As the spring semester comes to a close, the U of R Art Department is presenting the work of its graduates in the annual senior art show. The exhibition has been on display in the University Art Gallery for three weeks, with a closing reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on April 21.
The show’s title, meraki, is the Greek word for doing something with soul, creativity, or love—and it fits perfectly. The work featured comes from the artists’ capstone projects, which they have been working on all semester. Each piece was selected by the students with input from Art Department Chair and Professor Penny McElroy and a member of the exhibition committee.
I was able to visit the Gallery to take a look at the pieces on display. The exhibition features a variety of media, from painting and fashion to architectural renderings and digital imaging, and showcases the wide range of skills taught and honed in the University’s art classes. Here’s what caught my eye:
- An eclectic fashion set by Andruw Mendes ’22, featuring samples from a variety of vintage sportswear. Two garments, titled “Sweatshirt” and “Pants,” immediately caught my eye with their vibrant array of colors, and a blend of patterns and textures.
- Isabella Duarte ’22 is showing a collection of black and white photographs that capture some of the hidden truths of the feminine form. These reflections on the body send a message about societal expectations of femininity.
- “Faults of His Friends” by Gaston Pavao ’22 is a haunting depiction of abstract faces that blend and almost melt into one another in muted colors. The piece is made from mixed media on a panel, including beeswax and oil, which create a unique textural element in the piece.
- Juan Salazar ’22 showcases his digital media project, titled “Topps Cards: Redlands Baseball Cards.” The collection of baseball cards features the U of R baseball team. Salazar’s cards are even signed by each of their respective players, just as a traditional baseball card would be, incorporating the subjects of the art as the artists.
- An enticing selection of cyanotype on fabric—a unique process that involves staining the fabric using iron salts and UV light—is featured in “Instabilities” by Jacqueline “Jaxx” Gonzalez ’22. Gonzalez demonstrates the use of multiple skills and artistic techniques. Depicting the emotion of their time here at the U of R, the blue color of the cyanotype in combination with the fabric background has made this a soothing piece to take in.
- Moe Yokota ’22 demonstrates graphic design techniques through a series of packaging designs, including a skincare collection and wine bottles. The designs are a visually captivating demonstration of the commercial application of art.
- A four-piece set of dinnerware, titled “As One” by Anna Forteza ’22, features stone glaze on wheel-thrown pottery. Forteza utilized a mix of neutral colors to create a subtle appearance of texture in the glazing designs. The blend of fine and coarse patterns is reminiscent of different types of stone and creates a simplistic and aesthetic cohesion throughout the collection.