The work of Los Angeles based sculptor-painter and former University of Southern California (USC) art professor Jay Willis will be on display at the College of the Canyons Art Gallery beginning Tuesday, November 8, with the opening of the exhibition “Jay Willis — It’s Complicated.”
The exhibit opens Tuesday, Nov. 8, and will run through Thursday, Dec. 8. An artist’s reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on November 8 in the COC Art Gallery. The gallery will host a special conversation with the artist at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23.
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Willis served as a professor of Fine Arts at USC from 1969 to 2010 where he was the founding director of Public Art Studies and former chair of the university’s Studio Arts department.
In addition to his responsibilities at USC, Willis has maintained studios in Pasadena, working to produce large-scale pieces of art and sculpture through a variety of different mediums.
“This exhibition represents a significant event in my life and career as a recently retired professor,” Willis said.
Willis’ work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States at venues including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Skirball Cultural Center, Armory Center for the Arts, USC’s Fisher Museum of Art, Cirrus Gallery, Torrance Art Museum and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) Grand Central Art Center.
Featuring an array of bright wall pieces, highlighted by a black freestanding floor sculpture, Willis’ exhibition at College of the Canyons will showcase the artist’s reputation for incorporating a primary palette of colors into his work.
“This is a great opportunity to see a mature, contemporary artist in an intimate setting,” said Larry Hurst, COC Art Gallery director. “The new black sculpture will be a great contrast to Mr. Willis’ bright and colorful wall pieces.
“The art included in this exhibition is challenging and abstract, often requiring the viewer to stop and think,” added Hurst.
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Those unable to visit the gallery during normal hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to schedule a viewing appointment. All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.