Student artwork lined the walls of the Fine Arts Building on Friday, May 10 as part of the art and design department’s fifth-annual Open Studio Night. The event sought to display the creative talents of the student body with a wide variety of art forms.
All three floors of the Fine Arts Building were used to hang work, with floor stickers indicating where attendees should head to find one of the several galleries used to showcase hundreds of pieces. The Elsie B. Rosefsky Memorial Art Gallery was specifically designated as the Seniors Exhibition, showcasing the works of graduating students in the department of art and design. Other rooms hosted demonstrations of artistic techniques, such as printmaking and laser cutting. The art on display was diverse in both style and message, with a hyperrealistic drawing of the University’s Spine featured just a floor below a painting of Yoda from the “Star Wars” franchise in outer space.
Some of the artists, such as Randy Kipnis, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, were required to submit a piece as part of a class. Despite taking an art and design course as a general education requirement, Kipnis said that the experience may have led him to a new interest in artistic expression.
“I don’t think I’m gonna pursue art anymore at school, but maybe over the summer if I want to feel creative,” Kipnis said. “It’s kind of therapeutic to just sit down and draw some art. I don’t know if it’s a creative outlet for me but it’s just calming, even if I’m not good at it.”
Some artists on display said they were happy to see their own contributions, as well as enjoying the opportunity to view the pieces of others in the art and design department. Colleen Fucigna, a sophomore majoring in biology who submitted work as part of a class, talked about the value of showing student art to such a wide audience.
“I always find it very enjoyable to have so much support for the art community, because I think a lot of times it goes underappreciated,” Fucigna said. “There are students who work all semester on these things and it’s just so cool to go around and see people from every year, and everything that they’ve been working on. I like seeing that.”
Costa Sakellariou, a lecturer in the art and design department, served as the curator of the Seniors Exhibition. He discussed his satisfaction with the quality of the pieces on display.
“I think the level of work speaks for itself, I mean, each year it’s improving and getting stronger,” Sakellariou said. “Some of the work is really outstanding this year.”
When asked about what made the event so popular, Sakellariou stressed the diversity of the various rooms and the element of exploration.
“I think by nature, it’s fun to wander,” Sakellariou said. “And also, there are a lot of secrets behind these different galleries, different processes that happen. It’s a chance for people to see what happens in a print studio, what happens in a sculpture studio. You get a taste of it and I think it piques a lot of interest for people to come and sample.”
When talking about the value of the studio to the broader campus, Sakellariou mentioned the ability for an open event such as this to help students find a newfound interest in the arts.
“Going to galleries is not an exclusive thing, and it doesn’t have to be an elite thing either,” Sakellariou said. “I think it’s a way to popularize the event among those who’ve never come in contact with it.”