Stepping Into Dissonant Beauty: Calapooia Center Gallery hosts first student art show

Five dissonant photographs meticulously hung alongside one another, lining the wood walls of the Calapooia Center Gallery. For student artist Cory Self, this was the first time he was able to physically see his artwork portrayed on the LBCC campus walls.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, from 12 to 1 p.m., Self’s eerie yet substantially beautiful photographs headlined the previously unused gallery. Brownies and sparkling cider sat untouched on a corner table among other refreshments, while about 20 students gathered to admire Self’s display of dissonant beauty.

Initially inspired by black and white photography, Self, who has worked with and for the school galleries for over a year now, used a mixture of creativity and skill to intensify the Calapooia Center Gallery walls with his perfectly framed photographs. Self’s work is a triumphant display of LBCC’s first student-art show in over a year.

At first glance, Self’s artwork might seem rather off-putting to some. Dark colored gas masks and silhouettes of creatures hidden among trees could leave the viewer with a feeling of dissonance. However, the five photographs flooded with character and artistry could leave you wanting more.

“For me, I’m getting people to look at them and acknowledge that they’re beautiful and well done even though they’re not standard concepts of what’s supposed to be beautiful,” said Self.

Theoretically adding more dimensions to the word beautiful, the goal of this art show was to utilize the space and use it for students and other artists in the community, mainly focusing on first timers who want to expose their art to the world.

“Just as itself, dissonant sounds are absolutely atrocious but they are necessary so that you notice how pretty the other notes are,” he said.

Self works side-by-side with Visual Communications/Art teacher and Faculty Mentor for the Student Gallery Coordinators, Anne Magratten.

“I think it’s a wonderful success and it has changed the way that the space feels to have art in here again, and I think it’s really special that it’s art from one of our own students,” said Magratten. “In a way, I think it’s a little bit controversial because some of Cory’s images are a bit dark, but I love the fact that they make me ask questions and they make me think. So that, to me is really beautiful.”

LBCC’s student gallery coordinators are always looking for new art submissions as well as coordinators.

“Anybody who considers themselves an emerging artist can submit 3-5 images of the work they’d like to show,” said Self.

Students who are interested in working behind the scenes can also submit an application for consideration.

Not only are there going to be more student art shows at LBCC, but there will also be matting and framing workshops available for students as well. The benefits of getting involved include displaying and showcasing your own artwork in a solo gallery as well as being able to receive partial scholarships.
If you’re interested in learning more, Magratten will be sending out a campus wide email informing students and faculty of the next Calapooia Center Gallery art show, as well as any openings for near future art submissions. You can also send an email to

Story and photos by Samantha Guy


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