Missy Chotvacs, back, and Carlee McLaughlin hang artwork Thursday at the Center for Visual Arts on Thursday as part of a show featuring work by Colorado Mountain College students.

Photo by John F. Russell

Missy Chotvacs, back, and Carlee McLaughlin hang artwork Thursday at the Center for Visual Arts on Thursday as part of a show featuring work by Colorado Mountain College students.

Colorado Mountain College's annual art show opens today

Display includes painting, 2-D and photo work

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If you go

What: CMC annual art show receptions

When: 5 to 8 p.m. today

Where: Center for Visual Arts and Azteca Taqueria

Cost: Free

Call: 870-4432

— Introductory painting at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus is the first optional art class business major Jade Stevens has ever taken.

On Thursday morning, she joined several classmates at the Center for Visual Arts to hang CMC’s annual student and faculty art show. Stevens was one of several students who were putting their work on gallery walls for the first time.

“It’s just a great opportunity to learn how it all works, and hanging and being a part of the experience with everyone else is really cool,” Stevens said.

About 40 students from CMC art classes including 2-D design, painting, ceramics, digital photography, fiber art and watercolors contributed work to the show, which is on display at Center for Visual Arts and Azteca Taqueria. Four faculty members also are participating. Students were allowed to submit two pieces, and Center for Visual Arts owner Linda Laughlin juried the submitted work for the show, said Cynthia Zyzda, associate professor of visual art and humanities at CMC.

The mix of classes involved offers a wide variety of work to the show, with students submitting functional or sculptural ceramics, along with many styles of two-dimensional art, Zyzda said.

“We get a great diversity of different approaches to media,” Zyzda said.

Receptions for the Center for Visual Arts and Azteca art displays are from 5 to 8 p.m. today. The events are free. Some of the work on display is for sale.

For many students, the annual CMC event is “either the first, second or only” show they’ve been involved with, Zyzda said. Some students might be planning to continue with a career in the visual arts, and some are taking the classes as electives or for fun, she said.

“It’s an introduction into a professional field, or it could be on a checklist of things to do in your life,” Zyzda said.

Painting students Carlee McLaughlin and Melissa Campagna said the show and their painting class offer a new experience. McLaughlin, whose background is in photography, said she took the painting class to broaden her artistic ability. Both students were excited about displaying their work at an art gallery.

“I think it’s really cool, and it lets you get a perspective of what the real artists do,” McLaughlin said. The display also offers exposure for students’ art that they might not get otherwise, and it gives students a chance to express themselves, she said.

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