Stickin' it to the man since 1927.
Studio art senior thesis show offers a diverse mix of mediums and meaning
By Ashley Klann
This year’s senior studio art thesis show was a very diverse arrangement of photos, paintings, sculpture, and more. The pieces in the exhibit ranged just as much as the topics and statements behind them.
Customarily, the gallery opening and reception was celebrated with a spread of delicious food, drinks, and a great turn out on Wednesday, April 25th.
Overall, the works were all over the place with ideas going in all different directions, but there was a cohesive portrayal – as in all art – of the artists behind the work. Even in portraits of others, all of the artists put a lot of themselves into their work, technique, and reason behind the execution.
On the first floor, Richard Segals’ series One, Two, and Three Twist Pull Push greet at the entrance. These three photos are a symmetrical, pleasing first glimpse at the unique exhibition. Overlapping labels from antique toasters and other circular knobs make up these pieces, evoking the design and nostalgia.
On the right is a series of oil paintings of food by Victoria Grogan including detailed depictions of Goldfish crackers, a turkey club, an open face egg sandwich, and others.
Next is Nina Eichner’s series of impressively recognizable portraits of friends next to a portrait of the artist and her sister. Eichner’s work does not strive to be realistic, but anyone who has seen her friends around campus will spot them in Traina.
The next two installations worked very well together. Victoria Krinsky’s series – Dad’s Mail, Dad’s Law Books, Dad’s Clothes, and Dad’s Pictures – represents the artist’s relationship with her family and her past.
“I began my thesis with the notion that it would be about my father, that somehow through my artwork I would capture the impact he had, and continues to have, on my life,” she said. “My father is still here; through the clothes that hang in his closet, the law books that collect dust in our basement, or the pictures he captured long ago.”
Her work is very timeless and romantic as letters addressed to her father spill onto the floor from a mail flap positioned on the wall above the pile.
Next to Krinsky’s work is Brook Gruber’s collection of carved, distressed, and whimsical old books – Afterward. Pages are cut, peeling out from the center of the open book, opening to a patch of moss. The other side displays a tiny clay tree. Another is ocean themed, and another decorated with vines and trailing yarn.
“I read a lot growing up, and made these as representations of worlds we create in books when we read,” Gruber said of her work, adding that in today’s work, one cannot experience this in the same way with a computer.
These works are opposite brilliantly juxtaposed sculpture and painting by Sampson Wilcox. The painting and gnarled, wiry series of sculptures work well together, both having curving, detailed aspects.
The second floor was equally as diverse.
Sports photographer Liz Mattarazzo showed off her best work in capturing the dedication and ardor behind some of Clark’s athletes.
“I love it, and I do it because I love it. Plain and simple. I love every part of it – the sports, the athletes, the atmosphere, the pictures. I can’t imagine life without it,” Mattarazzo said of her work. “My sports photography has become an integral part of my life and an intrinsic part of who I am. It has taught me and put me through things I never expected, but as a result I have grown both on and off the field.”
Her artist’s statement begins with a definition of passion, which clearly is seen in each of the faces she captures. Mattarazzo brings sports photography to a new high with her works, going beyond what one normally anticipates. The dramatic lighting and intense expressions are captivating.
Another photographer on the floor – Molly Burman – captured the quiet moments. A bedroom, a quiet night on a lonely street. These pieces are truly the quietest on the floor, surrounded by some much louder expressions. Burman’s slight warmth in her photos highlights the softness in these captured moments.
Alan Grunberg’s work Whose art is it anyway? touches on an important topic in the art world – art theft and the property of ideas. His work, which was roped off and displayed at the opening with two “bodyguards,” used images from other thesis pieces. They were chopped up and redone, begging the question of how much manipulation makes a work someone else’s idea? Is it someone’s idea to begin with? While I did enjoy the statement behind the work, the statement truly overpowered. It wasn’t about the work on the wall, but something else entirely.
“My art is about borrowing. My art is about stealing,” his statement begins.
This year’s exhibit was impressively unique and is definitely worth checking out in Traina before you leave campus for the semester.
Geraldo Aldarondo, Kyle Allen, Molly Burman, Nina Eichner, Victoria Grogan, Brook Gruber, Alan Grunberg, Megumi Koyama, Victoria Krinsky, Elizabeth Mattarazzo, Caitlin O’Brien, Jared Packard-Winkler, Richard Segal, and Sampson Wilcox.
The exhibition will be open from April 25 through May 19. After April 30th hours are 9a.m. – 4p.m. Monday-Friday.