University's Annual Student Art Exhibition opens student art up for public enjoyment

By Laura Crowley

Arts & Life Editor

This past Friday, the Samek Art Gallery exhibited the culmination of a year’s worth of student art. The art showcased was mostly from graduate students and seniors taking a capstone studio art course.

Ona Rygelis ’11 felt that the exhibit offered students “an opportunity to create a body of work.” These bodies of work consisted of photos, videos, paintings and sculptures. Students were allowed to request how much space they wanted beforehand and could then fill the space however they wanted.

During the gallery opening, students provided an “artist statement,” in which students outlined and gave significance to their work and answered questions. Johnny Picardo ’11 described his oil paintings as representative the “spiritual search and sexual awakening” during the shift from boyhood to manhood. Rygelis said she explored dreams in order to question reality and the state of the natural environment through her art.

“[The exhibit] felt like our whole own art show,” Picardo said.

This passion was evident in the quality and originality of the work. Graduate student Anikke Myers used both photographs and videos of balloons in a room to represent “each idea I have during the day.”  Her video begins with a nearly empty room and ends as one filled to the top with balloons, or ideas, nearly drowning her out.

In another video, she writes and crumples up love letters and leaves them scattered on the ground.  “[With these works, I hope to] point out the problems of overwhelming depression and anxiety, plaguing characteristics of my early childhood that greatly impacted the way I see the world now,” she said.

The show is free and open until May 3. The gallery, which is located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center, is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 p.m. on Thursdays) and weekends from 1-5 p.m.

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