Student artwork: Traffic 2017
University of San Diego students, passing the bookstore on the way to grab a sandwich at Tu Mercado or speeding by the Humanities Center, slowed down to marvel at the artwork on display across campus.
This past month, work by art students was displayed as a part of the Traffic exhibit in the Student Life Pavilion (SLP) gallery, the Humanities Center, the Visual Arts Gallery, and the Yorty Space for the USD community to enjoy and appreciate their work.
Traffic is a curated project by USD students Jana Hunter, Veronica Bellocci, Alyssa Gehb, and Bethany Martinez to broadcast the hidden talent of students in the Department of Art, Architecture, Art History (DAAAH). In collaboration with the Basement Society, The Alcalá Review, and the Humanities Center, the art department brought the exhibit into fruition. The Traffic description explained the purpose of the displays.
“Traffic 2017 is a student-led exhibition of current student work produced at USD,” the description stated. “It consolidates and displays the various strains of creative production at the university. The multimedia and multi-locational show cuts across departments and covers everything from introductory courses to senior projects.”
Senior Veronica Bellocci explained the reasons behind naming the exhibit Traffic.
“We decided on the name Traffic because it represents the California car culture and the condensed amount of artists and work that is circulated,” Bellocci said. “It represents the flow through time and space where Traffic is the pause where we can all stop and observe.”
Sophomore Jana Hunter was one of the four student curators that put together Traffic. Hunter explained the history of the Curator’s Club and the inspiration behind the exhibit.
“The Curator’s Club was created by our adviser Professor Shannon Starkey and was presented to us as a volunteer opportunity,” Hunter said. “Each year, the artwork of senior visual arts students is displayed in a gallery across campus. When we all went to the first meeting, Professor Starkey was very ambitious about starting a project that showcased as much art as possible. We were then informed that the workload of this project qualifies for independent study credit, so we were offered to take on this project as an independent study.”
Hunter explained that her time as an architecture major has helped influence her decision to get involved with the exhibition.
“I think that becoming as involved as much as I can has given me more insight of the community and workings of the department,” Hunter said. “I have come to appreciate all of the efforts that the professors exude because I know how passionate they are and how much they want to expose the students to information they have specialized in. This passion and information taught by the professors inspires the students and this inspiration is seen throughout their artwork. I think that this passion has informed my work with the exhibition because it helped me and my team members find commonalities within the pieces even though they were all very unique.”
Bellocci explained that her goal was to expand the work of seniors and visual art majors.
“The Curator’s Club […] and I expanded on their show to create a bigger exhibition to happen the same time as [USD’s] Research Week,” Bellocci said. “Traffic is the perfect opportunity for students who have taken an art class in the fall or this semester who aren’t visual arts majors to display their best artwork. Personally, as an aspiring curator and a part of the Curator’s Club, we wished to bring our wonderful student artists out of the basement for other USD students to see their talent as artists. With this opportunity, I was able to rediscover my passion for curating.”
Sophomore Alyssa Gehb was pleased with how the exhibit turned out and the support from the DAAAH department and students.
“Students in the DAAAH have been excited to have their work exhibited for a much wider audience than ever before,” Gehb said. “Students outside the department have been interested in seeing their fellow students’ work, which was made clear by the great turnout of the opening reception.”
After the hard work of Gehb, Hunter, Bellocci, and the art students, Bethany Martinez was pleased with the result.
“Everything we have heard has been extremely positive,” Martinez said. “From the students to the faculty, it seems like everyone has really enjoyed the exhibition. And that really brings me joy because that means our hard work over the last school year to create this exhibition really paid off.”
While some of the exhibit spaces closed last week, the SLP gallery is open until April 28, and the Humanities Center gallery is open until May 9.
Sarah Brewington, Associate Editor