Blue Light Inaugural online “Photography Student Exhibition Showcase”

As part of the Blue Light Official Launch we are celebrating the work produced by TAMU-CC Students in Photography courses.

Blue Light Contemporary Home Page:


Please join us in congratulating our students of photography on their exceptional work!

2020 Grant Recipient – Jamie Speck, MFA candidate

“THE NEW NORMAL,” for Rockport, Texas Artists, in partnership with The Alice L. Walton Foundation and Tatagliano Foundation.

“Aiming to jumpstart the creative economy by helping Rockport artists get back to work while the galleries, shops, and museums that drive their careers remain closed, “THE NEW NORMAL” grant initiative is the first of its kind in the United States. The intention of this program is to foster healing, and begin to bring a community back together, through the connections we all make with each other during and after the creations of art.”

TAMU-CC MFA candidate Jamie Speck has been selected as one of the recipients of The New Normal Rockport grants!

As Jamie wrote in her proposal:

For this project I propose creating 16 miniature ink and encaustic landscape paintings with hand-stitching, on raw canvas. The miniatures will measure approximately 4 x 4 inches and will be hand sewn with black thread to white artist grade non-acid paper.

These images will represent my diverse memories of Rockport; albeit not perfect and abstracted, and even with some fragmentation (like the challenges we continue to face), but the landscapes are “repaired” with needle and thread. As an artist, the simple repetitive motions of each ritualistic and restorative stitch—the sutures for the wounds of life—continues to propel me forward when facing personal obstacles. 

The needle and thread element in the paintings symbolize the mending that must be made to the place we call home, to discover and perpetuate community healing.

– Jamie Speck

The Weil Gallery presents – TAMUCC graduate students

Work in Progress is an exhibition of work by current graduate students enrolled in the TAMUCC MFA Studio Art program. The exhibition will display work in progress across a range of disciplines spanning painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and installation by MFA candidates Maclovio Cantu IV, Clarissa Gonzalez, Payton Koranek, Laura Monahan, Robert Neal, Jacqueline Negreros, Emmanuel Sanchez, Jamie Speck, and Carlos Israel Villarreal.

Exhibition Dates: February 6 – February 21
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm

The Islander Gallery – Big Mood

Closing this Friday, October 4th, at TAMU-CC’s Islander Art Gallery is undergraduate show Big Mood. Sponsored by graduate student, Clarissa Gonzalez, Big Mood features artwork created by TAMU-CC’s undergraduate art students and stands as an expression of life experiences and what it means to be a contemporary artist.

Directions to The Islander Art Gallery:,-97.390106,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x86685f7a12afb137:0xce4b9436d9e706e8!8m2!3d27.7377258!4d-97.3879173

Exhibition and Awards – K Space Contemporary

MEMBERS ONLY is a non-thematic, juried art exhibition of new works of art by current members of K Space Contemporary. Entries were juried by the K Space Contemporary Exhibition Committee to determine what would be exhibited in MEMBERS ONLY and selected awards. The Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi represented well at the exhibition and the top three awards went to Islanders!

Silas Breaux was awarded Best of Show for his artwork Best of Show – “Construct #2.” This award includes getting to have a solo exhibition at K Space Contemporary in the Corner Spot in 2020.

TAMU-CC graduate students Carlos Israel Villarreal and Kylie Justus were awarded Second and Third Place in the MEMBERS ONLY exhibition and they will have a two-person show in the Corner Spot in 2020.

Exhibition Dates: May 3 – 30, 2019 in the main gallery
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Graduate Student spotlight

Trent Thigpen is an MFA candidate in painting at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where he is also Program Manager for the Pollution Prevention Partnership, and an adjunct instructor of art. He has an MAIS degree from the University of Houston-Victoria with concentrations in bioinformatics, communications and computer science. He was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Victoria College and an adjunct professor for the digital gaming program at the University of Houston-Victoria. His interdisciplinary background also includes six years of working with mentally ill children, adolescents and adults as a special education teacher and psychiatric technician. 

