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Faculty and Staff Art Show Displays Hidden Talents In Bapst

For The Heights

Published: Monday, October 21, 2013

Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 00:10

'Trinity' by Sammy Chong

Alex Gaynor / Heights Editor

The Faculty and Staff Art Show, running Oct. 16 through Nov. 30 in the Bapst Gallery, is an exhibition that demonstrates the great talent within the BC community from both art and non-art professors.

The inspiration is drawn from several different backgrounds, so the subject matter and composition material is diverse—ranging from photography to sculpture to painting. Especially when many still don’t realize that professors are actually people with personal lives, the gallery offers a wonderful commentary on the nature of talent and its unlikely sources.

Andrew Tavarelli’s piece, “On the Waterfront,” uses a collage technique to create this digital print. Deep ultramarines with a heavy gold accent set the royal tone of the piece, and a thick texture to carpet-like background brings the action of the work into focus. Tavarelli includes some sort of indigenous deity in regal dress to the left of the scene, and incorporates a still shot from some pulp film. The piece is starkly entertaining for being both wild in style and composition.

Mary Armstrong’s “Launch” uses bright neons of green, blue, and pink to construct an abstract painting that seems to deal more with the aftermath of a launch than the launch itself. Pink curly-Qs highlight the pillar of smoke, ascending to a cloud of nightmarish blue fringed with swirls of violent red. The subject calls to mind the mushroom cloud of an atom bomb, and the colors trickle down into each other toward the base of the canvas.

Michael Mulhern works with both acrylic paint and ink on mylar to compose “Les plaints d’un Icare Charles Baudelaire”—a collage in color and texture. The lighter parts are physically closer to the viewer than the dark base layer serving as the background, creating an effect where the woman, the focal point of the piece, actually casts a shadow upon her surroundings—a very clever trick to create a sense of depth.

Diana Cullinari presents a simple woven basket, beautiful for its minimalism. It contains a smooth wooden base with a scrimshaw insert with a detailed painting of a basket with blowers on the inside.

Laurie Mayville uses mixed media to produce something that looks like an antique, yellowed document. The splotches of watercolors, bleeding into each other, vaguely outlined in thick black ink and defined with veiny lines of color suggest abstract geographic boundaries. Mayville’s piece seems to ask us to reimagine the world through the “overview effect” and recognize the ambiguity of national borders.

Meaghan Schwelm uses graphite and marker in “Bell Garden”—an intricate, detailed image of an isolated garden, suspended in the center of a blank page. This is skilled work. The splotches of color highlight spring as the inspiration for the piece.

Sheila Gallagher presents two digital collages of random objects that are grouped based on color and texture rather than function. When the viewer steps back, the chaos forms into a peaceful garden scene, and you can see what Gallagher is trying to create with her impressionistic approach. Her work removes the focus from the individual object, highlighting the importance of perspective in art.

Sammy Chong’s “Trinity” manages to depict the struggle of a mother with two toddlers aboard the train. The work utilizes stencils to create texture for the background, and parts of the subject fade into the background, casting the scene in a transitory light.

Tatiana Flis creates strange little worlds in her work. Large masses of land hang like human tissue, suspended in the air by small colored balloons or held together with a cheerful rope. The vegetation is sparse but critical to the piece, highlighting the importance of environmental awareness and care.

Yonder Moynihan Gillihan, in his “Recent Excavations” collection, offers a strange assortment of nature compiled and arranged into an orderly, scientific display. He sews twigs into blocks of wood with red yarn and categorizes small bits of tree and stone by their geographic location. His work gives off a very woodsy vibe, and it’s almost possible to smell the forest that inspires his art.

Karl Baden and Toni Pepe Dan both offer cinematic contributions to the photography displayed in the exhibition. Their work combines elements of realism with simulation, and the still shots manage to produce a sense of urgency.

The show is a celebration of talent and hobby, and is a unique opportunity to see another side to professors whom we associate with their own departments. Make sure to check out the display before Nov. 30.

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