.

Each of the artists have had successful careers since graduating from Eastfield. Some of them have worked with companies such as the Dallas Cowboys, McDonald’s, the Dallas Art Fair and Nylon Magazine, as well as their own solo exhibitions.

The forms of art that will be featured consists of paintings, ceramics, photography, videography, drawings and prints.

[READ MORE: Dive into arts]

Driensky began studying art and photography at Eastfield before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington. He said he took many art courses at Eastfield, including 2D Design, 3D Design and Drawing I and II.

“After taking a digital imaging class, I fell in love with Photoshop and decided it was time to make my own digital images to play around with,” Driensky said. “Around this same time, I also took a photo I analog class and got re-introduced to printing in the darkroom, something I only briefly experienced in high school. At that point, I was hooked, and knew that photography was going to be an important part of my life.”

Upon discovering he had a knack for the subject, he founded a media company called “Exploredinary” with local artist Sarah Reyes. The agency specializes in sculptures, murals, photography and filmmaking.

Brennen Bechtol went to Eastfield before transferring to the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. He now has a sign painting studio  where he painted murals and display signs for companies in the Oak Cliff area, such as Bishop Cider Co. and The Lathery. Bechtol has two upcoming projects this October, one at the Wild West Mural Fest and one at Casa Linda Plaza in Dallas.

Bechtol said he had a lot of great experiences at Eastfield, with many supportive professors.

“It’s totally different from what I’m doing now,” Brennen said. “It’s going to be interesting seeing my piece on the wall for this show. Nothing but good vibes.”

The exhibition will be open Oct. 10-Nov. 8 in F219, with the opening reception 6:30-8 p.m. Oct 10.

The artist panel discussion will be 11 a.m.-noon Oct. 24 in G101.

Two friends create unique art with common materials

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