The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

With a snip of the scissors

From left: Los Rios Chancellor Brice Harris, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts Chris Iwata, Gregory Kondos, Los Rios Board of Trustees member Kay Albiani, architect John Justice, and City College President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery. Photo By Vincent Fernandez || [email protected]

The Amalia Fischbacher Fine Arts building reopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony after undergoing an extensive year-long renovation.

City College President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brice Harris, Gregory Kondos, and other LRCCD members celebrated with students, staff and faculty at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 2.

The new Fine Arts facility features nearly 13,000 square feet of space to house more than 1,500 works of art. It also adds modern updates, including energy-saving air conditioning and roofing, expanded lab space and a redesigned art gallery, which was named after Kondos, the renowned landscape painter who became a City College art professor in 1956.

City College renamed the exhibit space after Kondos to honor the storied professor’s retirement in 1982.

According to Dr. Valerie Kidrick, City College chair of the art department, the gallery can display between 25 to 40 pieces of art, depending on size. It also features humidity control and more adequate lighting than the previous space.
The arts building, built in 1939 as an engineering complex for the blossoming school, was renamed in honor of Amalia Fischbacher, a former City College drawing instructor in May 1982.

Fischbacher began her art training in Europe, coming later to City College and studying with artists, including Don Reich and Wayne Thiebaud, before becoming an art instructor.

“She’s a really important link in the history of the kind of avante-garde quality that our department is fairly well known for,” Kidrick said.

Jack Halligan, a former City College librarian who retired in 1996, recalled Fischbacher bravely taking students into Old Sacramento to sketch the homeless. He also remembered the teacher’s “art lunches,” held once a month, where students would color food.

“You’d have pink peas and green mashed potatoes, and you might have chicken that’s purple,” Halligan said.

Kondos jokingly remembered his initial brush with Fischbacher.
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“She was my teacher,” Kondos said at the dedication ceremony. “I took her class ‘Color and Design’ and got a C. And then I came back after I graduated from college, and I taught her class.”

Kondos said he was one of several of Fischbacher’s former students to later become instructors at the college.

The $4.4 million renovation was funded by both local and state bond funds approved in 2002 and 2004, according to Jeffery.

Kidrick, who began teaching at City College in 2000, has been involved in the re-opening project since its inception.

The plan was to build a site that not only taught art but was itself artistic in design, Kidrick said.

“We wanted a place where students could explore and grow and not feel confined by the normative values of straight walls,” Kidrick said.

The new facility replaced a dated structure badly in need of repair, and will support an extensive number of programs, including drawing, painting, sculpture and metal design, Jeffrey said.

“Now our students have a very fresh space to spark their creativity and hopefully inspire them to even greater heights,” Jeffery said.

Kondos stressed that the importance of artistic expression is vital in today’s world of technology.

“We’ve got to look at where we come from,” Kondos said. “I don’t understand mechanical things like computers and cell phones. I’d rather see and smell and walk through happenings: Memories.”

Amalia Fischbacher building reopens with ceremony from Express Multimedia on Vimeo.

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