Summer 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home

 

BY JOSEPH ELLIOTT
Acting Head,
Art Department

 

 

 

 

(continued)

With a steadily increasing number and quality of majors, the 2003 Senior Art Exhibit was, for the first time, a competitive exhibit, juried by studio art faculty. From this point forward it is a privilege to strive for, reflecting the highly competitive art world students will face as they leave Muhlenberg. The 2003 exhibit featured the work of 10 students, about half the number in 2002. The overall quality was significantly higher, and fewer works allowed enough space for each body of work to be seen clearly.

Sculpture, painting, printmaking and photography were all represented in the recent exhibit. The overall impression of the show was of austere black and white: from photographs to nearly monochromatic works on paper to white plaster sculptures. Bits of color popped out from small-scale paintings and prints. Abby Schwartz made the largest piece, a totemic arrangement of five figurative objects that seemed to converse through emanations of light. Jessica Skrocki showed luscious black and white photographs that examined the minutia of the plant world. Gavin Morris contributed several large works on paper, depicting abstracted landscapes and cityscapes with washes of bitumen and bleach. In contrast were the delicate prints of Lauren Zulick, a series of variations exploring the nuanced color variations through multiple states of each image. The other spark of color was to be seen in the tiny paintings of carefully observed personal objects, done by Danielle Snowflack.

Jessica Pavlics’ Ecstatic II, a full size body cast executed in diaphanous plaster and fabric seemed to defy gravity, floating high on the wall, while Michael Tripaldi’s fantastical plaster heads held down the west corner of the gallery. Fanciful figurative sculpture was also the theme for Randi Baran, who created several images of arrested motion, executing them in duct tape. This unexpected material produced a wonderfully expressive metallic surface.

Blackness was the motif for two photographers, Heidi Reuter and Lisa Johnson. Heidi’s inverted portraits and photograms made from newspaper war stories required close study, while Lisa’s large female torsos reflected projected images from deep black space, demanding attention from across the room.

Together, the works in the exhibit demonstrated the increasing sophistication on the voices and expressive choices of some of the best of our graduating seniors. These young men and women will continue on to graduate and other specialized programs in art, psychology, education and publishing, or enter the job market. They will be able to look back on their years at Muhlenberg as a time of exploration and collaboration with professors and fellow students, as they struggled to find and master their own means of visual expression.

 

“Motion”
by Randi Baran, duct tape and wire

 

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