The 15th Annual Undergraduate Student Art Exhibit, which runs from April 2 to May 10, showcases the artistic achievements of Seton Hall students.
Jeanne Brasile, director of the Walsh Gallery, said that in order to have work displayed in the gallery, artwork is selected by a professional unaffiliated with the University.
Unlike previous years, Brasile said that there was no theme for this year’s exhibit. She described it instead as a “direct celebration of student achievement.”
Brasile added that an award session will follow the exhibit for the students who had their art displayed. Brielle said that various jurors select the recipient of the awards.
“It boosts [the student’s] confidence to have a professional say something about their work, and it can even change their mind about the arts and how it impacts their life,” Brasile said.
Abigail Deffler, a senior marketing major, said, “As a business major, I had always seen myself going that route post-graduation, but I find myself wanting to go into a more artistic field.”
Deffler’s piece, “Shades of Bamboo,” is a lamp made of intricate, hand-cut shapes. Deffler said she drew two simple shapes on paper, and through time, trial and error, she created her piece.
“I think for pretty much all of the pieces in the gallery, and mine specifically, they all started from somewhere so simple and small, and then grew to be the finished products they are today with patience and effort,” Deffler said.
Kelly Kopec, a senior film major, said she has three pieces in the gallery, including a lamp. “I wanted to create something more useful than just a sculpture. I’ve made a lot of art that just ends up becoming stagnant,” Kopec said.
Brasile explained that while the students’ instructors give parameters for the projects, creative expression always plays an important role in their artwork.
Samantha Colon, a junior theater major, had her piece, “Self-Portrait,” displayed at the gallery. She joked that she took several ugly selfies with her phone before picking her final piece.
The piece is accurately described by its title, but is unlike the typical photogenic self-portraits. Colon said she opted for a type of self-portrait that most would reserve only for a Snapchat sent to close friends.
“Artists show their best features because no one wants to look ugly,” Colon said. “However, I wanted to convey that it’s okay to look ugly and silly sometimes.”
Destini Peck, a senior graphic design major, created a marketing concept out of her piece in the gallery, “Bottles.”
Peck said her goal was to target health-conscious young adults. Therefore, she said she went for a simplistic design with pressed juice bottles called “JuiceMeRaw.” When the juice was finished, Peck said, “You can read the hack that’s inside the bottle. The funny thing is, the hacks are actually just sarcastic, really bad advice.”
Martin Gravely, a junior marketing and economics major, has his piece, “The World of Dad Jokes,” displayed in the gallery.
“Whether they have a laugh from a piece like mine or feel a more serious emotion from a more powerful piece, I hope they enjoy it,” Gravely said.
“That’s what art is really for.”
Brasile said that she hopes all viewers are able to witness a full array of different forms of creative expression.
“Seton Hall has a strong art tradition, and the Catholic Church has a contour of supporting the arts,” she said.
However, while Kopec said she agrees that she wants viewers to see the vast amount of artistic talent that can be found at Seton Hall, she feels the university doesn’t highlight the arts enough.
“I understand that Seton Hall has plans to decrease the size of the gallery, which I think says exactly what the University has to say about the arts,” Kopec said. “If anything, the gallery should be larger and more well-advertised.”
Elise Kerim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.