DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS - Junior and Senior art majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts are showing their paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures in a new University sponsored exhibit entitled "Fine Art Spring Juried Exhibition 2004." The show is on display in the main gallery of the Visual and Performing Arts building on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth main campus. The exhibit opened Monday, April 12th and continues through Tuesday, May 4th. It is free and open to the public with parking available in lots 8, 9 or 10. A closing reception will be held on Tuesday May 4th from 5-7 PM in the Main Gallery. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10AM until 4PM, and on Saturday, April 24, from10AM until 4PM.
The paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures on display are by majors in Fine Arts, but not all majors are typical college-age students. For example, Jim Sears a returning student, has a good 40 years on most of his classmates, and there are many other older returning students enrolled in the Fine Arts programs.
“I am always amazed and impressed with what comes from the creative stew of my fellow classmates,” said Sears. “It is interesting, in this spring show of more than two dozen artists, to see what is in these artists' minds. Watching a large abstract image evolve on of a bare canvas begs my imagination for a source of abstraction in my own creative muse. I'm more of an expressive realist like many of my peers,” he added.
The creative process is unique to each artist, and the works in this show offer a diversity of motifs and styles. Because each student chose their own subject matter and mode of expression, the works of art are unique. Whether of a personal or universal motif, each painting, sculpture, print or drawing provides insight into the artist's mind.
According to Sears, “As both a scientist and student of art, I find it interesting how the learning process in these disciplines differ. The educational experience of an art student differs from that of students in my earlier field of biology. Students in my botany classes were asked to learn a body of knowledge, how to think about it, and how to approach inquiring into life sciences. All students covered the same material and were tested on a common set of ideas and information. Personal expression and feeling did not play much of a role in the learning experience. While there is certainly imagination and original thought as well as factual knowledge in the sciences, I believe that learning is more focused and less individually expressed by science students.”
One goal of the creative artist is self-expression. It is to delve into his or her soul for something unique. The teacher helps lead the student toward that creative expression, but what comes out is unique to each individual. It is fascinating to witness the diversity of approaches, topics and modes of expression, and visitors to this spring show will experience for themselves the magical array of art coming from the creative minds of art students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
In this show visitors will see different kinds of artistic expression in many different styles. Some of the two dimensional works include figures and portraits influenced by Cézanne, scenes from southern Portugal, large tranquil landscapes, a doubled view of flowers in a mirrored still life, a glowing helmet shell suspended in darkness and other still life drawings, as well as other abstract forms.
One particular 4' x 6' portrait is so real that visitors often want to touch the blue jeans to be assured that they are only an illusion. It hangs next to an expressively colorful and moody free style self-portrait. The juxtaposition of these two paintings provides for an interesting comparison of the different styles in self-expression.
The sculptures on exhibit interpret ideas in three dimensions and in a variety of media. One piece, a large black beast nursing little beasts, is wrapped in ribbons of black rubber; in another sculpture, two large abstract forms made of laminated wood are held at a distance but connected by tree-like columns and seems to say something about relationships, personal or other.
Sculpture professor Stacy Latt Savage and painting professor Anthony Fisher organized, and with assistance from a few colleagues, chose the pieces of art for this show. They and their colleagues have helped and encouraged their students to make art that is worthy of a exhibiting in a university-juried show. Many of the pieces in this show are for sale.