Though photography professor Amanda Keller Konya has only been a faculty member for a year, she is influencing the visual arts community on campus.
Konya welcomed Carolyn Buck Vosburgh and Sandy Abrams and their art to Citrus College. Konya worked with both artists when all three worked at Brentwood Schools. Abrams taught sculpting, Buck Vosburgh was a painting teacher and Konya taught photography.
Buck Vosburgh uses both flat surface and three-dimensional space to express her art. Buck Vosburgh’s close friend and colleague Abrams uses different mediums like clay and wood. Despite using different materials, both create their artwork with natural, reusable materials.
The trio met in 1999 and have been close friends since then.
“Both Sandy and Carolyn have been influential mentors in my life,” Konya said. “I admire them as educators, artists and independent women.”
With Konya’s connection to Citrus, Buck Vosburgh and Abrams have put multiple pieces on display in VA 120. Buck Vosburgh’s love for paint complements Abrams’ unique baskets.
Buck Vosburgh has art from two different series, “Sustaining Drifters”and “Bits of the Abyss.”
“I work with many materials, but I love to push paint around,” Buck Vosburgh said. ”Sometimes I am the boss of the paint and it does what I want it to do. And other times the paint does some wonderful unexpected thing.”
Abrams used to work with clay. However, after she retired, she began using a type of wood called rattan. She said it makes her feel centered when using rattan to create warped and uniquely twisted baskets.
“I make sculptural objects that show my deep love of the natural world,” Abrams said. “Whether it’s the repeated motions of twining, felting or stitching, a sense of centeredness is created.”
Konya said she appreciates both of her mentors for their persistence.
“My favorite aspects of Sandy and Carolyn’s practice is their willingness to keep challenging themselves and their constant exploration of new territory and tenacity in production,” Konya said.
All their work fills the art gallery titled “Within SPACE”, a name both professionals came up with. However, they each have different ideas of what the title could mean.
Abrams leaves it up to interpretation by the viewer.
“The name of the gallery can be interpreted in many ways,” she said. “I can find space, in a sense, because I make these pots and vessels.”
Buck Vosburgh said she has a personal connection to the name because it reflects different aspects of her art.
“The exhibition title… is very open, I see my pieces as referring to the rich ecosystem within the space of the ocean”, Buck Vosburgh said. “It’s a system which is important to our planet.”
Konya said after seeing Buck Vosburgh’s and Abrams’ art within the gallery, she wanted her own students to see it for themselves.
“When I saw their work in this exhibition I remember thinking I wished my students could see their clever use of diverse material to connect to science and nature,” Konya said.
Buck Vosburgh’s and Abrams’ connection to Konya helped not only get their artwork into the show, but also brings the trio back together again.