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Coast To Coast

Coast To Coast

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Orange Coast College opened three new exhibits in campus galleries this week, just as students returned for spring classes.

The work of student photographer Tyler Jo Gaines, entitled “home.,” is on display in the Student Gallery located in the Fine Arts Building Photography Lab. Tyler has been serious about photography since he was in high school, but taking photography classes at OCC “really pushed me into doing this full time.”

He specializes in commercial fashion photography and advertising portraits, but his campus exhibit focuses on images he took growing up in Branson, Missouri, his hometown. The campus is invited to a reception for “home.” on Tuesday, February 11, at 6:30 p.m. Individual photos by Tyler have been included in photography exhibits, but the current show is a first one-man exhibition for the OCC student, who currently lives in Laguna Niguel. Tyler’s photography will be on display until February 18.

Tyler moved to California during his senior year in high school. Following his graduation from Aliso Niguel High School in 2010, he enrolled at Coast. He took his first photography classes in Spring 2011 and presently works as a laboratory aide for the Photography Department.

OCC is a “fantastic place to hone your skills,” Tyler said. Instructors push students to improve their skills and the equipment is state-of-the-art, he added. “It’s a magical place to be.” More of Tyler’s work can be seen on his website,

This week also saw new displays in the Art Center Gallery, located in the second floor lobby of the Art Center, and the Fine Arts Gallery, in the lobby of the Fine Arts Building.

“Saved,” a collaboration featuring North Carolina artist Jody Servon and California poet Lorene Delaney-Ullman, opened in the Art Center Gallery and will run through March 3 (see related story).

The Fine Arts Gallery features “Tooth and Nail” by James Southard, who addresses cultural iconography and the ways it is used to represent – or misrepresent – various groups in society. His creative pursuit began with questions of personal and cultural identity, but expanded into an examination of daily-life customs that most people take for granted.

In “Tooth and Nail,” which will be on display until March 2, Southard scripts and stages photographic tableaus which he later altered using digital processing. The artist plays on the viewer’s expectation of art and history. When he inserts a lawnmower into the throne room (Tooth & Nail #2), the result is overwhelmingly present and poetic.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (MFA), Southard has taught at Carnegie Mellon, Bellermine University and the University of Louisville. His artwork has appeared in group shows all over this country and in Cuba, Italy, and in South Korea.