Located inside Norrington Center, straight through the corridor and up the stairs, is the tranquil Campanella Gallery. The gallery hosts this fall’s exhibition, Special Topics, which includes artwork from six Park University students and alumni. It is on display from Aug. 4 to Sept. 29.
The Campanella Gallery will hold six different exhibits this year, including two for upperclassmen and one for faculty. These exhibits will feature works from Park faculty, alumni, and students majoring primarily in fine arts or graphic design. This year students collaborated with Andrea Lee, the gallery director and Park University instructor of art, to develop a theme that would allow artists to explore their own creative capabilities while creating real-life pieces of themselves.
“We plan these exhibits a year in advance,” said Lee. “These exhibits are to support the artistic achievement of students and faculty at Park.”
Many of the pieces were done on canvas with watercolor, oil or acrylic paints. Other pieces were mixed media, which Lee describes as “a combination of materials as opposed to just watercolor or just acrylic paint.”
Some pieces can take days, or even weeks, to complete.
Astrid Gonzalez created “Reflection,” a watercolor piece that portrays a woman with whimsical purple hair, piercing purple eyes and matching makeup. The woman lies looking upward with her hand resting on her forehead. In the lower left corner of the painting, there is text that reads “Quiet People Have The Loudest Minds.”
Persis Grubbs, a 2017 graduate with a bachelor’s in graphic design, has six pieces in the exhibit that highlight her views on the environment. Her pieces are mixed-media and one includes tangible 3D elements such as an open food can, plastic wrap and half of an empty water bottle.
“I was inspired by an environmental awareness campaign that we focused on in a different class. I wanted to see what I could create from my own unique artwork,” Grubbs said.
Since mixed-media pieces take time to complete, Grubbs approached her work in phases.
“I wasn’t sure where to go with it,” Grubbs said of the piece, titled “Trash Dump.”
At one point, she felt she completed the piece only to approach it again and feel differently. Each time she would add a new element. She said each piece in her series is like adding a new sentence to tell a story of her – from her artistic capabilities to her personal views.
“(Trash Dump) became a thing of its own with cans, greenery, and webbing,” said Grubb. “These are all things we do as humans that can be changed if we did things differently, as you can see by the trash, oil, and ropes,” said Grubbs, using her hand to navigate onlooking eyes to each piece. “They’re magical creatures – like unicorns – and are going out,” said Grubbs. “There won’t always be many fish in the sea if we keep going.”
The exhibit’s hours through Sept. 29 are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 4 to 9:30 p.m.