Clinton Community College is hosting a new exhibit by instructors Pat Cheak and Beth Wood in the CCC Art Gallery located in the college library. The CCC Library is located at 1000 Lincoln Blvd., Clinton, Iowa.

green background bird art

CCC President Dr. Brian Kelly commented, “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talented faculty and the depth of their work. It’s amazing to me that the mediums reflect a side of these faculty we might not see in their daily work at the college. We are fortunate to have a very gifted and active faculty cohort at CCC.”

CCC Instructor Pat Cheak is exhibiting a variety of his prints and blown glass pieces. Cheak shared details of his printmaking and glass, “The Cardinal prints are buried treasure from my MFA Show. This project started out with photographs of wooden cardinals I found in peoples’ yards all over Illinois. I tried to talk to the home owners and found many of them to be very interesting and put as much time and effort tin their wooden creations as I did with my artistic expressions. I decided to make a series of silk screen prints of the images.”

red background bird art

He continued, “Each print is one of a series of 6 to 8 identical prints. Each print required 8 different screens to complete. Silk screen inks only come in a few standard colors and I finger painted a mix of colors until I found a color I liked. Then I had to match the chosen color with a batch of ink large enough to print the edition. This project spanned years of effort from the collection of imagery to the months of printing the series.”

red blown glass art

Regarding the blown glass pieces, Cheak explained, “As a child I was always fascinated by some glass pieces my mother had on a window sill. In the 90’s I was introduced to glass blowing and used glass as a creative outlet. With most other mediums, I could become pretty proficient in a short time but not so in glass. It took several years until I was happy with what I could make. I still had landscapes in the back of my mind and could not represent them with traditional glass blowing. I began to experiment with painting landscapes on small parsons of glass and reheating them to gather more clear glass and blowing them out into vases which I am very happy with.”

Beth Wood has been weaving rugs, placemats, towels, bags, hats and more since 1995. She is an artisan with the Walnut Grove Farm in Knoxville, IL. Beth, and her mother, Marjorie, started participating in the show in 1999. 

woven striped wall tapestry

Wood explained that she is inspired to weave because she can use a combination of her mathematical skills and creative abilities in her designs. Part of Beth’s psyche requires her to play with structure, perfection, and symmetry. These are the traits of many mathematicians. The other part of her psyche loves to play with color, texture, pattern, and form. These are the traits of many artists. Somehow, when the creator created Beth, they got all of these traits mixed up. Therefore, you can call Beth an artist pretending to be a mathematics instructor or a mathematics instructor pretending to be an artist. 

Beth was once asked how she designs her tapestries and rugs. Did she sketch them out before weaving them? Her answer was no. Everything that she weaves flows organically from her mind. There is a lot of trial and error, but that is how she perfects her creations. Beth has tried to use plans (called a cartoon) to create a rug. However, she found herself not happy with the look of the weaving and decided that free – form was the way to go. Beth stated that there are times when she weaving, she feels like the piece is ugly. However, she keeps working on it. Once it is completed and off the loom, her perspective on the piece changes drastically. Each is a unique piece of art.

The next art exhibit is scheduled for November and December, and will feature CCC student graphic design pieces. For more information, contact CCC at 563-244-7001.