Stephen Silver: Evolution takes students on an artistic journey

Kimberly Mata

The Art Department welcomes an artist every year to be the Artist in Residence. “The Fullerton College Art Department is one of the select few college art departments in the nation that can boast a viable and prestigious Artist in Residence Program. We continue to welcome top-flight national and international artists who represent a wide range of styles, themes, and issues in their work,” said a statement from the Art Department.

This year, Fullerton College is proud to host Stephen Silver as their 2019 Artist in Residence. The exhibit is titled EVOLUTION and is designed to show the audience the artistic progress of a “right-brained” individual. The exhibition began on March 7 and will be up until April 1.

The exhibit features the work of Stephen Silver, an animation artist best known for his work on Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and Clerks.

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One of Silver's most recognizable characters. Photo credit: Kimberly Mata

“He (Silver) knew exactly how he wanted his exhibit set up, it was all his concept. He wanted to overload the gallery audience with pieces of art from his early years and show his progress throughout his career. He wants to inspire students to work to where they want to be,” Carol Henke, Fullerton College’s Art Gallery Director said.

The artwork is strategically placed to display the chronological progress of Silver’s artwork. The art features mostly pages from Silver’s sketchbooks, portfolios, and also a couple of small sculptures. One of the first sketches featured on the “Early Beginning” segment of the exhibit is Silver’s first character drawing done at age six.

Stephen Silver's first charcter sketch, done at age 6.
Photo credit: Kimberly Mata

The exhibit also features an interactive portion, where attendees can flip through all 10 of his published sketchbooks. The gallery staff will loan you a set of gloves to flip through a couple of Silver’s original sketchbooks.

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Aaron Casilas, FC Animation Art Major, flips through one of Silver's original sketchbooks. Photo credit: Kimberly Mata

“It’s interesting to see his work and how much of it contributed to my childhood. It’s also inspiring to see his improvements as an amateur to a professional,” Maria Araya, an Entertainment Arts Major, shared.

Stephen Silver’s repertoire ranges from character doodles, caricatures, sculptures, realistic sketches, and animation. Although his art is not limited to just one style, you can see the way that Silver stays true to himself throughout the development of his career.

“There is so much to learn from Stephen Silver,” Vic Sall, Fullerton College Art Major, said. “I admire his style and imagination. His artwork brings a wave of nostalgia.”

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Vic Sall, FC Art Major, and Ben Chavez, admiring the portion of exhibit that features Silver's various character sketches. Photo credit: Kimberly Mata

Phil Dimitriadis, head of Digital Arts at FC stated,”I met Silver in the summer of 1996 and have watched him build himself up to become one of the most influential character designers in the animation community. He helped nurture a close-knit community of artists where artists look to help each other out, and that is something that I try to replicate within the FC art community.”

The Stephen Silver: EVOLUTION exhibit will be on display until April 1 in the Fullerton College Art Gallery located in room 1104. Silver will also be coming to the campus on March 20 at 7PM for an artist lecture and again March 18-21 for artist demonstrations.