On display at the Dreitzer Art Gallery, located in Spingold Theater, are compositions created using a diverse array of artistic media. Why? The Fine Arts Department is sponsoring the Senior Mid-Year Exhibition, offering students the incredible opportunity to view the magnificent works of art created by the students in senior studio.

 The gallery is adorned with oil paintings, sculptures, photographs, acrylic canvas paintings and more. My first observation was that my classmates have a strong flair for creativity. Many of the compositions achieve a sense of wonder through the strategic utilization of multiple artistic media. These compositions implored me to think about the people who produced these artworks and ask, “Why?”

 The embodiment of the sense of wonder prevalent throughout the entire gallery is an untitled sculpture by an anonymous student. Its description is simply, “Mylar balloon, hand tailored Mylar suit, plaster chicken wire skeleton, Mylar shoes, Mylar mirror, projector.” The sculpture appears to be a person sitting in a chair, staring into a mirror, with a projector shining upon the balloon that I interpret to be the head. Attached to the projector is a USB drive and a pair of headphones.

  I don’t know who made this sculpture, when and how it was produced, and, most importantly, what inspired this artist to create a composition with a thick atmosphere of mystery. But I do know that the sculptor intended to remain anonymous. This decision further begs the following question: What does this sculpture mean?

   I stare into the faceless Mylar-coated balloon, in a contemplative attempt to discern the soul of the ethereal sculpture and its artist. But all I can see is my own face staring back at me. At this moment, the answer to the mystery becomes clear to me: there is no objective answer.

  I believe that the sculpture represents each and every one of us. It encourages us to look into our own Mylar-coated mirror and see that, when the light of introspection is shone upon us, there is a burst of color that represents that easily-forgotten fact that we are more than the balloon, chicken wire, plaster and Mylar that create us. I believe that the symmetrical use of Mylar for both the person and the mirror indicates that, through our attributes, we have the power to shape how we are seen externally. We are compassionate, intellectual, artistic — we have depth to our souls and offer immeasurable value to the world around us — and we can inspire the world around us by reflecting confidence through the acceptance of our own unique identities. I will likely never know if this is indeed the message the artist had in mind while creating this extraordinary work of art. But I do know this: profound philosophical lessons can be learned anywhere; therefore, it is our imperative to seek out as many opportunities as possible to learn those lessons. 

The Senior Mid-Year Exhibition will be open at the Dreitzer Art Gallery through Jan. 21, 2020.