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El Paisano

William Lane: Then and Now Art Exhibit at Rio

Diana Juarez, Reporter

Walking into the reception for William Lane’s Then and Now show at the art gallery on campus you’re met with a buzzing of energy. Friends, old and new, clamoured into the gallery to experience the splashes of color. Staff members, some retired, caught up and joked as they talked with Lane, or “Bill” as his colleagues fondly call him.


The paintings on the walls add to the vibrant atmosphere of lively conversation as people gather around to hear the loving introduction that Lane’s peers prepared for him.


It was hard not to look around and admire the pieces as people spoke of Lane’s use of color. A Red Study pops out at you, the various shades of red look like sunlight behind closed eyes.


“His paintings are nonobjective,” said Sheila Lynch, a full time art professor, “They’re as honest as art can get. They’re not trying to be naked ladies or a landscape.”


And they’re really not. The pieces are all straight lines and splashes of color. Blocks of reds, greens, and teals fight for your attention as you make your way around the room. The use of water colors in some of the pieces adds a layer of transparency that helps the viewer see colors underneath colors.


“I want my paintings to engage the audience. I want to stir the viewer, influence feelings, make an impression,” said Lane. For all their apparent simplicity, the paintings do captivate their audience. The colorful squares are almost like close-ups of everyday sceneries. Some exude a peaceful, stained glass window feel that reminds me of cool mornings in church with my grandmother while others inspire an urge to go out for a walk in uptown Whittier.  

“Part of me wants to be minimal and pure, but I am not,” Lane jokes. In a way, even to the untrained eye, the paintings really are exactly what he claims them to be. His Oaxaca Rain piece, an acrylic on canvas triptych behemoth that commandeers the room, looks like a you’re looking out of a rain drenched window.
Art students clamored around the pieces, excitedly pointing to colors they hadn’t realized were in the paintings.


“This has to be one of my favorite shows at the gallery,” said Jocie Marlyn Gomez, a graphic design student. “The combination of colors goes so well that they build a relationship with each other.”


While the paintings aren’t trying to be anything, they do exactly what Lane was hoping for, they inspire. William Lane’s Then and Now will be housed at the Rio Hondo Art Gallery through March 9th.  

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
William Lane: Then and Now Art Exhibit at Rio