by Annie Devine
Some say art is eternal; if so, where do artists keep it? On March 18, the first installment of the annual senior art exhibition opened in Gund Gallery, showcasing the creativity and talent of this year’s senior studio art majors. Their projects range in media from oil paints to plywood, and steel to shredded tarps. The seniors’ projects explore subject matter that is just as diverse: first impressions, time, memory, female identity and the idea of home, to name a few. All good things, however, must come to an end. Even if art is eternal, the exhibition was not, and the first installment of the senior art exhibition closed on March 28. The projects came down, and the next studio art majors’ projects were erected in the Gund Gallery, where they will remain until tomorrow.
The most practical answer might be to sell their projects to the immediate community. Parents, professors, students and community members attended the exhibition opening on the evening of March 18, where they could both admire the artwork and make offers to buy it.
Sarabeth Domal ’15, on the other hand, has found another route for her art pieces — a digital print series of different landscapes. Laumont Photographics, a gallery in New York, has agreed to mount her work on aluminum and ship the pieces to different buyers. She anticipates selling her work to various galleries in Asbury Park, N.J. She plans to sell them for anywhere between $50 and $900 depending on size. She hopes to continue working with this gallery in the future. Domal said, however, when asked about whether she plans on keeping any, “My mom wants to keep them all.” So despite all of the success, it is ultimately a bittersweet parting.
Tess Matthews ’15 has stuck to selling her works on campus. Her contribution to the senior art exhibition was a series of blind contour drawings of strangers she has encountered at home, at school and other places she has gone. She said many people around campus have shown interest in her pieces, and she has sold them separately for $15 each. Matthews, like Domal, has also been approached by galleries, but because her pieces have been selling well, she has passed on the opportunity. “It kind of is important that they’re all together for the piece to work conceptually,” she said. However, her main goal is to get her work out in the world, even if it means hanging a dozen of her contour drawings in her parents’ house. “I don’t want to just put them in boxes,” Matthews said.
Elena Anatchkova ’15, on the other hand, is from Bulgaria and has struggled with bringing art home in the past. “Every time I go home, [airport security] checks my luggage because I either have a sculpture somewhere in there or a stack of papers that doesn’t go through the scanners,” Anatchkova said. Her piece for the senior art exhibition consisted of sculptures in front of four-by-eight-foot landscape oil paintings, and would not be easy to bring home with her. She plans on leaving them in the United States.
So perhaps art doesn’t last forever, and it passes in and out of the lives of its artists. Whether they give their works to parents or friends, display it in galleries or sell it to community members, once the transaction is made it no longer belongs to them. Still, even if the piece is elsewhere in the world, the essence of the piece and the experience of creating stays with the artist. According to Anatchkova, “I feel like once I have made it, it stays with me.”