Tag Archives: Gabriel Sofie

Native American film festival to be held at Whatcom

By Gabriel Sofie

Whatcom will have a Native American Film Festival Nov. 14-18. Whatcom’s International Programs Office and Western’s Center for Canadian-American Studies are collaborating to bring together five films focusing on the Native American community.
The goal of the festival is to bring more awareness to students about Native American society, culture, and history.
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Seattle artist sculpts the minds of student

By Gabriel Sofie

George Rodriguez, a Seattle-based artist, visited Syre Center on Oct 29, for an art presentation. He talked about his passions for sculpting and inspirations while presenting his work.
Rodriguez presented a slideshow encompassing his life and work, as he talked about the process of his career.
He explained his humble beginnings and, where his first works started, what inspired him to sculpt. Rodriguez was born in El Paso, Texas, and was captivated by the idea of community through ornamentation.
“Coming from a small community, where we all basically were all family, and how strong that identity was for me,” Rodriguez said.
Ornamentation is a major characteristic in Rodriguez’s work.
“Ornamentation, I love the detail of it; it’s how it shows your style of culture,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is often making narratives in his art, dealing with societal problems, morality, and the human condition crafted in humor.
“Through the narratives I choose, I bring whimsical, serious and approachable aspects into my work. I realize that even when the content is heavy, it can still be presented in a light manner,” Rodriguez said.
He first attended the University of Texas at El Paso and studied the field of art design. A requirement for this degree was the hands-on exploration of a variety of art styles. He later changed his degree to Fine Arts.
“Clay gave me the ability to create anything I wanted with my hands and mind in a third-dimensional style,” Rodriguez said.
After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and a minor in painting, he started to work as a shoe salesman to support himself. Feeling perplexed about the next advancement in his career, he eventually found himself in Baltimore for an art show, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. The experience gave him clarity on what path he wanted to pursue
“Baltimore opened my eyes truly,” he said.
Rodriguez then moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, to work towards getting a Masters of Fine Art in Ceramics.

Photo by Gabriel Sofie
Photo by Gabriel Sofie

“I surrounded myself with more artists and mentors,” Rodriguez said.
An opportunity came to Rodriguez when he traveled the world in 2010 as a recipient of a Bonderman Travel Fellowship Grant. He wanted to learn more about art and culture around the world. He visited 26 countries in 10 months total.
“There was simulators everywhere. This world is so small and large all at the same time. But, we share, so much when it comes to our identity,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez then came back to Seattle, fulfilled a two-year residency at Pottery Northwest in Seattle.
He now is teaching weekly classes on sculpture at North Seattle College, working at Rat City Studios teaching workshops on clay sculpting and presenting his artwork all around the northwest.
Rodriguez had a message for art students of Whatcom: “You really have to want it. Don’t just walk after what you want to do, run after it; you might get there by walking, but it’s going to take a long time. So, just run towards what you need.”


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New bus pass program starts rolling

By Gabirel Sofie

Whatcom will be transitioning to a new system for its bus pass program starting winter quarter.
All currently enrolled students at Whatcom Community College will have the opportunity to obtain the integrated bus pass. A $20 charge will be added as part of regular tuition and the Whatcom Transportation Authority passes will be integrated into student Orca cards starting in 2017.

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WWU Outdoor Center open to Whatcom

By Gabriel Sofie

The Outdoor Center at Western Washington University is a place for Whatcom students as much as it is for Western students.
The Outdoor Center, located on the ground floor of the Viking Union, has a wide variety of services to offer, such as equipment and tool rentals, and group excursions for some of the lowest rates available. Whether a student is not experienced in outdoor activities or is the most experienced of thrill-seekers, there is something at the Outdoor Center to take advantage of.

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