Art Department News

Cypress College Art Department's dedicated faculty and staff, and alumni are also well-respected professional animators, artists, community organizers, curators, designers, filmmakers, historians, illustrators, musicians, and writers. Here is what they are up to...


Study the Arts & Sciences in Rome, Italy with Professor Ed Giardina and Professor Vicki Castle, Fall Semester, 2020!


Presidential Scholars of Distinction - Nhi Nguyen - Fine Arts

Cypress College has selected its first cohort of Presidential Scholars of Distinction, a new scholarship intended to recognize nine students who exemplify what it means to be a Cypress College student. The criteria include that each recipient must be in good academic standing and they must have illustrated perseverance in their achievement.

The Presidential Scholars of Distinction were nominated andselected by the faculty in their specific academic disciplines and affirmed by President JoAnna Shilling. The scholars will be recognized at today’s commencement ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m. in Cypress College’s Gateway Plaza.

Cypress College highlights eight meta majors and an exploratory pathway as part of its implementation of the California Guided Pathways Program — a philosophy intended to help students complete their studies in the most-efficient timeline possible. The pathways are: Business and Computer Information Systems; Career Technical Education; Fine Arts; Health Science; Kinesiology; Language Arts; Science, Engineering & Math; Social Sciences; and We Journey Together (“Exploratory” including Counseling and L/LRC).

Nhi Nguyen - Fine Arts

At the age of 19, Nhi Nguyen emigrated from Vietnam to the United States with her mother. In a completely new environment and having to cope in an unfamiliar language, Nhi initially intended to earn a degree in a health science field because she thought she would have a higher chance of finding a stable job; however, her first art professor helped her believe in her skills and abilities, and inspired her to pursue art instead.

Nhi is graduating with an associate of art degree for transfer in studio art. She is transferring to Cal State Fullerton to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic and interactive design. She also hopes to pursue a master’s degree and dreams of becoming a successful graphic designer.

“No matter what language an artist speaks, I can understand what he is trying to represent and express through his art piece,” she said. “So, art seems to have a power of speaking in a universal language, which is why I’ve been interested in art.”

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Professor Rema Ghuloum in Artforum!

Professor Ngugi De Magalhaes will be exhibiting her artwork in a solo exhibition at LASC Gallery

Collaboration: ART Department + MUSIC Department

The In-Between, 2018
Interactive Sound Sculpture

Participants are invited to lie down inside and press the sound triggers to create their own sonic compositions. The sculpture is intended for group open-ended play, exploration, relaxation, and introspection.

This project is a joint venture between Art 149, Beginning Sculpture and Music 124, Recording Studio 1.

Both the sculptural form and sound elements were created in response to coursework exploring “Freud’s Iceberg”, a popular influence on both Dada and Surrealist music and art.  
The sculptural form presents a subsurface environment that allows participants to be both literally situated into a typical position for meditation and/or psycho-analysis activity as well metaphorically below the surface of Freud’s notion of the conscious in the “iceberg” model. 

The eight-note sound elements are derived from a variety of inaudible sources recorded on campus. Students used improvised recording equipment to capture and manipulate these “subsurface” sounds (i.e. infrared door sensors, electromagnetic fields generated by a variety of electronic devices, wifi traffic, etc.) that exist all around us but are outside of our audible range.

This collaborative project between departments affords Music and Art students a real world interdisciplinary STEAM design experience that encompases physics, computer science, engineering, art and design, music, and psychology. 

Ed Giardina (Art)
Marcus McMillian (Music)
Kirk Pickler (Fine Arts Tech)

Dayonne Reid-Payton
Timothy Efseaff
Brandon Ramos
Moises Flores
Xitlalitl Gomez
Henrik Monfiero
Chanelle Tran
Maurice Morrell
Frank Ly
Frank Nguyen
Adri Perrucci
Ivan Norwood
Jules Cuevas
Jonathan Phan
Karen Franco
Skyler Pierce
Ashley Chunadi
Andrew Samaniego
Michelle Allen
Eliana Torres
Kris Damogo
Anthony Villalvazo 
Connie Lopez
Elino Villegas
Patrick Ferrel
Peter Calvillo
Paul Jimenez

Professors Molly Schulps and  Mary Beierle included in NATURE IN/FORMS at The Great Park Art Gallery


Professor Paul Paiement will be presenting new artworks at Coagula Curatorial in Los Angeles

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We Bid Farewell to Charlene “Char” Felos, Retired Cypress College Ceramics Professor

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Charlene “Char” Felos, retired Cypress College ceramics professor, who had worked so tirelessly for Cypress College, the education of students, and the fine arts community.

Char died at her home in Huntington Beach on April 15 at the age of 75. She began her career at Cypress College in 1969 and became art department chair in 1987. She retired in 2003 after 34 years of service with the district. Char was named Cypress College Outstanding Faculty Member in 1987-88.

Char Felos (center), pictured with retired art faculty members Les Johnson (left) and Roger Mendes (right).

Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be sent to The Global Sticky Network at 1954 Placentia Avenue #108, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people experience health and wholeness physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Char will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress during a private service. Her celebration of life will also be a private family gathering.


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Professor Ed Giardina and Alumnus Nadia Afghani will be presenting a new artwork commissioned for the Bienal de Cuenca in Ecuador



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Students Present Research at ART+POLITICS

Cypress College art students presented scholarly research at ART+POLITICS, the 2nd Annual Community College Art History Conference that took place at the UC Riverside ARTSblock on Saturday, April 14.

Pondering the question “what is beauty,” art history major Sandra Alvarado presented “White Westernized Walls,” an incisive and moving presentation on the work of artist Thien Nuygen and the enduring personal and political legacies of colonialism.

