Space Oddyssey exhibit blasts off from Central gallery after March showing


Michael Leedy

Alan Pocaro’s art was displayed alongside his friend Christopher Troutman’s work.

Space Oddyssey, an art exhibition hosted in the gallery of San Jacinto College Central Campus, closed March 27 after an almost month-long showing. The exhibit showcased the work of artists Alan Pocaro and Christopher Troutman.

Central campus art professor Michael Unger said the exhibit, whose name is intentionally misspelled, spotlighted both drawings and paintings.

“The exhibition deals with how artists or individuals deal with the interpretation of space on a two dimensional plane; the many layers and/or the created patterns of space,” Unger said.

According to Troutman, he was interested in showing his work with a former colleague from Eastern Illinois University; longtime friend Pocaro.

“We are both interested in exhibiting our artwork and having the chance to engage a public audience. We were lucky enough to be selected for exhibition at San Jacinto College,” Troutman said.

He recently relocated to take a position as a faculty member at Lamar University.

“I am new to South East Texas,” Troutman said, “and wanted to investigate places to exhibit my artwork. Last year, I took a teaching position as Assistant Professor of Art teaching drawing at Lamar University in Beaumont,” Troutman said.

Prior to coming to Texas, he taught English with his wife in Japan. Troutman said he is most inspired by his surroundings, one of his greatest inspirations being Kagoshima City.

“I typically want my artwork to be a response to my immediate environment, in which I’ll usually see something strange or interesting, spatially, that I use as a starting point in my drawings.”

Troutman said one of the most memorable responses he got for his art was from, “the gallery director at Parkland College in Champaign Illinois saying that my drawings have an ’overwhelming’ atmosphere or mood.”

Even though he enjoyed drawing from a young age, Troutman said he did not know he wanted to be an artist until later in life.

“I decided to pursue art seriously during my senior year of high school when I decided I would study art in college at Bradley University,” he said.

In addition to his surroundings, Troutman said much of his work is inspired by comic books, and he dreams of drawing a giant version.

“I’d like to do a 12 foot tall comic book with giant paper panels drawn in charcoal,” Troutman said, “If they were 20 feet tall, then I could show them at the San Jacinto College North Campus gallery! I had spent most of my time in high school practicing to be a comic book artist.”

Although he said he enjoys teaching and wants to become a full time professor, he also would like to show his artwork in a commercial gallery one day. But Troutman said that’s not all he’s hoping for.

He said, “I also have the fantasy of working on some kind of graphic novel.”