Student-run art exhibition leaves an impression on USD


Photo Courtesy of Alexis Zenk

Photo Courtesy of Alexis Zenk

What started out as a photo discovery in Palomar Lounge became a photo art exhibit in Camino Courtyard last Thursday April 21. Junior Veronica Bellocci teamed up with sophomore Alexis Zenk to create a student organized art exhibit on campus.

“I have to do this for my final in my Art Exhibit class,” Bellocci said. “I chose to display an exhibit on campus because I want to be a curator one day so I really wanted to get into my field and learn about it.”

Nine different images were displayed on stands in a circle, each one illustrating a different meaning. Bellocci and Zenk handed out flyers as students and faculty members passed through the Camino Courtyard. The flyer contained an artist description written by Zenk.

“Impressions is a combination of my past and present,” the flyer stated. “It is a compilation of my love for textures and my fascination with the human form. It incorporates elements from my childhood and adulthood to create textures and patterns impressed onto the human form and show that we can be a direct reflection of our environment.”

Zenk shared her inspiration for the abstract photo pieces.

“I was working on personal projects and one of my professors came up to me one day and said, ‘Your pictures are just pretty’,” Zenk said. “He said there was no concept behind them and that I am not going to get anywhere if I keep taking pretty pictures. So, I started doing some soul- searching and wanted to make my pictures about me a little bit without putting myself into them. I combined my love for textures, merged it with my passion for photography, and then photographed the human form. It was actually inspired by the indents on my wrists from my ponytail.”

Each image contained a body part that had an impression left from an external factor on some part of the skin. The photos on display included a wrist with the indentations from a hair tie, indentations on pruney fingers from soaking a hand in water, indents on a foot from straps on high heels, and marks on a face from sleeping on the sheet of a pillow. Others also included marks on an arm from the metal nails of a hinge on a wooden chest, indentations from sitting on a chair, indent marks from a bra strap, and the indentations on the inside of a lip from pressing it on a screen door.

Sophomore Franklin Floresca walked through the exhibit and examined the various pieces of photography, among many other Toreros.

“The metaphor of impressions can be understood through her artwork,” Floresca said. “The metaphor can be applied in many different facets of life; an impression from a friend or a beautiful piece of music. It can be anything that affects you.”

Photo Courtesy of Alexis Zenk

Photo Courtesy of Alexis Zenk

Bellocci considers the effects from the creation of her exhibit that included photos taken by Zenk.

“I have had a lot of positive feedback,” Bellocci said. “The impressions are simple, everyday things that some of us experience. My favorite photo is the one of her [Alexis] with the sheet because she captures the impressions of the pillow on her face. The impressions are on your skin but also on your life; it is a metaphor.”

Bellocci shared her gratitude for discovering Zenk’s passion for photography.

“I think this was really great to publicize Lexi’s work because she is a really talented artist,” Bellocci said. “And I just love curating and putting together exhibits.”

Zenk reflected on the art exhibit’s success, which was her first in-person display of her work.

“We had 100 flyers to start but now we are out,” Zenk said. “This has been one of the most exciting days. I have never had my artwork displayed other than on social media. To see people come by and react is incredible. Someone described my work as powerful and it has been very encouraging for me to go out and shoot more because of this.”

Class opportunities, such as final projects, enable students to collaborate with one another to offer particular events on campus. For these students, the passion for curating and photography was displayed for the Torero community, hopefully sparking an appreciation for abstract artwork.