SBCC gallery to show colorful, abstract art of LA’s watershed

While California dreams of rain, Devon Tsuno’s gallery of multicolored perception of the Los Angeles River watershed, which illustrates their bond and deep-rooted alliance, will be showcased at City College.

The Los Angeles native’s exhibit titled, “Los Angeles River: Urban Reclamation,” will be displayed beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16 in the Atkinson Gallery. Tsuno’s art will remain on the gallery walls until Dec. 2.

“I use visual art to research and investigate topics I’m interested in. All images, shapes, and colors come from the time I have spent at the Los Angeles River.”

The show will display 14 of Tsuno’s pieces, including various landscapes of Los Angeles County layered heavily with acrylic and spray paint. The three largest pieces are on canvas that stretch 9’ high and 6’ wide, covering the entire south wall of the gallery. 

As for the smaller pieces, Tsuno used Washi paper, a thin, handmade Japanese paper.

“My art is about the Los Angeles watershed,” Tsuno said. “And native and non-native plants, and their role in the urban landscape and about being more drought tolerant.”

Black and white wallpaper was installed from ceiling to floor on the north wall of the gallery, an abstract demonstration of the river, which Tsuno designed. A technique known as “installation,” which he planned specifically for the semester-long exhibit.

“This exhibit invites local residents to consider their own relationships to the catchments on the Central Coast,” said Sarah Cunningham, director of the Atkinson Gallery. “Most immediately, the Mission Creek and Arroyo Burro watersheds.”

Tsuno and Cunningham hope to make an impact on City College’s campus by bringing awareness to the drought, amid other ecological dilemmas and to “connect with the off-campus art community,” Cunningham said.

Tsuno is an award winning assistant professor of art and design at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Cunningham teaches Art 101 at City College and selects art parallel to the curriculum.

“Tsuno is an example of content, political, geological, and personal ideas, and that is what the show is about—those ideas.” Cunningham said.

Tsuno will attend the exhibition, which opens in two weeks. It will be open to the public with free admission.