Professor Darrell Ebert was thrilled.
"This is probably one of the highest-level shows that you could find in an educational gallery," he said.
Now in his 43rd year at Golden West College, Ebert teaches sculpture, painting, two- and three-dimensional design classes, and curates the campus' Fine Arts Gallery.
"The intensity and level of quality of work is so high," he said, covered in a paint-spatted smock as he gestured to the gallery. "It's so professional."
Golden West just opened a new art show, "Pressing the Limits," which showcases 40 prints made by a quartet of New Mexico-based artists: Michael Costello, Willis F. Lee, Jennifer Lynch and Mitchell Marti.
On Friday morning, Costello will come to the Huntington Beach campus to take part in a discussion about the pieces in the show. The event will occur in the gallery from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and will be free and open to the public, as is the exhibition.
In previous years, larger-scale versions of the show were exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center in Las Vegas, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, Colo., and at the [Artspace] at Untitled gallery in Oklahoma City, Costello said.
Visitors to the Fine Arts Gallery will discover an array of prints that represent a blend of traditional printmaking and new-media techniques, as well as distinct bodies of work that reflect each of the four artists' style and approach.
Lynch, for example, uses computer-generated algorithms patterned on solar plate etchings.
For his part, Lee, a photographer and printmaker, creates his art pieces with gelatin silver prints. Some of Lee's pieces on display have a wry touch, such as his "Bullets Started Flying," a print on toned gelatin silver that, as the title suggests, depicts winged bullets in flight.
And, among the pieces by Costello included in the show are some of the monoprints from his North Atlantic series. As the Santa Fe-based artist described it in a phone interview, the project started during a flight home from Ireland from his perch by the window seat.
Costello said he used a traditional film camera to take pictures of turbulence clouds, and, among other steps in the artistic process, he converted those photos into digital images.
"Now we've got computers and a lot of photographic elements that have entered printmaking," he said. "That's one way we're pressing the limits. We are using some of the new tools and bringing them into the older form [of printmaking]."
If You Go
What: "Pressing the Limits"
Where: Fine Arts Gallery, Golden West College, 15744 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach (Access gallery via campus entrance and parking lot off Gothard Street)
When: Through April 12
Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or by appointment by calling (714) 925-6437