A chair made of cardboard and a heart wrapped in caution tape helped put the “wow” in the “Wowee Zowee” student art exhibition Tuesday evening.
Presented by the Harris Art Gallery at the University of La Verne, the art exhibit featured the work of students currently enrolled in painting, sculpture and photography courses.
“We do this every year,” said Director of University Art Galleries Dion Johnson. He was among several student and faculty spectators who spent the evening gazing at all the new art forms.
“I really like the sculpture on the wall,” Johnson said, pointing to a 3D architectural piece by Nawwaf Alhawasi. “I like the use of symmetry and patterns.”
Depicting characteristics of a roof top, the piece was covered in different kinds of paper with multi-patterned designs that featured big and small colored circles all around.
3D sculptures seemed to be the hit of the show, as guests hovered over complex designs, made from simple materials.
“It looks like a spiral of emotion,” said senior art major Ashley Contreras. Referring to a vortex-like piece constructed out of copper wire and rice paper by artist Cindy Harder.
Many viewers at the reception interpreted their own understanding of the four-foot structure.
“I like the use of industrial materials,” said Kevin Bowman, photography department manager. “I can’t tell you what it is but it looks like functional art. It looks like it could be a lamp or a coat hanger.”
“I started out not knowing what I was going to do,” Harder said. She now calls her masterpiece a flowing ribbon.
Another 3D hit was a chair made completely out of several cardboard box pieces held together by glue.
“It doesn’t look sturdy,” said USC student Shaimaa Abdelhamid. “I am a fan of using recycled material, especially for art.”
Abdelhamid took the Metro from USC to ULV to see the work of her friend, junior art major Caitlin McCarthy.
Two of her paintings made it into the exhibit, each evoking contrasting emotions of the heart, literally.
One painting featured a heart, complete with arteries and veins, floating in a country field with a mass of butterflies pouring out of its vessels. In another painting a heart lay stiff, wrapped up in caution tape.
“It’s pretty literal,” McCarthy said. “It’s inspired from personal experiences and relationships, and what I have observed from friends.”
Several other canvas paintings were displayed all across the gallery room floor, many depicting subdued scenes from nature above and below the surface.
One painting featured two orange jellyfish swimming in a deep blue blur.
“This painting explored internal light,” said creator Jen Scarr, junior art major. “I like jelly fish because they are dangerous and calming at the same time.”
Also on display were several black and white abstract photographs shot from students enrolled in documentary and elementary photography courses.
For more information about the work displayed in the “Wowee Zowee” student exhibit and for future exhibits at the Harris Art Gallery, contact Dion Johnson at 909-593-3511, ext. 4273.
Mark Vidal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.