‘Amazing and disgusting’ art show featured in DVC gallery


Amrita Kaur

Alyssa Lempesis demonstrates her art to DVC students on Wednesday Nov. 12.

Taylor Pagán, Staff member

Currently on display in the Diablo Valley College art gallery is “Soft Nudge” by Alyssa Lempesis. The exhibit showcases biomorphic sculptures and video work inspired by mysterious organisms and imagined insides.

Lempesis, 25, describes her creations as seductively strange, as if the lumpy waves, rubbery hunks and foamy fragments of her art were grafted or grown together, becoming fantastic fictions.

“I love things that are bizarre or uncomfortable,” she says. “I have always been drawn to things that inspire a sublime discomfort. The senses are stirred by tactile desire, a soft nudge to experience an intimate encounter with an absurd fabrication.”

Lempesis attended DVC in 2010. After transferring to the University of California in Berkeley, Lempesis received a Bachelor of Arts in art practice and this past year she received a Master of Fine Arts in studio art at University of California in Davis.

Gallery coordinator Arthur King says that Lempesis’ show is the first in what they are hoping to become a series of DVC alumni spotlight shows.

“We wanted to have the opportunity to be able to feature her here as an example to show our students,” he says. “You take classes, you go on, you pursue, you can find your way, you can discover what you are meant to do as an artist and what you can contribute to the larger art culture.”

King describes the show as amazing and disgusting.

“Alyssa’s work is an amazing exploration into the unknown, or unexplored, or often shunned areas of ourselves,” he said.

Lempesis says she hopes to simultaneously inspire feelings of attraction and discomfort.

“Be sensitive to the things that you feel passionate about and continue to be curious,” she advises fellow aspiring artists.

“Soft Nudge” is open in the DVC art gallery until Wednesday, Nov. 26, Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. An artist’s reception will be held on Nov. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.