North Gallery Features Fun Frights Along With Spooky Art for Halloween Show


Demetria Ledesma/San Jacinto Times

Artist Samantha Reyna’s piece is displayed in the Galleria del Norte for the annual Halloween Art Show.

San Jacinto College North Campus welcomed Trick-or-Treaters and creepy critters Oct. 31 at their annual Halloween Art Show offering visitors two haunted houses, free concessions, a movie viewing (“Spirited Away”), and an exhibition of dark art.

Director of Galeria del Norte (North Gallery) and head coordinator of the event, Joe Clark, said the event evolved over time.

“Over the years,” Clark said, “it’s grown from just a few art students wanting to get together on Halloween to show off some spooky art, to an event where we anticipate an attendance of two hundred or more students, alumni, friends and family.”

The festivities started as soon as visitors passed through the inflatable black cat forming the archway into the Grant Fine Arts Center. Two volunteers in gypsy costumes stood at the entrance luring visitors into the haunted house while announcing “we have visitors!”

Led by the second gypsy, visitors went on a tour through the house where in the darkness, shadows and silhouettes were creeping closer to them. Then, eerie laughter preceded a shrill scream while a young woman spider-crawled across the floor.

Meanwhile, free concessions were available next to the gallery and included a cookie decorating table operated by the Culinary Arts program.

Across the way, Halloween-themed art pieces and Dia de los Muertos ofrendas and retablos (offerings and altar pieces) were on display.

Fine Arts major Jessica Aguilar, whose work was on exhibit as part of the show, said her piece “Inverse of X” is supposed to give viewers an unsettling feeling.

The mysterious scene features a menacing clawed hand on a door. Claw marks lead to strands of long hair from an unknown assumed-victim. According to Aguilar, “even though you don’t know what it is, you know it’s not something good.”

Furthermore, to add human-like qualities to the unseen victim, Aguilar said she attached her own hair to the bottom of the piece. One day, after cutting her hair, she decided to keep the cut pieces. “I didn’t know for what until the project came up,” Aguilar added.

Dia de los Muertos displays were not always a part of the art show’s tradition, but their incorporation, Clark said, “…made it more of a celebration of life, culture and creativity instead of just another place to come and get your candy on Halloween.”

The Halloween Art Show was coordinated by the Department of Art and Design with help from other North campus programs.

“The last several years, we’ve been joined by Sarah Ann Chaudhary, professor in the Modern Languages department,” Clark said, ”and this year, we’ve added the excellent baking skills of the culinary club, spear-headed by Kevin Riefkohl, president of the Culinary and Pastry Club.”

This year, Upward Bound Math and Science Academy Director, Jacqueline D. Howard joined them, which Clark said, made the collaboration “a huge success.”

The event is for family, friends, and art lovers alike while offering art students, Clark added, “…a nice way to work out some dark images that may be floating around their heads.”