Student art show for all

This painting, by first-year Sienna Todd, was inspired by women she encountered at a womens’ march. Anderson Haigler/The USD Vista

Students of all majors and artistic backgrounds display their art in the Humanities Center

Anderson Haigler | A&C Editor | The USD Vista

Last Thursday, USD students had the chance to showcase their artwork at the Humanities Center in Serra Hall. The event,  organized by the Humanities Center Student Board, gave students of all majors and levels of experience the opportunity to have their work displayed. Senior Kayla Beauregard, President of the Humanities Center Student Board, described her vision for the event. 

“The whole point of this art show was to let students have a voice and artistic creativity, because there’s a lot of structure in regards to our school and when we’re allowed to do things and what we can share,” Beauregard said. “So this was supposed to be a free flow of thoughts and ideas that student artists could share with other students and cultivate a community of open and acknowledging thought and art.”

This piece, painted by junior Chelsea Johnson, was inspired by Toni Morrison’s book “Sula,” and her work is titled “Nel/Sula.” Anderson Haigler/The USD Vista

The theme of the show was identity, and according to Beauregard, part of that was a sense of inclusion.

“The show was open to any and all USD students,” Beauregard said. “We had the theme of identity, whatever that means to you and however you choose to interpret that.”

Art on display ranged from paintings to poems. First-year Sienna Todd had one of her paintings on display at the art show, and spoke about what inspired the painting.

“My inspiration for the painting was actually the Women’s March moment,” Todd said. “It was a part of a concentration I did on justice, equality, and women’s rights issues. The women in the painting are actually four different women that I know who were at the march.”

Todd created charcoal portraits of the women, then edited them on the computer. The result was a compelling piece.

Junior Chelsea Johnson, a Political Science major, also had a painting featured in the show. Her painting, titled “Nel/Sula,” depicts a striking portrait of a woman screaming. Johnson, used oil paint on canvas for her painting and discussed her inspiration for the piece.

“I actually painted this piece after reading the book ‘Sula’ by Toni Morrison for a political science course,” Johnson said. “I sensed this feeling of outrage in some of the characters, and I wanted to express it visually.” 

Senior Stanley Ryan’s work was perhaps the most striking of those on display last Thursday. His piece, which is currently untitled, features a series of paintings depicting a Steel Reserve beer can set against brightly colored backgrounds. For Ryan, inspiration for these paintings came from within.

“I am working on a series of paintings, and I’ve been really focusing on my vices, and I drink a good amount of Steel Reserve,” Ryan said. “I was playing with the relationships between colors. Each of the four [paintings] has the same palette of six colors, and  I just sort of changed the way they interact. I used spray paint on masonite, and I used a few layers of stencil for the cans themselves.”

Senior Stanley Ryan’s paintings reference his “vices” in the form of a beer can. Anderson Haigler/The USD Vista

The student art show at the Humanities Center featured a diverse range of artwork, and the show appeared a success based on the artists’ reactions. Junior Alex Deddeh, who shared a poem at the art show, said that the inaugural show was a good one.

“I think it’s great,” Deddeh said.  “I love that there’s a ton of different mediums, that there’s poetry included, prints, meanings — I think it’s awesome. I hope that we continue to do it.” 

According to Beauregard, the Humanities  Center plans on  hosting more student art shows like this one in the future.  If this show was any indication, future shows should feature more creative student art from students of all backgrounds. 

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