‘Combo Platter’ serves up smiles
Posted Sept. 21, 2007
Sheila DelCastillo
Housed in the University of La Verne’s Harris Art Gallery through Oct. 12 are the collaborative works of two Southern California artists Michael Reafsnyder and David Kiddie. A reception hosted by Dion Johnson on Sept. 12, gave community members and students a chance to view the whimsical and playful works. Artist Patrick Wilson, whose works have also been displayed in the Harris Art Gallery, attended the reception, where he discussed the smiley-faced designs with both featured artists and gallery curator Johnson.

Smiling faces were everywhere at a reception Sept. 12 held in the Harris Art Gallery.

“It’s eye catching,” Karla Pope, a senior liberal studies major said.

The display in the gallery entitled “Combo Platter,” consists of ceramic platters mounted to the walls of the gallery.

They are not just ordinary platters. Each of the platters consists of vivid colors, bright patterns and designs.

All of the platters feature the theme of smiling faces.

Dion Johnson, art department manager, is the curator of the “Combo Platter” exhibit.

The two artists who collaborated on this project are Michael Reafsnyder and David Kiddie.

“I just thought it was something kind of playful and joyful, as opposed to serious,” Reafsnyder said.

Reafsnyder is responsible for the color, glaze and design in the center of each of the platters.

Kiddie and Reafsnyder worked as a team effort on this project.

Kiddie said he worked on the ceramic part and it was set up to be a dialogue.

He gave the platters to Reafsnyder when they were still wet to get “the wheels going” to try to anticipate what he would do.

As students, faculty and others wandered around the room the platters seemed to evoke an euphoric atmosphere.

“I think it’s really cool,” Lili Gradilla, a sophomore liberal studies major said.

“It almost looks like they are dishes; dishes of life,” Gradilla said.

“I think the artwork here is inspirational because it gives me all sorts of ideas of artwork I can make,” Alonzo Moreno, a freshman business and art major said.

Kiddie is a local Southern California artist and assistant professor of art at Chapman University.

Reafsnyder is a local artist whose artwork has been displayed around the world.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Ruth Trotter, art professor at ULV said. “Both of the artists are prominent L. A. figures in the art world: it’s nice to see them come together in collaboration.”

The gallery is set up so that the center of the room is empty and the artwork is hanging on the walls of the gallery.

This arrangement allows the viewer to stand back and view the art or to walk around the room and view each piece individually.

Each platter varies in shape, size and border design.

Every piece of artwork contains at least one set of eyes and a smile.

“Being able to be recognized at a university gallery is always great,” Kiddie said.

“Combo Platter” was put on display Sept. 10 in the Harris Art Gallery, located next to the library.

The gallery will host this display through Oct. 12.

Susan Acker can be reached at sacker@ulv.edu.

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