Visual Arts

David Ligare

American Contemporary Realist Painter 


Trish Sullivan, Adjunct Faculty, Visual Arts Department

Trish Triumpho Sullivan of Destination Salinas, teaches photography, painting, Art History, Art Appreciation, and Drawing & Composition at Hartnell College and has taught at Hartnell for more than 13 years.  Sullivan, a Salinas resident, is a professional artist and founder of 1st Fridays Art Walk which has been a mainstay in Salinas for over 15 years. She has a studio in Salinas and is very involved with community and public art projects.

Two community events Sullivan curates at the Hartnell Gallery that have strong ties to the community with 20 years running, are Bailando con la Muerte – a multi-cultural community celebration for el Día de los Muertos and the Uno/One Salinas Arts Festival – a youth arts festival organized and presented by local teens mentored by local arts professionals. 


Pam Murakami, Ceramics Instructor-Real Life Connections of Ceramics Class

Pam Murakami has been teaching at Hartnell College since 1986, with awards, solo and group exhibitions from all over the country to add to her array of experience. Murakami poses this question to her students at the beginning of each ceramics class, “What if an earthquake came along and destroyed everything?   What would the take-away for this course be?

This is where real life connections become important. Ceramics class brings joy and relieves stress but number one on the list, is to learn to embrace process.  Working with clay is a very hands-on process and can be challenging. New motor skills and techniques related to working with clay require hours of practice; and the frustrating experience of making mistakes are part of the learning process.  

I tell my students that earthquakes may destroy their works of art but it can never take away one’s curiosity.  Artists are curious people who love to explore and experiment, and are willing to “return to the drawing board” as many times as it takes.  This is process, and it takes effort to become successful.

Ceramic students are problem solvers and critical thinkers, and must utilize many parts of their brain, hands, and soul in order to create.  They use math to formulate glazes; geometry to design and construct architectural forms out of clay.  They practice time management, learn to observe, develop research skills, and become mindful of different cultures, histories and social issues because sometimes creative self expression involves these elements.  On a higher level, ceramics class invites students to practice and experience the Art of Feeling Worthy, and the Art of Self Realization. 

Art courses give balance to an education system that is one-sided in STEM classes.  Ceramics teaches a universal language that is applicable in any field.  My hope is that it becomes part of STEM by evolving into STEAM: Science, Technology, ART, Engineering, and Math. 

Key elements ceramics classes provides are:

  • Ceramics is a studio art class that has universal, real life applications
  • Ceramics is a hands-on humanities course that explores culture, history, and contemporary issues applicable to all fields
  • Ceramics class is fun, relaxing and an adventure in exploring self expression through the art process

Photo:  Murakami assisting a group of Brownies who came to Hartnell College to earn their badge in ceramics.