By Carmen Mia De Maria Tello Roig
This past Wednesday, on April 19, the QCC Art Gallery presented its fifteenth annual student exhibition which took place from 4pm to 6pm with the goal of renewing relevance and allowing the audience into the world of young artists to make their own splendid works known and seen with great joy. That afternoon, the doors of Queensborough Art Gallery opened with an exhibition showcasing the students’ wide range of talents, currently pursuing their artistic ambitions at Queensborough CC. Many would say that to be an artist is to constantly be treading deadly waters in search of gold. But after listening to the curator, Prof. Annemarie Coffey, it can only be imagined that an artist’s journey would be like the sea, with the highs and lows of the tide — the journey of an artist trying to make their inner world tangible, allowing us [the public] a moment’s glance at the unseen.
All visitors too, will tread curiously as they enter the art gallery, asking themselves silent questions like, what’s this artwork about? What adjectives come to mind when describing this piece? What does the artist want me to see, if at all? How did the artist use line, shape, and color to contribute to the mood? Why did the artists create this work, and how did they sprinkle a little bit of their personality into it? If you’re lucky enough to come face-to-face with the art and its creator, your questions might get answered.
Upon entering the art gallery, one might be invited to look at the collages on paper made by 2D artists. Here Michelle Huh’s collage work is a reminder of the intricacy of kimono patterns, and the aesthetical-ness of the yellow and blue background clings to the eyes; in the same way, the woman clings to the baby-doll. Michelle Huh has been described as being flexible throughout different mediums, and her second piece is a testament to that. Popcorn bag; Pawcorn is her digital product design inspired by the rebirth of the 90s style, bringing in bubbly typography, pastel colors, and playful illustrations.
Next to be encountered was Eugene Han’s Wallflower, a pencil and charcoal piece that expresses the softness of the stems and growths of the sunflower before it reaches its yellow ray florets. Whether it’s hyper-realism or surrealism, graphite drawing’s versatile quality lets the artist play with tone and “light.” In this case, granting Han’s work a sense of airiness that is just as wild and luscent as a large sunflower. In an interview, Han shared that a large part of his Drawing I class focused on drawing plants, dried fruit and dealing with perspective. The morphology of the plant piqued his interest, and for almost an hour, he let himself feel it, and there the Wallflower came to be. Impressed and overjoyed is an understatement because Eugene Han’s last words were, “I like working in a lot of mediums; I don’t have a preference for being called artist or creator. I just love drawing with pencils!”
The use of perspective is held to such high regard in the art world that coming upon photography was inevitable. Photography plays with the immersiveness and depth of different objects, whether they are obstructions or are purposefully placed. This is what photographer Diego Ramirez had to say about his photograph Perspectives, “It’s technically a gelatin silver printing, and it is mainly black and white photographs. A lot of the things I photograph just happen, and I wanted to use height and the pattern of the bricks to create a view from above, but not include the sky at all.” Diego Ramirez’s Perspectives speaks to urbanization, and his exclusion of any other surroundings gives his work a feeling of confined restlessness.
If someone were in need of a little amusement, they might find themselves grinning at Seun Lim’s Storyboard; The Cat. In a short sequence of events, Lim manages to exasperate her mouse character with the shenanigans of her cat.
Not only are the expressions wonderful, but they are characteristic of their corresponding species; the mouse is panicked, anxious, and squeaky-fun. Meanwhile, the cat is an unpredictable sleuth. The fusion of various creative nonlinear processes end up making a pictorial linear story out of Storyboard; The Cat.
Another medium that heavily relies on sequencing and direction would be digital animation, Altish Jawaid; the creator of two digital animation stills, explains the process as, “Using Adobe-After Effects to make graphic content and animations. But most important are the keyframes. Instead of using the word transition to describe animation, I would say that I used rigging for both of my art projects.” Rigging is the process of creating a control system for a character, and Jawaid’s PSA and Title Sequence animations, both highlight her character’s sequence of events with suavity, and a tinge of classic mystery.
By the end of the finissage, a visitor might circle back to where they came from, and near the graphite illustrations you might find Jenny Banegas’s Natural Beauty. Her creation is small, but powerful. The fruits’s verdure is unmistakable, and to say that Banegas’s depiction of a fresh pail does not cause a certain gusto, would be a lie. It is almost like knowing the fruits have a more natural purpose than being piled up decoratively. Notice the circular shininess of the fruit, the leaning pear, and the warmth the wooden pail gives out in contrast to the nothingness of its surroundings.
At Queensborough, young artists are strongly empowered to continue hands-on learning and advancement of their early careers. Through exhibition, artists can entice and channel their emotions for others to see. The Juried Student Exhibition will be open from April 19, 2023 to June 7, 2023, conveniently located for students, and only a short walk up the steps of the QCC Art Gallery located at 222-05 56th Ave, Bayside, Queens, NY 11364. The gallery event was made possible by the Queensborough Community College Department of Art & Design.