Artist Statement:  

Growing up and living on the Texas Gulf Coast, my identity as a naturalist has been heavily shaped by birdwatching, aquarium keeping, camping, hiking, and fishing. I learned about the world and found solace by observing animal behavior and exploring nature. I also remember washing tar from my feet at the beach, and witnessing a colossal fireball from a refinery explosion. The oil, gas and plastics industries supported my family, my wife’s family, and most of our aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It also causes illness, death, ecological destruction, war, and political turmoil.

Career experience in science, education, psychology, and environmentalism emerge conceptually and visually in my work. My current body of work explores the cognitive dissonance created by conflicting needs, desires, and consequences. I paint from news footage of actual fires and combine this energy and turmoil with nostalgic images found in vintage photographs and 35 mm slides of road trips, special events, vacations and everyday life. Much as the Surrealists used the psychology of dreams, I hope to merge art and contemporary psychological theory to reveal and provoke questions about the way people subconsciously react to and reconcile mental contradictions and turmoil. 

Image credit: Robert Neal

The GROW Gallery presents…

An exhibition by the graduate students in Photography which will be on display April 1st – September 20th, 2019.

The Graduate Resource and Opportunity Workspace (G.R.O.W) is located on the second floor of the Mary and Jeff Library in room 220. The GROW is part of the College of Graduate Studies and it offers graduate students exclusive space and resources tailored specifically to academic needs and professional development. GROW provides services including professional workshops, student support events, networking activities, and community service opportunities.

The entryway of the GROW has started a new series of exhibitions featuring the MFA program in the Department of Art and Design. This was launched during the 2019 Student Appreciation Week activities at the GROW. For next six months, April 1st – September 20th, the GROW gallery will feature the graduate students in the Photography area: Kylie Justus, Carlos Israel Villarreal, and Joshua Dancause.

Following this featured exhibition of graduate students in Photography, the next six months will feature another area of the MFA program. Check back to both this blog and the GROW for more information and to see the featured shows as they grow.

The Islander Gallery presents…

4th Annual FINE ARTS STUDENT SYMPOSIUM, Friday, April 12th from 1:00 – 5:15pm. Students presented on topics in the field of contemporary art.

Symposium keynote speaker: Dr. Jarred Wiehe, Assistant Professor of English

Symposium moderators
Clarissa Gonzalez, MFA Candidate
Maclovio Cantú IV, MFA Candidate

Symposium presenters:
Carlos Israel Villareal, MFA Candidate
Jamie Speck, MFA Candidate
Kayla Massey, BA Candidate
Kylie Justus, MFA Candidate
Caroline Wilson, BFA Candidate

Graduate Student spotlight

Joshua Dancause is an artist and photographer born and raised in Laredo, TX. He currently resides in Corpus Christi where he received a BFA in studio art ( photography) in 2013. His work explores themes of identity and gender with an emphasis in alternative photographic processes. Dancause has been exhibited nationally at gallery shows in Colorado, Brooklyn, and Vermont. He is currently completing his MFA in photography at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and will be graduating in Spring of 2019.

Artist Statement: 

My work consists of identifying subtle implications of sexuality in archival images, challenging the masculinity of the subjects, and redirecting the original content in order to allow Queer tensions to arise and linger. Aiming to challenge existing binaries by celebrating deviance and otherness, I recreate a narrative of the past using isolation, negative space, distortion and disfigurement.



Image credit: Robert Neal

Exhibition – TAMUCC Graduate Students

The Islander Gallery at TAMU-CC begins 2019 with a group exhibition of current graduate students in the MFA Studio Art program. The exhibition will display a range of experience, exploration, and investigation including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and interdisciplinary installations.

The exhibition will feature works in progress by Maclovio Cantú IV, Josh Dancause, Clarissa Gonzalez, Kylie Justus, Rob Neal, Jamie Speck, Trent Thigpen, Carlos Israel Villarreal.

Opening reception:
Friday, January 25, 6:00-7:30pm, Islander Gallery

Show open:
January 25– February 8, 2019

This exhibit was featured in a TAMU-CC news publication on January 30th in an articled titled: New MFA Group Exhibition on Display through February 8