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New Art Gallery Opens at STLCC-Wildwood

September 03, 2015

Mark Oakley artwork  
"Passing Time" will feature the works of Mark Oakley in the
new Gallery of Contemporary Art at STLCC-Wildwood.

St. Louis Community College-Wildwood has opened a new art gallery -- the Gallery of Contemporary Art. It is located on the third floor on campus, 2645 Generations Drive.

Gallery hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. Exhibits are free and open to the public.

“Art enhances the quality of any space, and we’re excited to add to our existing collection of artwork at STLCC-Wildwood by opening our Gallery of Contemporary Art,” said Mark Weber, professor of art. “In addition to providing students with a visual learning environment, the gallery offers community members an opportunity to view works of art created by professional and student artists.”

The gallery’s first exhibit, “Passing Time,” will be on display Sept. 10-30. The exhibit by Mark Oakley features paintings of people at swimming pools. In celebration of Oakley’s exhibit and the opening of Gallery of Contemporary Art, the campus will host a reception 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17. Community members are invited to attend this event to view the gallery and meet the artist.

“Growing up, my mother insisted that my siblings and I learn how to swim,” Oakley said. “A pool means something different to a child than it does to an adult or an adolescent. For a child, it’s a time of energy and movement. As you get older, it evolves into a time of relaxation and rest. While going to the pool is associated with fun and happiness, it is also a place where we confront elemental fears such as heights and drowning. The paintings in this exhibition are narratives that explore and expand on these observations.”

Oakley is a freelance illustrator who is best known for his work with Entrepreneur Magazine, the National Football League, Washington University, Mattel, the Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Webster University and a Master of Arts in Painting from Fontbonne University.

Oakley serves as an adjunct instructor at STLCC, and is scheduled to teach figure drawing at Wildwood this fall.  The course runs Sept. 14-Dec. 20 on 1-4:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. Anyone interested in auditing this course should call 636-422-2000.