The Lukacs Gallery and Experimental Space, located in Loyola Hall, opened its doors on Monday, April 9 to feature the work of seven student artists. Each artist in the exhibition has a completely unique style and approach and uses a variety of mediums from oil paints, to acrylics, to woodworking. All artists created their works without restrictions or guidelines, so they had complete freedom to make what they wanted. This allowed for the artists to develop works that were a reflection of their own interests and emotions. The exhibition, called STUD10, features Jordan Bacon ’18, Megan Defeo ‘19, Olivia Driscoll ‘18, Kaitlin Emmert ’18, Casey Fuller ‘18, Abigail Hayes ‘18 and Cierra Miller ‘19.
These students are a mix of studio art majors and minors taking Studio Art 299 Advanced Projects: Seminar and Studio Art 301 Exhibition: Seminar. Professor Suzanne Chamlin-Richer, who teaches both classes, organized the exhibition to let students find their own inspiration and passion for STUD10.
Chamlin-Richer explained the exhibit saying, “They had to think about what mattered to them in terms of their own content and subject matter.”
Senior Kaitlin Emmert is a psychology major and studio art minor. She created an acrylic painting of a beach, brought it to a daycare facility for Alzheimer patients and had them recreate it. Decorated on the wall of her section of the exhibition is the original painting along with all the paintings done by the Alzheimer patients. The patients’ paintings were presented in order of what stage of the disease the patients were in when they were painting. Just by looking at the paintings, viewers can clearly see the progression of Alzheimer’s and how it affects the patient’s perception of Emmert’s original painting. During an interview, Emmert spoke about how art is a form of therapy for Alzheimer patients. It has helped them start to regain basic function they had lost.
“It’s a good experience for them,” Emmert said, “It gives you an idea of what stage of Alzheimer’s they’re in, but it also makes them happy. Some of them weren’t able to talk before and now are able to talk.”
Senior Jordan Bacon created two oil paintings for the exhibition. The first is a large-scale painting of Saint Barbara in vibrant red clothes, with the second being a smaller painting of John the Baptist, of which he included the original sketch. Both paintings take inspiration in style and technique from classical Renaissance paintings. It is particularly difficult and arduous to get bright and deep colors, like the red in his St. Barbara painting, with the medium he chose – oils.
Bacon spoke about how long it takes to paint with oils, “It takes a very long time because you have to put a color, wait for it to dry and then put more colors and just wait.”
Senior Abigail Hayes painted a series of oil paintings, a medium out of her comfort zone. She decided to work on the human body for this exhibition. Each piece showed the human body grieving. In one of the most emotional pieces, two bodies embrace in a way that shows an immeasurable amount of sadness and longing. The piece was inspired by the tragic death of two of her friends and represents the stages of grief she went through. It goes through her experience of feeling alone and lost to acceptance and healing.
On her inspiration for the piece, Hayes stated, “Your body just shows so much emotion. It really shines through in different gestures.”
STUD10 is definitely one of the most diverse and interesting exhibitions featured on campus. As soon as visitors walk into the Lukacs Gallery, the passion behind each stroke of paint and the uniqueness of each individual artist is immediately visible. It’s refreshing to see such different approaches to art. The exhibit will remain in the Lukacs Gallery and Experimental Space until April 24.