Professor’s art grabs students’ attention

Justin San Diego

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Potterton showcased 22 abstract and landscape paintings which gathered a large crowd

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“Seeing Feeling” proved to be an excellent art show from San Jose City College psychology professor of more than 30 years, Jim E. Potterton Thursday, Sept. 26.

The art show began at noon, as roughly 25 students and faculty members explored the teacher’s paintings, at the Carmen Castellano Fine Arts Center.

In the first hour, more than 50 people visited the art display and even more people continued to stop by throughout the day.

SJCC art instructor, Eve Mathias gave a brief introduction to the show.

“His work is very cause and effect,” Mathias said “He works and takes a step back and works more.”

Mathias mentioned that, as a student, Potterton was easy to teach and easily adapted to new techniques. Mathias said Potterton’s art had a quality which brought up memories from a person’s past.

Realism and landscapes appeared to be Potterton’s forte, as he had several paintings of mostly landscapes.

“My inspiration is the love for where I live (Santa Cruz),” Potterton said.

Mariah Sialesa, 20, criminal justice major, attended the exhibit and highlighted “The Falls” as her favorite piece.

The abstract piece made her think of a girl battling a tiger Sialesa said.

Later in the event, Potterton revealed the inspiration for the piece was falling water.

The piece that collected the most attention from attendees was “Happy To Be Here.”

The subject of the piece had many different perceptions from the audience, including a treehouse, yoga pose, mountains, the Grand Canyon and more.

He said “sometimes art pieces are formed accidentally.”

Potterton explained that he just started dumping yellow paint on the piece “Happy To Be Here.”

“I was excited; I didn’t know where I was going” Potterton said.

A former student and now CSU Hayward graduate, Janice Hillard, pointed out “Promise of Spring” as her favorite piece

. Hillard took many classes taught by Potterton and currently creates her own art and poetry. Hillard said Potterton’s work expresses emotion and that he is a great teacher.

Toward the end of the show Potterton complimented the art display room’s high ceilings, bright lights and large windows.

The changes that have been done in the art department over the past few years will contribute to young artists’ ability and motivation to further their artistic careers.

Students and teachers seemed very impressed and appreciative of Potterton’s art work.

To see more of his work be sure to catch his Open Studio Art Tour. More information can be found at or by calling 831-475-9600.