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International artists cover new ground

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Ruth Trotter, professor of art, is a Los Angeles based painter working in pictorial representation using references from architecture, landscape, media and psychology. Michael Frantz, professor of mathematics, asks about her acrylic abstract painting, “Curve.” The “Covering Ground” exhibition in Harris Art Gallery./photo by Denisse Leung

Julian Burrell
Staff Writer

Brenna von den Benken
Arts Editor

The “Covering Ground” exhibit showcases the works of Los Angeles, based artists Barbara Kerwin, Marion Lane, Ruth Trotter, and Melbourne, Australia based artists Katherine Boland, Terri Brooks and Dawn Csutoros.

While all six of the artists held a longtime recognition and respect for each other’s work, this was their first time meeting the people behind the art.

“I’ve always admired Marion’s work,” Kerwin said. “We barely met just now.”

The new exhibit in the Harris Gallery gave the artists a chance to view their work side-by-side for the first time.

“It’s just so fun to come together,” Boland said.

A long-distance admiration notwithstanding, the artists clearly had nothing but appreciation for each other’s work.

“As beautiful as those pieces were, it seemed like she was just doing something else like swimming with a speedo on and after just got straight to work with easy materials, but it’s so beautiful,” Lane said, referring to how effortlessly her fellow artist could slip into her work after relaxing.

As similar as their work may be, being that all of their pieces fit into the abstract genre, there are numerous subtleties about each artist that separate them from the others.

Boland and Brooks, for instance, both are inspired by the harsh weather and environmental conditions of Australia’s early post-settlement.

However, they both use separate methods and materials to convey their message.

While Brooks makes use of common house paint and pencils to create abstract landscapes, Boland utilizes organic materials such as wood, beeswax and graphite in her work for a somewhat unorthodox methods of delivery.

Csutoros’ artwork draws upon heavy parallels between eastern philosophy and quantum mechanics and uses tea and coal as symbolic matter for a means to an end.

Kerwin’s style is heavily geometric, with shapes and forms that build up to the urban harmony of Los Angeles.

“I had a scholarship for architecture in school, so I like rectangles,” Kerwin said.

Her exhibited artwork follows such an architectural-like image with her consistent use of the shape.

Each of the artists has their own unique talents which were finally revealed to the University public in an evening reception on Tuesday at the Harris Gallery.

The almost hidden gallery near the La Verne library proves to be an especially fitting home for the art work, with its alabaster walls and wide display space.

At the reception, students were finally able to take in the art in its entirety. and connect with the pieces, both individually and collectively, for the first time.

“The acrylic works attracted my attention most of all because of the designs and texture,” senior art major Nubia Cardenas said.

“I’ve done a lot of acrylic myself and I’ve never used it that way so it’s interesting to see it used differently.”

Despite each of the artists stressing their individuality in their art work, students are still able to appreciate how each painting plays off the other, delivering a symphony of colors and expressions that is both wonderfully mad, but oddly enticing.

“In a way, all the artwork is cohesive,” Cardenas said.

The “Covering Ground” exhibit held a reception with the featured artists at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Harris Gallery.

The University of La Verne will continue to exhibit the collection in the Harris Gallery, open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 4pm until Oct. 20.

Julian Burrell can be reached at

Brenna von den Benken can be reached at

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