SMC Emeritus

Emeritus Art Gallery


SMC Emeritus has its own art gallery on the first floor at 1227 Second Street, Santa Monica in addition to an online gallery program. See SMC Events for a calendar of events.

Click the links below to take a look at the beautiful artwork created by our students, faculty, and community members!

Ray McCray

June 27 - September 6 (On-campus exhibition)

Please join us for a special in-gallery opening reception event Thursday June 27, 5pm-6:30pm (no online event)

1227 2nd Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 

Regular hours: 9am-noon & 2pm-4:00pm Mon-Fri

Emeritus Gallery is very pleased to present a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Ray McCray. The powerful collection of works on display spans decades of production. Though punctuated by fascinating painting-based constructions, the exhibition is driven largely by McCray's incredible photo-collage investigations. Equal parts intricate and exuberant, the often 3-D or mixed media collages mine pop-cultural iconography, lifestyle and aesthetics mostly specific to Black American public identity.

The works offer insight and historical documentation regarding cultural moments and shifts, but beyond that they showcase McCray's unique perspective as an artist. His specific arrangements of visual information and precision execution are balanced with a pervasive sort of electric energy and the occasional reveal of layered senses of humor and joy within the chaos of contemporary life. 

Among the collage-based works in the exhibition will be an abundance of Jazz-era imagery, including McCray's work "Jazz Phenomenon", which formerly hung in the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, CA, as well as a fully collaged-over standing piano that once belonged to Los Angeles Jazz legend John Magruder. Painted works by McCray commonly push toward abstraction, but a few representational elements emerge, such as recurring flocks of simplified flying blackbirds. Unwilling to be overly precious about his objects, McCray describes his painting process as follows: "This is urban art. I painted on what ever was available." As a result, the artist's painted works are imbued with a sense of material and process reality that pushes beyond illusion and into real life. McCray notes artist peers and mentors such as Noah Purifoy, Romare Bearden, Charles Dickson, Timothy Washington, and Alexander Calder as significant influential factors in the development of his practice. 

Collage of Jazz musicians by Ray McCray
Ray McCray Jazz Phenomenon

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