Presenting “Get Out: An Evocative Symbol of the Marginalization of People of Color in America,” film studies major Randy Cruz quoted both the movie sound track and director Jordan Peele when she concluded, “The sunken place is the system that silences the voices of women, minorities, and other people…Racism is not dead, it is hidden in plain sight. Stay woke.”

ART + POLITICS is organized by Cypress College, Fullerton College, and Cerritos College faculty and students, as well as regional university students. The conference aims to provide community college students with the opportunity to present their first scholarly work in a university setting.


Professor Rema Ghuloum has been awarded a POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION GRANT and will be an Artist in Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans in Spring of 2018

June, 2018 | Faculty News

Mary Beierle

Mary Beierle

Molly Schulps

Molly Schulps

Professors Molly Schulps and  Mary Beierle included in Subversive Flower at NCECA

March 13, 2018 | Faculty News

"Subversive Flower" is an exhibition opening in March at NCECA in Pittsburg, PA. The exhibition stages sculptural and functional ceramics that celebrates and questions our contemporary culture using botanical metaphors in a variety of creative processes. Sandra Torres, CJ Niehaus, Mallory Wetherell, Carrie Longley, Molly Schulps, CJ Jilek, Carol Gouthro, Julia Feld, Eva Champagne, Mary Beierle. Organized by Mary Beierle and Cj Jilek. 


Professor Janet Owen Driggs joins the Advisory Committee for Visual Beyond Words USC Keck School of Medicine

Feb 2018 | Faculty News

Janet Owen Driggs joins the Advisory Committee for Visual Beyond Words, which runs February–May 2018 at the Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery at the USC Keck School of Medicine. Created by artist-veteran Phyllis T. Miller and Las Vegas gallerist Grace Bryan, Visual Beyond Words incorporates a gallery installation, a speaker series, and educational programs to generate an arena for civilian/veteran collaboration, empowerment, and the honoring of our shared and individual histories. Image: Phyllis T. Miller: The Price of Freedom


Professor Paul Paiement Exhibiting New Work at Palazzo del Bargello - Museo della Balestra, in Gubbio, Italy

January 14, 2018 | Faculty News


Professor David Anderson's Work Included in Group Exhibition at La Luz de Jesus 

December, 2017 | Faculty News


Alumnus Debbie Magyar Participates in Residency in Jingdezhen, China and Exhibits in “Found in Translation” at the Mufei Gallery

November, 2017 | Alumni News


Alumnus Brian Akenoh Performs At Pump 2017

Oct 28, 2017| Alumni News

Cannibalistic Caterpillar performing at the Long Beach PUMP Sound & Arts festival. October 20th, 2017. Cannibalistic Caterpillar is a sound and vision project by Justin Scheid and Brian Akenoh.


Professor Gretchen Potts Presents an Installation at Pump 2017

October 2017| Faculty News


Professor Kaleeka Bond Opens Solo Exhibition at Mt. San Jacinto College

Sept 2017| Faculty News


Professor Joyce Patti's Illustration on the cover of UNO Magazine

Sept 2017| Faculty News


Professor Joyce Patti Commissioned to Illustrate for the University of Washington 

Sept 2017| Faculty News


Professor Paul Paiement in Art & Cake

July 4, 2017 | Faculty News

Paul was featured in the article Studio Visit: Paul Paiement, Synthetic Hybrid Spirituality"Reconciliation is a form of spiritual practice; to reconcile opposites, differences, and perceptions. For Paul Paiement it is a philosophical conundrum from which his visual language arises. Paul’s paintings hybridize the ‘man made’ synthetic elements of ‘culture’ with the natural world and by so doing arrive at deeply felt paintings that explore the space between those two worlds and visualizes them as part of the same natural order." - Gary Brewer, Art & Cake


Professor Ed Giardina and Alumnus Nadia Afghani's "Psychic Barber" Opens in Colorado Springs Museum

May 3, 2017 | Faculty & Alumni News

Their  Psychic Barber was featured on the covers of both the Independent and the Gazette in Colorado Springs. The Psychic Barber project was included in an exhibition titled "Cybercy" at UC Colorado Springs Museum.


Professor Ed Giardina and Alumnus Nadia Afghani's "Double Blind" Opens at Pro Arts in Oakland, CA.

Feb, 2017 | Faculty & Alumni News


Alumnus AJ Dungo Illustrates for NY Times

March 13, 2017 | Alumni News

A version of this article appears in print on March 13, 2017, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Talk With North Korea. 


Professor Emeritus Michael Johnson Profiled in the Orange Review

November/December 2016 | Faculty News


Professor Ed Giardina and Alumnus Nadia Afghani Discuss Their New Project "Evasion Yoga" at RMCAD

July 16, 2016 | Faculty & Alumni News


Professor Ed Giardina and Alumnus Nadia Afghani's Solo Exhibition "BLISS" Opens at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

June 2016 | Faculty & Alumni News

The project received several reviews, here are a few of them, click here and here.


Professor Janet Owen Driggs sat on Bard MAT program panel to discuss "How Can Black Mountain College Matter to Schools Today?

April 16, 2016 | Faculty News

Janet Owen Driggs and Rojelio Cabral of #thatsSOradped sat on a panel organized by the Bard Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, to discuss the question: "How Can Black Mountain College Matter to Schools Today? An Arts & Education Roundtable, the discussion was organized to coincide with the Hammer Museum’s exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957


Professor Molly Schulps's Solo Exhibition "predator and prey" Opens at Bunny Gunner in Joshua Tree

April 2016 | Faculty News