New Euphrat exhibit based on the Silicon Valley Reads theme “Showing Up With Care”

The Euphrat Museum of Art’s new exhibit: “Showing Up With Care” premiered on Feb. 1, with pieces focusing on themes of caregiving, love, and community at De Anza College.

The Euphrat’s director and coordinator, Diana Argabrite, said she based the exhibit on this year’s Silicon Valley Reads theme.

“First, I started thinking about where’s the art about actual caregiving, and then I started to contemplate and reflect on the kinds of emotion, of the caregivers and the people around them,” Argabrite said.

The exhibit also shows off the work of local artists, like “Reflections of Healing” a portrait series of Oakland locals by artist Brett Cook, and the collaboration in Kate DeCiccio’s work “Healing Mandala,” by De Anza  student Adan Perez and graduate Diwa Malaya.

“Community coming together is a part of healing, healing for the caregivers and just making life more humanized for the person suffering,” Argabrite said.

Nancy Nguyen, 23, pictorial art major, found the messages and themes behind the exhibit’s pieces as powerful ways to comfortably express emotions.

“I feel there’s so much in these artworks and they tell different stories, they tell different things and it all contributes to caregiving, which is good because it’s like a sense unity,” Nguyen said.

Intro to Visual Arts professor, Linda Becerril uses the Euphrat Museum as an extra credit opportunity for her students, but also as an important first step into the art world for interested students.

“Sometimes students are afraid to go to museums. You pass it all the time, but they don’t go.  You can come [to the Euphrat] and find topics you can relate to,” said Becerril. “It’s kind of that first baby step before you go into a museum that’s somewhere off campus that you might drive by.”

Argabrite intends for the exhibit to combine the literature from the Silicon Valley Reads program, with the visual imagery featured at the Euphrat Museum.

“My hope would be this would be a sort of expansion on the books, that people would get in touch with some empathy: empathy for themselves and self-care as well as empathy for people that are going through all these kind of tragic things,” Argabrite said.