By Ariel Steinsaltz
Twelve senior fine arts majors spearheaded the grand opening of their senior showcase, LOUD, on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m, displaying their self-designed projects that they have been working on since January.
The annual event is open until May 24, according to Liselot van der Heijden, a professor in the fine arts department and coordinator of the event.
The faculty set the criteria and then left the planning up to the students, who met once a week to discuss the planning. The goal is for the students to learn how to curate their own exhibitions once they leave the College.
“The goal is that the students learn from this experience, so we try to let them do as much as possible, and then we just guide them when necessary,” van der Heijden said.
Carly Englander, one of the seniors who planned the exhibition, said that the name LOUD was picked from a long list.
The presenters wanted to draw attention to the fact that they were all women, with a throughline of feminism linking one creation to the next. The name represents using their collective voice to express themselves through their art.
Abigail Rothman showcased altered versions of the 39 signatures on the Constitution by distorting, shrinking or enlarging them. Since the historic document was signed only by white men, Rothman compared the distortions of the names to not knowing one’s rights and used her art to emphasize that people should know and assert their human rights.
Rothman’s second piece that was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights translated into binary code, which she said represented being given information without having the tools to understand or decode it. Despite everyone being entitled to those rights, many do not know what they are, or even have access to the knowledge to learn about them.
Lizzie Mayer presented photography, prints and a video installation that explored themes of identity and mental health. She portrayed her own experience with her mental health disorders and the ways in which society sees them. Mayer included self-portrait photographs with an obscured camera lens to emphasize the lack of clarity in the process of mental health treatment.
Cara Giddens created a series of posters that lined the walls and advertised “bubble people” who could be bought for 25 cents. In the center of her exhibit was a gumball machine that held colorful spheres containing tiny people. Giddens explained that the “bubble people” represent marginalized groups who are only considered valuable based on the gratification they can provide to others.
“The purpose of this piece is to start a dialogue about the commodification of people, whether it’s through culture, sexualization, objectification, that sort of thing,” Giddens said. She wanted to shed a light on the tendency to claim ownership over not just physical people but their cultures as well.
Alison Staple, a senior biology major, said that having taken some basic art classes, she had learned how hard it was to create art and was very impressed by the pieces.
The other presenters were Olivia Brand, Lauren Galuppo, Linda Magee, Carolyn Mandracchia, Danielle Rackowski, Courtney Ross, Adrienne Southrey and Emily Warakomski.
Kat Magee, a senior marketing major, came to the exhibit to see a friend’s art.
“I’m really impressed,” Magee said. “I can see all of the hard work that’s been put into the pieces, and everything’s really beautiful.”
Seraphema Menna, a senior English major, also came to the exhibition to support her friend, who was presenting.
“It’s really exciting to have this on campus,” Menna said. “(It’s great that) all these hard-working students express themselves into this really well put-together show.”