Seniors show off lens-based skills in exhibit

By Nadir Roberts
Arts & Entertainment Editor

After four years of developing and finessing their artistic abilities, the seniors of the art department can finally reap in their success of their efforts. Their use of a variety of mediums, themes and visual aids made for an exhibit that captivated its viewers.

Brand incorporates personal experiences into her work. (Nadir Roberts / Arts & Entertainment Editor)

The first session of the senior solo exhibits was presented on Oct. 3 in the AIMM building. The exhibit was open to the campus and local community, and gave the two presenting artists a chance to reveal the culmination of their artistic journey during their time at the College. Their work represented aspects from the artists’ personal lives and daily experiences.

Olivia Brand, a senior visual arts major, based her series around the people and places that made her who she is today. Brand incorporated her hometown of Pittstown, New Jersey’s landscape and family members into her pieces, all of which intertwined with her titles, “With The Clouds,” “With Them” and “With Him.”

Above Brand’s work were the coordinates of Pittstown, 40.5829° N, 74.9585° W, which highlighted how she keeps her town close to heart.

“These are landscapes of my town that shape me,” Brand said. “I wanted people to know about it.”  

Brand’s portion of the showcase featured six photographs, which were all taken on a 35mm film camera and displayed on a 44 x 66 canvas.

Each photo, printed in black and white, provided viewers a glimpse of the landscapes around her hometown. Whether it be the detail of winding roads or the clouds that painted the sky, the film gave a more intimate view of everyday sights that people would otherwise take for granted.

Brand was intentional about her choice to use film photography over digital photography for the project.

“I always loved film,” Brand said. “I knew I wanted to do this.”

Danielle Rockowski, a senior fine arts major shared her collection titled “Transcendence.” All of her pieces were self portraits that incorporated long exposures and single source lighting.

Rockowski experimented with exposures to add depth to her portraits. Blurred neon stripes also enhanced her pictures. Her artist’s statement describes “Transcendence” as a self metamorphosis.

Each portion of the collection slowly transitioned into the next, evoking emotions that floated from picture to picture. The transformations of Rockowski’s portraits forced viewers to observe and interpret what is real and what is not.

“These self-transformations undergo a wrestling between the tangible and intangible — the outer surface and my internal fears, thoughts and feelings,” Rackowski wrote in her statement.

The 12-piece collection featured visual juxtapositions that made the eye drift from the background, which displayed parts of Rockowski’s facial features to the brighter designs that she manipulated in the foreground.

For example, in the picture “Fear/Yearning,” Rockowski’s face is partially visible and her nose, eyes and glasses are the focal point, but Rockowski is surrounded by a spiraling rainbow.

Her titles, which included names like, “All in / All Out,” “Lifted,” “Can’t See the Outside” and “Hiding,” were named spontaneously in a process similar to her creative journey.

“They were kind of predetermined, kind of not,” Rockowski said. “I just wanted the idea to come to me.”

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