The Santa Monica College Emeritus Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of creative works by Earleen Ahrens and Jonathan Tillman. The two-artist exhibition features an eclectic array of colorful abstract paintings, sculptures, and jewelry by Ahrens, and black-and-white representational photographs by Tillman.

The exhibition is open to the public from Thursday, September 27, to Wednesday, November 7, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 27. The exhibition and opening reception are free.

The SMC Emeritus Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the SMC Emeritus Campus, 1227 Second St., in downtown Santa Monica. Parking is available next door in Santa Monica Public Parking Structure No. 2.

“It is a rare treat,” said Associate Dean of Emeritus Scott Silverman, “to see a full gallery exhibition dedicated to two such talented Emeritus students.

Tillman works primarily in the urban environment. His photography is documentary in nature, intended to capture what Henri Cartier-Bresson describes as “the decisive moment.” Tillman’s photographs, renowned for their beautiful composition and light, often feature powerful social subjects. With great elegance, he captures images of ordinary life, elevated to the extraordinary through the discovery of something that is completely apparent, yet has been ‘hiding’ in plain sight. “The reveal,” said Tillman, “is facilitated by an object, a momentary gesture, a camera angle, and/or the direction of light, alone or in combination with others, that unifies seemingly unrelated elements in order to produce a coherent visual statement.”

Ahrens is the former owner of Warp, Woof and Potpourri in Pasadena, CA, where she taught hundreds of women the art of weaving. Her paintings and sculptures are abstract and potently colorful. She uses a wide range of materials in her work, and often presents visual themes involving circles, spheres, spirals, and other types of round objects in clusters. Her skills as an object-maker and jeweler and her unique style are clearly recognizable in several forms of media. “My paintings, sculpture, and jewelry come from a deep place in my conscious memory. I never make art from a photo or model,” said Ahrens. “I have traveled throughout the world and have internal visions of places and happenings. My work is one of the many joyful experiences in my personal life. Art has been with me from early childhood.”

SMC Emeritus Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, please call 310-434-4306.

SMC’s widely praised Emeritus program — founded by Santa Monica College in 1975 as a noncredit program to serve the lifelong learning interests of older adults — offers more than 120 noncredit adult education classes and special programs that serve more than 3,000 students each year.

Submitted by Grace Smith


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