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Artwork straight from the heart

The ‘Psychic Hearts’ exhibit in the Harris Gallery evokes emotion.

Al Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs, leads a discussion with his Honors Colloquium class while viewing “Runaways (From the River),” painted in 2008 by Angela Dufresne. The first Harris Gallery opening for the year, which began on Tuesday, brought together four artists in the exhibition “Psychic Hearts,” curated by Director of Galleries Dion Johnson. The exhibit runs through Oct. 8. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. / photo by Erin Maxwell

Al Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs, leads a discussion with his Honors Colloquium class while viewing “Runaways (From the River),” painted in 2008 by Angela Dufresne. The first Harris Gallery opening for the year, which began on Tuesday, brought together four artists in the exhibition “Psychic Hearts,” curated by Director of Galleries Dion Johnson. The exhibit runs through Oct. 8. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. / photo by Erin Maxwell

Aisha Gonzales
Staff Writer

Bold colors and texture are just a few of the techniques used in artwork of the ‘Psychic Hearts’ exhibit held at the University of La Verne’s Harris Art Gallery.

The bright colors and overflowing texture from the pieces illuminated the white walls of the gallery Tuesday night, capturing visitors’ full attention.

Direct lighting in the exhibit caused the visitors to focus on the detail of the pieces while proclaiming each artist’s forte.

“I was really excited to see the first show of the year. I enjoyed the presentation of the pieces, they each were very unique and interesting. It was a very good turnout for the first exhibit of the year,” junior art major Alanzo Moreno said.

The placing of the artwork gave a balance to the exhibit. The large canvases were placed on each side of the room and two textured pieces were placed across from one another.

Artists Angela Dufresne, Kristine Moran, Max Preneill and Allison Schulnik showcased together a total of 10 canvases based on the theme of the distinction between memory and fiction.

Dufresne and Moran, both from New York, used rich colors to create whimsical pieces.

In Dufresne’s piece, “Runaways (From The River),” the canvas is covered with royal blue paint, which camouflages two women standing inside a boat floating on a river.

Moran uses smooth strokes for a unique fantasy illustration in her pieces displayed, “Steam Bath,” “The Gift” and “Cornered.”

Her blend of colors and brush strokes establishes more than one focal point within each painting.

Preneill and Schulnik, who both work and live in Los Angeles, used a great deal of detail to capture visitors.

Preneill’s piece focused on abstract elements, however texture was the key factor of Schulnik’s fantasy creations.

Schulnik’s used mounds of paint to create striking texture that bring her artwork in both her pieces, “Song Painting #4 (Start Your Digging)” and “Desert Hobo,” to life.

“All the paintings are very unique, the exotic colors and textures really stand out,” freshman biology major Kristne Williams said. “I keep looking at Schulnik’s painting of a hobo, it has a 3D affect and it looks like a clown to me.”

Many of the visitors of the gallery fixated their eyes on each piece for several minutes, trying to find the messages hidden within the canvas.

Presneill’s 96” x 108” canvas, “Still Life (with Pablo)” was analyzed by many of the visitors. The artist commented that he used a painting of Pablo Picasso as an inspiration for his piece.

His use of shapes and objects compelled its onlookers to ask questions and create their own interpretation of the artist’s technique.

“Presneil’s piece was very interesting. It looks like the fruit bowl is reflected through a diamond and the diamond distorts the image. I get the impression that the diamond represents wealth and the use of a skull in the piece represents life,” said senior religion major Travis Case, “Maybe the artist was trying to send the message that wealth distorts life?”

The “Psychic Hearts” exhibit will be displayed at the Harris Art Gallery until Oct. 8, and is opened Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. Admission is free.

Aisha Gonzales can be reached at aisha.gonzales@laverne.edu.

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