Colorful aquatic and garden-themed exhibits in student art galleries

Art lovers are in the Halloween spirit this week. Seniors in the printmaking program express themes of fear, paranoia, death, decay, mysteries and superstitions.

Printmaking student, Christian Ward’s, piece, “Various Sharp Objects — silkscreen,” is a print of an array of knives and scissors with a hammer thrown in for good measure.

“They’re potentially dangerous things but only if you project that dark human nature onto these tools,” Ward said.

Ward said that his recent work has been focused on the artistic qualities of everyday objects. The tools in his print are not necessarily dangerous, except in a certain psychological context.

In addition to the silkscreen prints, there are lithographic, calligraphic, linocut, monotype prints and etching on display. Each style is fascinating, distinct and worth spending some time looking at.

In the Maxine Merlino Gallery, featured artist Adriana Weeden, metals and jewelry major, created the exhibit, “Audy’s Oddities.” The exhibit is a whimsical exploration of the “monstrous fish and other freaky creatures” that live in the depths of Weeden’s imagination.

Weeden’s exhibit includes sterling silver jewelry she made in the shape of toads, fish and assorted sea monsters.

The exhibit itself is as beautiful as the jewelry in it. Weeden creates a truly marvelous aquatic-themed exhibit with many of her pieces on display in little glass case aquariums. The whole effect is fun and eccentric.

“Being named ‘Audy,’ I have always considered myself at ‘odds’ and strive to be different,” she said in her artist’s statement.

In the Marilyn Werby Gallery, artist Emily Quest’s paintings display is colorful. Quest’s work is characterized by fast, energetic brush strokes and bright “jewel like tones” that are unique to her work.

“This one color that I use, Chinese orange, I know is specifically developed by Degas!” Quest said. “I buy a lot of expensive, nice, good paints and different colors that are just really hard to mix.”

Quest’s paints detailed representations of her garden as it goes through changes over the course of a day, such as the changing shadows cast by the movement of the sun, or over the course of a season as the plants bud, blossom and wilt.

She layers these changes on top of each other to create an impressionistic portrait of her garden that she hopes will edify the viewer.

“I wanted to give back to the viewer,. It was just this basic feeling of ‘come into my garden. This is all there for you,'” she said. “I think I love the viewer. My work is really about the viewer. I want the viewer to walk away feeling so much better.”

The Gatov Gallery features a senior show from the drawing and painting program. There are nine featured seniors and dozens of paintings and drawings.

Katie Shanks spookily entitles her art, “Shadows on the Cave Wall.” Shanks said that her installation is about turning painting and drawing into a three-dimensional format. Her installation is a large paper cave and has a path through it for viewers to walk through.

Shanks also said that her installation is about both shrinking massive geological structures and enlarging small ones.

Shank’s core idea about adding dimensionality to her medium is intriguing, as is her desire to create a surreal and immersive experience for the viewer, much like Weeden did with her aquatic exhibit.

The weekly student art galleries are located between the FA2 and FA3 buildings from noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information, visit art.csulb.edu/.

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