Dylan Sun/Mustang News

Annie Vainshtein

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Each project held a strong presence in the University Art Gallery’s student art reception and award ceremony this past Thursday night. The exhibition housed work from all across the art and design department, including studio art, graphic design and photography.

The space was full of color and promise. Every piece stood with conviction. The crowd was respectful, exuding an air of awe as they examined each piece of work. The sounds of video music pulsed through the covered walls.

Some student artists received awards for their classwork.

Lauren Manning, art and design senior


Manning’s piece, entitled “Center,” came in first place for Best in Show: Studio. The piece took six weeks to make, which she said was longer than usual.

MN: What inspired you to make this piece?

LM: It’s a concept that another piece I made was an iteration of. It’s this idea of, like, trying to make a visual metaphor for how people influence you in your life. The idea was that you to yourself are very real and you have all your thoughts and feelings that you don’t have to explain to other people, and you fully understand them, but then trying to empathize with other people — the only real way you can understand what’s going on with them is through language, which is really shallow and difficult at times.

MN: Who’s in the painting?

LM: The images in the background are my family members, and I projected them onto (the subject of the painting) Tenney. They’re always around you, and you grow up in context of them, and you can’t separate who you are from your family members. You never know them as well as you know yourself, though you think you know them really well. My brother appears a lot in the painting. The rest of it was abstracted shapes from other images that I have.


Kendra Dimino, art and design senior

Dimino placed first for Best in Show: Photography for her photo collection, a piece called “Teflon Galaxy.” The project emerged from the remains of another assignment she had done of abstract kitchen elements. “Teflon Galaxy,” however, focused just on her pans.

MN: What led you to the idea of this project?

KD: I took out the handle of the pan … and it looked really neat. I got a lot of comments that it looked “otherworldly.” So I got the idea for a final project to photograph every pan I had in my kitchen, ’cause I noticed that they each had these characteristics that reminded me of a planet. Like I have a pan with grill marks, and they reminded me of the spiral-y lines on Jupiter. And I have one that looks like rings. And I had one with grease stains, and it reminds me of Earth.

MN: How did you craft the rest of the project?

KD: So what I did was, I took these in my kitchen and then I did a lot of editing and warping to make it look like rings or to give them coloring that would be synonymous with a planet — the eight planets. And then I really wanted them to look like Hubble Space photographs. I was really, really excited about this, and now I’m even more excited that it’s a winning piece.

Charles Wilton, art and design junior


Charles Wilton received an honorable mention for his studio piece, “Requiem Dance.” At first glance, it looked holographic, almost pixelated, with mesmerizing colors and motion. The video was of him dancing, playing in reverse and in loops. It was projected onto a large screen, and through headphones, students could hear unscripted recordings of a memory, one that was highly personal. It played to the musical stylings of M83. The piece was for a class in which Wilton was given a prompt to perform a prophetic dance. It took Wilton about a week and a half to come up with an idea, but less than a week to execute it.

MN: Can you tell me a little bit about the process of making it?

CW: The prompt was for it to be spirit-led or emotions or external problems, and with the project, it ended up being led by all of that. It brought up these thoughts and issues from now 13 years ago, from when my uncle passed away. And it just kind of came together like that in two or three days. It’s the only really personal work I’ve done — a lot to churn up.

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