For two Fairfield University art students, food and everyday objects are the greatest sources of artistic inspiration.

Nicole Namy’s work titled “Food for Thought” is currently on display in the Lukacs Gallery of Loyola Hall. Six paintings, all oil on canvas, depict various restaurant scenes.

Namy, who thinks of dinner as a celebration and time to cherish with family and friends, illustrates several of her favorite restaurants in New York City and Westchester County such as Bar Pitti, Ippudo, Park 143, Per Se and Rao’s through her paintings.

Each painting depicts one scene of a restaurant or a place of food. There seems to be a great focus on the people in the scene and what surrounds them as they eat and interact with those nearby. Many of the paintings are done with only one or two colors, usually gray and black, but then has an added shock of color to stress a particular object or person.

Using color to enhance the scene, Namy incorporates vibrant touches of pinks, yellows and blues. The contrast of the color in the scenes is intentional for what Namy is hoping to convey: a stress on dinner, food and family time.

A few of Namy’s works, such as “Rao’s,” “Per Se” and “Part 143,” illustrate an outside view of the restaurants, as if the viewer is standing right in front of its doors, or peaking through its window. Both “Per Se” and “Rao’s” depict the large doors of the restaurants as the focus of the piece, making the viewer want to enter the picture and open the doors to experience the love within the restaurant.

“I like the idea of ‘Food for Thought,’ the food representing energy, and with energy comes a more focused and intellectual way of thinking,” said Michael Franco ’13. “I connect to the drawings because I myself love food and how my family’s culture is brought together through food.”

Namy’s work makes viewers want to enter the restaurants to taste their unique dishes and engage in quality friend and family moments. The paintings convey her appreciation of food and family and how the two are intertwined. With menus of her favorite restaurants hanging up in the gallery, the display allows for the viewer to understand Namy and her connection with “Food for Thought.”

Lauren Rosito’s “Transformation” is on exhibition down the hall from “Food for Thought” in the Experimental Gallery. Several pieces become one with the wall, as ordinary materials are this artist’s central focus.

Using everyday materials such as Styrofoam, cardboard, plastic bags and tape, among other things, Rosito uses her craftsmanship to bring the material to life. The materials provide her inspiration and in return she hopes to reveal the materials in their truest form.

Each piece of art was carefully constructed out of everyday material and either taped to the wall or mounted to paper and then placed on the wall. There were a few objects made out of tissue paper or a type of thicker, light brown paper, formed into an artistic demonstration.

One piece in particular caught the viewer’s attention immediately, when noticing how plastic bags were filled with cotton balls and blue tape and formed together to create a large piece. Even though it is several bags, each created in their own way, they each bring a needed character to the piece.

Next to it, there is a tall black sheet of paper, about eight to ten feet, covered with various pieces of cardboard and notebook paper with doodles. It was in this particular piece that the artist’s work came to life, for the viewer is able to see her drawings and writing, something more concrete and understandable than what first meets the eye.

Following that piece to the right is a collaged piece, bringing together bits of paper bags and aluminum foil, among other materials, to create a striking demonstration.

“I thought the ‘Transformation’ was different because it struck me how you can make what we typically call thrash into art,” said Franco. “I was very impressed.”

For Rosito, the creation of her works, through use of ordinary materials, is a form of meditation. This is the greatest way she is able to connect with materials used on a daily basis, and she strived to convey the same feeling to her viewers through “Transformation.”

With these pieces of art, everyday materials that are often disregarded come to life and stress their importance in the world. Rosito sees these materials as extraordinary, striving to deliver that message through her creations.

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