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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students share their creativity through gallery opening

Published: April 19, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc., Top Stories

This past Wednesday, Dreitzer Gallery held its second opening reception for the students in the post-baccalaureate studio program. The gallery exhibited the works of talented and enthusiastic students and was packed with people discussing the artistic themes.

The works mainly consisted of paintings and oil on canvas, but there were a few sculptures scattered throughout the gallery. Each artist held a distinctive style, so each of them had their own space, which was located in the alcoves and corners of the gallery.

One standout artist was Shona McAndrew. Her paintings consisted mainly of nude women looking desperate and in distress. These women etched onto the canvas were unafraid to look the viewer straight in the eye. Although the confrontational position of the women could potentially make the view uneasy, McAndrew created strong, bold pieces that moved the viewer to both pity the woman and to applaud her bravery. In one painting in which the woman is painting her nails, the bright red of the nail polish was the standout and focal point of the artwork. McAndrew excelled at attracting attention: The upstairs section of the gallery housed a picture of a girl making a face with her mouth wide open and one eye squinted. While the picture looks normal, and the fact that the human face is unmistakable, there were flashes of green, orange and pink in it. This is a painting of a crazy release—a sort of explosion of emotion—and these strange colors only add to it.

Many artists played with color, using bright and unnatural colors to attract the eye. Pam Jorgensen’s part of the exhibit contained landscapes: paintings of serene scenery created with complementary colors such as purple and orange or a farm painting with orange and yellow grass.

This exhibit housed other examples of the utilization of color—notably the depth of color. “Untitled,” by Shoshana Rosenfield, is a beautiful oil on canvas painting of trees and a lake. The colors were very dark—the kind of landscape that is only seen at the early hours of the morning. The darkness of this painting created an atmosphere of danger but one that was simultaneously alluring.

Danielle Friedman’s section of the exhibit was also intriguing, consisting of multiple paintings of rooms. These rooms were incredibly cluttered and claustrophobic but colorful and glittery. She created not only a children’s room, but also a pink room with a shimmering couch. Each of these paintings was a full room, but all seemed to extend into the outdoors—a window to another world.

The gallery also exhibited abstract pieces. Farnaz Gholami created a notable piece, titled “Hope?” that consisted of many interlocking blocks and shifting colors. As the colors slid into each other, viewers were forced to examine where the lines between sections of the painting blurred with each other and how one section seamlessly moved into another. Gholami also exhibited a great image in the downstairs gallery where she created abstract buildings with human feet in bizarre colors coming out of the background. Although it is difficult for the viewer to determine exactly what Gholami meant by this block landscape interspersed with the human body, it is still fascinating to examine.

Sascha La Fave’s artwork was also incredibly creative. She used doll images repeatedly, posing them next to tanks and hawks and mice, perhaps meant to illustrate the loss of innocence associated with childhood. These were also somewhat abstract pieces but with the doll as the constant centerpiece.

The Dreitzer Gallery lends a certain atmosphere and professionalism to the artwork of these students, creating a setting in which the students can proudly display their works to the Brandeis community. Through experimentation with color and abstraction, the artists in the post-baccalaureate studio program displayed quality work.