Take a ceramics course at Palomar College and you’ll find yourself a new friend by the name of Colby Jackson, 48, who has been at the campus for more than 25 years and brings joy to those who know him.
“He’s been a student and he’s taken pretty much every class that the art department offers. He’s been an employee. He’s a volunteer. He’s an artist.
He’s a really, really nice guy,” said Wes French, instructional support assistant of six years at Palomar’s art department. “He’s an inspiring person for everyone around here. He’s literally the last person I see every night when I leave and always ends the day on a happy note. You take your five minutes and you say your goodbyes to Colby. Kinda like resets the clock. ”
Jackson had an exhibit at Boehm Gallery last March featuring his work and collaborations with friends over the years. One of his pieces that was on display included hand-built chains made of clay, some of which are over 100 feet long. The uniformity is impressive and he considers it to be his favorite project.
He enjoys making sculptures and is fascinated by “what people will look like in the future years from now and what they’ll look like on the different planets.” His most recent project is a collection of “Hershey’s Kisses” people and homes.
Jackson moved in the early 1990s from Moorpark, Calif. to San Marcos, Calif. because his parents were seeking new jobs. He started attending Palomar and got involved in the arts. His interest in ceramics developed after taking it while in high school. Today he hopes to take more art classes and explore astronomy. “I want to learn a lot more about the universe,” Jackson said.
In the future, he hopes to get a couple jobs on campus, like custodian work. He’s already provided a lot of help at the (ceramics) studio and even looks forward to assisting with chores around his house. “Pull the weeds. Keep the yard clean and all that.”
Jackson has this routine and talking to him has become routine for many of the students and staff. “No matter how busy or what kind of mood you’re in, you always take the time to talk to Colby,” French said. “And it’s good. I think it helps a lot of people to destress.”
There’s a lot of creativity all around the art department at Palomar College and there’s Colby Jackson, always ready to give you a pep talk.
“I’m so glad to see you, so glad you’re here. Good luck on all of your projects,” are the words people hear from Jackson when they come to and leave from class. Maybe that’s something you needed to hear too.