Selected student artworks were exhibited in the “New Arts from Home & Abroad” Awarded Student Art Show in Goldman-Schwartz Art Studio last week, including artworks created in 2019 Brandeis in Siena Program,  a two-course studio art summer program in Siena, Italy, and more. 

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CUT AND PASTE: Instead of following the traditional way of using the material, creator breaks boundary to add layers to the paintings.

  Students pursued their art istic journeys at home and abroad and sparked creativity all over the world. Rita Scheer ’20 is the creator of several exhibited paintings, including “there’s a house at the end of it (I & II),” created this past summer at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. In an interview with the Justice, Scheer explained that while she was away from home this summer, a question emerged in her mind — “what makes a house feel like home?” In her paintings, the wooden staircase and the warm reddish wall compose a cozy atmosphere that reminds us of our homes. But what makes the paintings stand out is the big white blank arch space in Painting I, which is portrayed in detail at the corresponding spot in Painting II. She used to look out from the big arch-shaped window while she was working in an old art library. Rita explained that she was making a contrast, with some level of abstraction, between home and something outside of home. In my own view, I also see the window as a bridge, connecting the creator from the exciting adventurous world to the safe shelter she can always return to, no matter how far she travels. 

  For some other students, studying at Brandeis is more than simply leaving home. Students from abroad contribute to the Brandeis art community with their unique understandings and tastes from other cultures. It is this openness and diversity that makes artists thrive at Brandeis. 

 If we shift our attention to the individual paintings, we can find this diversity reflected in formats, brushstrokes and the use of contrast. The exhibition contains artistic formats from acrylic paintings to photography. Some art pieces were created to fit into the environment, while others were deliberately separated from the surroundings. 

 Brushstrokes also reflect the great diversity in styles among students. Carrie Sheng ’20, author of four exhibited pieces, has bold and rapid brushstrokes that blend the objects into the environment. Liv Molho ’20, on the other hand, depicts objects with firm touches and clear edges that separate the depicted object from the background. Sheng and Molho also have very distinctive illustrations of shadow — Sheng blends various colors to create depth, whereas Molho builds the dimensions using strong, contrasting color blocks. Techniques reflect each artist’s understanding of expressions. The accumulation of experiences to gain this unique technique or understanding can take place at school or abroad. The Siena section of the exhibition displays an array of paintings that has a common artistic style of the Sienese School – thin, elegant and highly pigmented.

    Art is universal. In our lives, we travel to different places. Maybe we settle down and start our new lives, or maybe we leave and return to the place we are familiar with. Humans communicate and exchange their ideas through art and language. All the exotic elements, techniques and themes will eventually become parts of our art styles. As we are exploring the unknown, we embrace diversity that brings a larger world to us. Right now, our souls are all comfortably resting in our home in Waltham, at Brandeis, knowing that one day we’ll fly away to explore the diversity and come back at any point for a solid shelter.