Nostalgia sets in for senior art majors at Spagnuolo

April 26, 2012

“There are not a lot of outlets for art on campus, and so I think it is hard sometimes to recognize that Georgetown is not all about Business or International Politics,” senior studio art major Nicole Thomas said. “But there is another side to Georgetown.” And starting this week, that side is on full display.
Running through May 18 in Walsh’s Spagnuolo Gallery and Walsh 102, Senior Art Majors Exhibition: 2012 features the most recent work of Georgetown’s five senior studio art majors: Julia Kwon (full disclosure: Julia is a former design editor for the Voice), Lena Landegger, Victoria Milo, Laurie Tapia, and Nicole Thomas. While the collection is fairly small, with only four or five pieces from each artist on display, the diversity and merit of the works make for a short and sweet show that will appeal to Georgetown’s masses.
Kwon’s “Crescendo Series” kicks off the exhibit with a collection of four large abstract oil paintings depicting interconnected vines and strokes. Intrigued by “mark-making, stark lines, and intertwined brush strokes,” Kwon began this series by trying to “portray uncertainty along with [her] belief in continuous growth in life.”
The emotion and depth of Kwon’s work are echoed in Thomas’s collection of black and white photographs, entitled “Orange” after her hometown in New Jersey which inspired her work. With photos capturing the everyday in Orange, from graffiti under a bridge to empty playground swings, Thomas’s images reflect “a city that is rough and ugly, yet serene and beautiful at the same time.”
For Thomas, “This project is as much a self-reflection on my childhood and upbringing as it is a portrait of a city.”
Delving into another medium, Landegger’s collection features printmaking and digital prints that investigate themes “from the whimsical to the philosophical to the fundamental.” Though her vision may appear less unified than those of the other collections, the diversity of her portfolio and the range of media she uses—from markers to spray paint—make for some of the most intriguing pieces on display.
Just across the hall from the Spagnuolo Gallery in Walsh 102, the Studio Art Majors’ Exhibition continues with the work of Milo and Tapia. Milo’s untitled collection also features oil paintings, but her collection centers on the use of dripping paint, an innovation she stumbled on when mixing too much water into her paints.
Expanding upon this new technique in her collection, Milo explores “the translucent and transparent substances of glass, plastic, and light” through a series of remarkable pieces that, after much reflection, reveal human figures entangled in Christmas lights in three of the pieces and a floating bulb in the fourth. Bright and bold colors complement the muted, dripping style through which the artists captures light.
Tapia’s collection wraps up this diverse exhibition with “Into Identity,” a series of interactive, media-based pieces building on “photography, drawings, digital composites, and audio.” Seeking to explore the central qualities of her friends and herself, Tapia created digital collage books that allow viewers to learn about these individuals by clicking on pieces that represent different aspects of their identity. Tapia’s work perfectly wraps up this senior showcase, as she was “strongly influenced by the nostalgic feeling of leaving Georgetown.”
While the studio art major is certainly small, this year’s graduates have managed to put an impressively powerful and diverse exhibition And when younger students see this exhibition and are inspired by the talent it showcases, who knows, maybe the next studio art cohort will number in the double digits.

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