City Gallery to host closing reception Saturday evening

The monthlong exhibition of contemporary drawings by four Southern California artists will be celebrated Feb. 26


Kleis McCartney-Johnston and Vicki Walsh’s portrait “This is Phoebe” greet patrons of the City Gallery at San Diego City College on Feb. 23. The gallery will host a closing reception on Feb. 26 celebrating the monthlong drawing exhibition of four Southern California contemporary artists. Photo by Kathy Archibald/City Times Media

Kathy Archibald, Multimedia Journalist

Correction: This story has been changed to add a missing paragraph describing Kleis McCartney-Johnston welcoming gallery patrons. City Times regrets the error.

The City Gallery at San Diego City College will host a closing reception for its first show of the year Feb. 26.

Four Southern California artists – Dakota Noot, Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio, Catherine Ruane and Vicki Walsh – are showcasing drawing works at the current exhibition, which runs from Feb. 1 through March 1.

Professor of Fine Art Terri Hughes-Oelrich, who was part of the team organizing the show, says it’s unusual to have an entire show based around drawings. The variety of media these contemporary artists use is also not typical, she said. 

From the colored pencils and crayons Noot uses, to combining graphite with a translucent oil glaze, as Walsh does – this show is one of a kind.

Noot, who calls himself a “human paper doll” in his Instagram biography – with examples to boot – explores topics like sustainability and food sources, making cut-out figures decorated with crayons and colored pencil.

A transition as fleeting as her portrayal, Ortiz-Rubio created an ephemeral charcoal piece on an entire wall of the gallery. The work took about three weeks to complete, yet the wall will need to be washed and painted prior to the next exhibition, Hughes-Oelrich said. 

“Using that whole wall – it’s so beautiful,” she added.

The show, which includes installation, mural and sculpture, was planned prior to COVID-19, so was delayed by two years, Hughes-Oelrich said.

“It would have been really nice to have a longer show,” she said, “but we couldn’t because the next show is already planned.”

Ruane’s work presents incredibly detailed plant forms in graphite and charcoal. On the exhibition website, she likens the rhythm of drawing to repetitive prayer.

A stunning face of graphite and oil by Walsh greets guests by the gallery door. The artist taught at City College some years ago, Hughes-Oelrich said.


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Kleis McCartney-Johnston, a work-study student at City welcomed people to the gallery on Feb. 23. McCartney-Johnston said she has seen students visit the gallery throughout the day and professors who bring art classes to see the work.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment other times through [email protected], McCartney-Johnston said.

While Saturday evening’s reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m will give the public a chance to meet the artists and enjoy their creations, the show will be open through March 1. 

Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask.

The Selected Drawings Exhibition Reception is part of City’s World Cultures Program. To learn more about future World Cultures events click here

More information about this show and the City Gallery can be found on their website or Instagram page.