Interactive Student Gallery Invites Audience to Bring Art to Life

“On The Edge” Debuts Graduate Studio Art

By Emily Zoda

The Performing and Creative Arts Department presented “On the Edge” a group exhibition of graduate and soon-to-be graduate student art on Thursday May 7.

In the humble and cramped gallery, 15 students presented their two- and three-dimensional works. Each student exhibited their work in their forte in photography, mixed media, painting, and drawing.

The most conspicuous in the gallery was a photography series by Victoria Hertel called “i am the remnant.”

Her cotton paper printed photos lay across the floor and up the wall and onto the ceiling, like a scroll. They are photos of lonely garbage or debris on the ground, as well as ambiguous photos of people.

The photos were carefully printed on the paper, leaving distinct spacing between each photo or two, much like poetry written with photographs.

“I wanted people to be able to step on it,” said Hertel. “I was looking for not only remnants as inanimate objects, but remnants as people. I wanted to make it so they’re equals when it comes to being a remnant.”

In Nicole Medina’s work “Color in the Problem” she invited the audience to participate in her work of linocut prints she designed that tackle the social issue of beauty and how society desperately wants to reach the goal of some definition of beauty. The audience is simply asked to color the copies of her artwork of abstract beauty.

Personally, I found her work witty in the sense that society becomes distracted and distraught over a simple problem such as achieving beauty in the eyes of people who define it. It’s comparative to a child coloring and becoming distracted with their surroundings.

In the work “A Stranger Space,” Laura Hollingsworth worked with the sense of touch in all of the subjects she photographed in black and white.

Along the wall and spread out in a booklet as well, she is photographed alongside her subject hugging them or engaging in other modes of touch with the subject. She doesn’t know any of them prior to her project and she didn’t go into specifics about how she was going to photograph them.

“I asked them if they would be willing to spend a few moments taking a photograph with me and that’s all they know,” said Hollingsworth. “I give them enough information to kind of give them a hint towards what my project is about without actually spilling the guts about it.”

With her use of black and white especially, her methods of production produced photographs that emit an element of surprise. Her experience in this project helped her sprint out of the boundaries of her comfort zone.

In an oil on canvas piece by Elizabeth Peteya, two installments are placed side by side with a full-figured woman on one and a slender woman on the other. Around the borders of each, they share words of insecurity about their body types.

Another invitation to add on to her work, she provided post-its and pens for the audience to give feedback to her two characters that have lost hope in their body image.

In contrast to the other pieces, a photography series by Lisa Zeng was placed neatly on the wall in the form of calendars. Her piece illustrated the disconnected feelings between herself and her family.

To articulate these thoughts she framed herself awkwardly in each photograph to show her sense of wanting to belong while her family members don’t pay attention or show interest to her taking a photograph of them.

The Student Gallery is located in 1P-118B and is open from 12pm to 4 pm Monday through Friday. You have the chance to interact with each piece of art until May 28.


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