Professor Painter Artist Educator - Louie-Meager Art Gallery

Paintings by Ohlone Faculty and Staff Sandy Chen, Helen Ha, Gabriel Navar, George Rivera, and Denise Owen

  • Exhibit runs: December 18, 2015 - February 15, 2016
  • Open to the Public
  • Free

Artist Statements

Shrek looking at an iPhone.Gabriel Navar is an artist and arts educator originally from Oakland, CA. He has been teaching Art Appreciation, Mexican Art History, Drawing, and 2-Dimensional Design at college level since 2001. He graduated with a MFA from San José State University, a B.A. in Studio Arts from California State University, East Bay, and and an Associate of Arts from Alameda College.

He has loved making images (whether with lines, colors, or words) for as long as he can remember. He started his career with crayon markings on the walls... The main focus of his work from the early 2000’s is the interconnectedness he feels with the natural and urban environment as well as with the connection he feels with his culture, the planet, and with the phenomenon and celebration of existence. Through his painting and poetry he explores his identity in this space and time, dreams, memories, projections of the future and rejoicing. Although he often use symbols and color schemes in his work that serve as visual icons (huaraches, serpents, pre-Columbian deities, for example) or connections with his Mexican ancestry, it is his intention to communicate to all cultures. As an artist of Mexican descent, he wishes to express his profound sense of cultural pride to the world. He wants to inspire those who view his images in a way that may prompt them to learn more about art, various cultures, and respect for each other and our natural resources. Furthermore, it is his interest to motivate people to want to have a better understanding of and desire to make art.

Sad young woman dressed in black against black backdrop.George Rivera is the former Museum of Art Executive Director & Senior Curator at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara. He has taught a variety of art courses throughout the Bay Area including Ohlone College, Mission College, De Anza College, Pacific Art League, Triton Museum of Art School, and University of California at Berkeley extension program.

As an artist, Rivera has been included in over 100 exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. Since 1974 his drawings, mixed media and paintings have been presented at art centers, galleries and museums. Rivera received his academic training in art for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from San Jose State University.

Two works: Two-tone grey panel with orange square. Panel with stippled thick forest.Denise Owen is Professor of Interior Design at Ohlone College. Her interest in art developed from her background in architecture. “Drawing started as a way for me to analyze and explore ideas. It became a way to express and share my perspective of the world with others. I am inspired by my immediate environment; whatever is closest at hand, be it people, places, events, thoughts.” She works with a range of media and techniques, but has always preferred working on paper.

Man on street with bus and 3-story buildings in background.Sandy Tsau Chen teaches Beginning Piano in the Music department at Ohlone College. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Visual Arts and San Jose State University with a M.A. in Piano Performance. Sandy works in acrylics, from photographs, painting scenes of everyday life. She is drawn to art that features stark lines and simple details. She is most influenced by the poignant and emotional imagery of American painter Edward Hopper.

View of street with San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz in background.Helene Ha is a Microbiology/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician at Ohlone College. Her favorite subjects are landscapes and she is interested in learning to paint portraits. “My art work is about the beauty of life in any form. I know it is very important to enjoy what we have around us.