By Aaron Calvin
Calkins Hall saw the opening of the 2011 Student Art Show on Wednesday during common hour. The exhibit showcased pieces from many different mediums: from photography to magazine layout, sculpture to oil on canvas. The wide range of artistic talent was put on display and several awards were given out from within Hofstra and by an outside juror.
As a viewer entered Calkins, they would be immediately struck by the myriad of black and white sketch works. Though they were of various levels of quality, many were interesting and caught the eye.
Rounding the corner, the viewer can see the symmetric and asymmetric art on view, filled with pop references and an interesting juxtaposition of images. Next to this are professional grade magazine/newspaper layouts along with different typographical designs.
Inside a glass walled area across from this are two collections: “Do Artists Dream in Electric Blue?” by Deborah A. Ni and “Distance” by Myla Seabrook. “Electric Blue,” like the Philip K. Dick novel it references, has a sort of dystopian, surrealistic feel. It includes a cup hanging from the ceiling with blue liquid pouring and stopping in mid-air, a pile of chairs crushing a pair of legs, and a blue canvas wrapped in magnetic tape. Distance was also ominous, but in a more vibrant way. The sunset hues of the collection showed desolate, swirling views of mountains, sky and ocean.
Continuing through the exhibit, walls were lined with photography cataloging people and places. Many of them were pictures of local sights and fellow students. Jeff Weller showcased a large photographic collection of Hofstra students in the nude and semi-nude, posing in whatever pose they felt comfortable with.
Abstract oil paintings hung upon the walls with different sculpture pieces nearby as a jazz trio played and hors d’oeuvres were served. Eric Harvey was announced as the winner of the Outside Juror Award for his multiple pieces, including the 2011 Arts Show poster.
“I enjoy the range of classes Hofstra offers,” Harvey said of the Hofstra Art Program.” For me, it is important to use your hands. I guess, overall, a program can only do so much. It takes a lot of individual initiative.”
If individual initiative is what it takes to make a good art program, then Hofstra’s program is on the right track.