By Autumn Graney & Kristen Beard
Art is a way for people to relieve stress, express themselves, and increase their creative thinking. Whether it be a sketch or a sculpture each piece is meant to tell some kind of story. Every year SUNY Brockport holds an annual art exhibition, in hopes of doing just that. In order to make sure their best work is on display the art must first be submitted and then accepted.
Art professor Jennifer Hecker is one of the organizers of the exhibition and has full knowledge of how the selection process goes.
“This is an adjudicated exhibition, meaning works are selected by an external juror. There were 35 applicants and a total of 90 works were submitted for the student show. 29 applicants had at least one work accepted. There are 37 total works in the exhibition,” said Hecker.
Though this may create stress among those who submit, it is also in the student’s best interest.
“This is an opportunity for students to see their works exhibited in a professional manner and setting. It also gives them greater exposure for their art, the possibility of receiving feedback on it, a line on their resumes, and shared experiences with their classmates,” said Hecker
SUNY Brockport student Rosalie Santiago was one of the students selected for the exhibit. She uses art as a form of expression. Santiago created a mixed media piece called Spiritual Growth for the annual student art exhibit in Tower Fine Arts Center.
Santiago says her art piece has a spiritual connection.
“I’m growing more into adulthood and closer to God as I take out intentional time to spend with Jesus,” Santiago said in an email. As you grow into adulthood, there are many transitions and areas of life that you grow in, and I wanted these concepts to be reflected in my piece. More specifically, I was also inspired by Delita Martin’s concept of a spiritual ‘veilscape’. This is a way of showing a visual transition from the spiritual realm to the physical realm. I put my own twist on this concept and used it for the watercolor orbs I placed over my piece,” Santiago said
Santiago’s piece took about a month to complete. She says she wanted to emphasize the perfection in our imperfections.
“I had to let myself go and get out of my head with this piece which was a key part of the process. I know I can draw and so do my peers, so why try to prove myself by perfecting my work that will never be perfect. I danced at times while painting, zoned in while drawing, and worshipped the Lord while creating this piece,” Santiago said.
Santiago used mixed media, so she was able to layer pieces the way she wanted. She says layering pieces and learning about the materials was her favorite part of the work.
SUNY Brockport student Nicole Toland also displayed her artwork at the exhibit. Her piece was an acrylic drawing called Remembrance and is about self-reflection and memories.
“This idea that when you reflect on things that have happened throughout your life, they are never quite the same as you remember. I was also inspired by Frida Kahlo and her surrealist-style landscapes. I’ve been focusing on women artist iconography within a lot of my work and for this piece specifically I used Kahlo,” Toland said
Toland spent two months on her art piece and used landscapes in her piece.
“I spent a lot of nights in the art building and weekends coming in to work on it. I had a lot of help from my classmates and professors throughout the process, they gave me good advice and critiques to help make the piece as best as I could,” Toland said.
SUNY Brockport student Je’ Taime Bardques painted his piece called Knowledge Strength Integrity for the exhibit. Bardques was inspired by his favorite YouTuber Olajide Olatunji.
“It took me between 18 to 24 hours of painting and redoing things that I didn’t like in the painting. I put three pictures that were very important turning points of his life into one painting because I felt that was the best depiction of his life at the time, and I painted it,” Bardques said.
Rosalie Santiago, Nicole Toland, and Je’ Taime Bardques have worked hard on their art pieces all year long. They have created a variety of different art pieces like mixed media drawings, acrylic drawings, paintings, and many more.
The annual exhibit is free and open to the public, It runs until April 30 in Tower Fine Arts Center Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.