Years in the Making

By Rebecca Munday, Editor

The artists who created work for the “Process to Perception” exhibit in the Fine Arts Gallery through Oct. 30 all had long processes to create the works on display. 

One artist, Tom Curran took fifty years to create his collection of cloud paintings. He used to love to draw and then after retirement he discovered he still loved to draw so he took a semester of classes to see if he remembered anything and if he could use what he knew. 

The cloud paintings displayed in the gallery started with some photos he took for his beginning  photography class. 

Tom Curran’s Intercoastal

“There is in each of my paintings an element of the abstract…They almost encourage you to take license with form and color,” Curran said.

Two other artists, Emma Lewis and Marlee Engel, art education majors with a focus in ceramics, used their family history as inspiration for their collections, which they both say they want to expand upon in the future. 

“Without my mother’s large bag of keepsakes, this series would have never been possible,” Lewis said. She was inspired to create this series while going through old paper bags of letters and photos in her parents’ basement.

Her works are collages with parts of the collage missing or pixelated to give a feeling of eeriness. “The classmates in the photo are pixelated to give little information about the classmates’ faces,” she explained. 

Emma Lewis’s No Longer

Lewis used this technique or similar techniques in all her works because she wanted to “demonstrate the power of memory and our ability to forget those who were once very close to us.”

Engel used women in three generations of her family as models for her collection entitled “First Impressions.” The collection was named after the idea that inspired it. 

“I recently became fascinated by the idea concept of identity, especially with so few details to inform any opinions. How much can you really tell about a person just by appearances?” Engel said. 

“I have sculpted five ears from the five most influential women in my life, including myself,” Engel said. The other four women she chose as subjects for her sculptures are her grandmother, her mother, her sister and her friend. 

Marlee Engel’s First Impressions

Each ear is painted in the person’s favorite color and all the ears except for her grandmother’s, feature hand-made ear jewelry that represents their respective personalities. 

Viewers may notice the ears sit at an angle on the wall, just like they would on a head because Engel added a C-shaped wall on the back of each ear. 

Tara Delbridge focused on her journey to love herself and see her body as beautiful even though typical society may not agree with her. 

“I wanted to take my body, something I have hated for years, something I have struggled to see as beautiful, and make it beautiful,” Delbridge said. 

Delbridge created a series of five digitally-rendered self-portraits named after the phases of the moon. In the series, she presented herself at integral stages of her journey from when she hid herself whenever possible to when she “cut away the curtain.”  

“I purposely chose to take attention away from the figure in the first image, ‘New Moon’, while drawing attention to the figure in the last image, ‘Full Moon’.” 

Tara Delbridge’s New Moon and Full Moon

The final artist, Daylon Gardner, has not only been thinking about the idea that inspired his artwork since childhood, but also about being remembered long after he is gone. These two ideas reflect upon his motivation to create the artwork. 

“Throughout my adolescent years, art was the biggest form of expression, which is why I decided to study art in college,” Gardner said. 

“Since I was a child I’ve always had issues with the idea of death and mortality,” Garder said. He didn’t understand the pointlessness of working one’s entire life for it all to end up in nothingness. It was this idea that also inspired his collection. 

Most of the paintings in the collection are broken into panels because they are supposed to be segmented. 

“One of these paintings, ‘MGM Trademark’, represents the animalistic and violent side of life that I think society tries to hide in us,” Gardner explained. 

“X-ray Bridge” is the last painting Gardner painted in the series. 

Daylon Gardener’s X-ray Bridge

“The whole concept of this is the connection between life and death, which is why this is the only painting where the images transcend the panels. 

The next senior art exhibition, “Meraki” is going on right now through the end of the semester so stop by and see the works in the gallery of the Fine Arts building and support Armstrong’s art department seniors.

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