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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis’ best senior artists on display

Published: September 21, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc.

In the Goldman-Schwartz Art Center on Wednesday, select members of the senior classes opened a show, highlighting the work that they have produced over the past summer. The show is called “New Work from Home and Abroad,” showcasing the fact that some of the art in the show was produced overseas by students in the thick of their entanglement with a new and foreign culture. The show represents a wide array of styles, an enormous level of effort and dedication on the part of the artists and a great deal of talent.

The funding for the show, and for the support of the artists, comes from two sources: The Brandeis Arts Council and the Remis Fund. The Brandeis Arts Council is made up of alumni, parents and friends of Brandeis, who select and provide grants for outstanding programs, exhibits, performances, concerts and individual artists at Brandeis. The council, which has 20 to 25 members, funds educational opportunities for direct artistic development, with each member giving an annual gift of $5,000, creating a pool of funding to support the School of Creative Arts. The second source of support for the artists of “New Work from Home and Abroad” is the Remis Fund for Prints, Drawings and Photographs. The Remis fund is a private, non-profit trust, operating out of Boston that provides financial support for the arts. In funding “New Work from Home and Abroad” these sources looked to strengthen the vivacity of the artistic community at Brandeis. Soon-to-be graduating art students were encouraged in their endeavors, wherever their paths may have taken them during this past summer, be it on home soil or in distant lands.

The show itself is laid out along a hall, with some artists displayed in clumps and others spread throughout the exhibition. Each group of work is accompanied by a small blurb written by the artist, describing the creative experience of creating the displayed pieces, and the goals and ideas in mind over the process of their creation. All of the artists displayed present enormous talent and clear dedication, indicative of the funding that allowed this show to come together as it did.

With numerous artists represented, the show presents a wide array of themes. One artist, Violet Soued, explores “perception of space, objects and ourselves,” displayed in several pieces, including a pair in which binary numbers overlay bright, dual-covered human forms. Beside her works, Diana Eunsoo Chung displays a large set of mixed-media animal paintings. These unique paintings adorn everything from canvas that is decorated with plastic beads to glass dishes, and are clearly made with great skill and care, using brush strokes to create very realistic looking patterns of fur. Similarly, David French presents several animal-themed pieces in bright, unusual colors, drawing inspiration from “aesthetic forms found in nature,” in addition to global religious and folk traditions. In contrast, Clare Churchill-Seder’s work displays the familiar urban landscape of Boston, particularly featuring vistas along the Charles River in blurred, soft shapes and lights. In her blurb, she discusses her experimentation with “notions of specificity and place.” Far from Boston, another artist, Sophie Golomb spent her summer in India; her work strongly reflects the location of her studies. Her works are portraits in the style of Indian miniatures, utilizing flat, opaque colors, careful details and distinct outlines. Nearby, Tess Sucoff displays her studies in New York City of the human form in a series of blurred but unapologetic portraits of the nude human form. Sara Weininger’s paintings appear throughout the exhibit, primarily on the largest canvases present, and are consistently fascinating. She uses interesting and original color choices and paints with a sense of unconstrained and unperturbed freedom. In her description, Sucoff mentions a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do the thing you think you cannot do.” Sucoff writes that with this quote in mind, she tried to “listen, not think, and do what [her] painting required.”

Diverse and beautiful, “New Work From Home and Abroad” is a lovely display of a less-seen aspect of the vast pool of talent present at Brandeis. Running in the Goldman-Schwartz Art Center until Oct. 28, the show is surely a must see for any member of the Brandeis artistic community. It could well prove an enlightening and cultured diversion for those unfamiliar with art as a whole, or to the art of Brandeis’ many talented students.