The Urban Legend

Winter Art Show graces Urban walls with a night of wonder

Painting+created+by+Nina+Criswell+for+the+Winter+Art+Show+in+the+fourth+floor+hallway+on+Feb.+15%2C+2018.+
Painting created by Nina Criswell for the Winter Art Show in the fourth floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

Painting created by Nina Criswell for the Winter Art Show in the fourth floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.

Painting created by Nina Criswell for the Winter Art Show in the fourth floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor In Chief, Visuals

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Ten weeks of artistic processes, countless hours of dedicated work and eternities of thought produce the annual tradition of the Winter Art Show.

The yearly display is the culmination of the Advanced Art Seminar, a seniors-only arts class run by Visual Arts teacher Jennifer Starkweather.

Once students begin the class, their project ideas evolve through an assignment called 10-by-10s.

“10-by-10s … are intended to be precursor sketches/brainstorms for their projects. They could be photographs, inspiration sketches, text. It’s a way to get ideas out, and it’s separate from sketchbook work … We follow up with a critique. From there, there is a big transition, which is the hardest point, where they brainstorm how to get bigger,” Starkweather said.

Walking through the halls of the Urban School on February 15, each finished project drew me in and compelled me to ponder its meaning. The 27 metallic faces made by Imogen Budetti (‘18) asked audiences to identify each and every face. The motion-themed sculpture of Spencer Ghobadian (‘18) prompted viewers in the 3rd-floor hallway to ask themselves, in Ghobadian’s words, “what is that?”

I now endeavor to place my accounts of several pieces in writing, so that anyone who picks up this paper (or searches for this website, depending on how you are reading this article) can enjoy a fraction of the awe I experienced on that glorious night. To that end, below is a summary of my thoughts as I reviewed four of the artists’ works.

 

Lydia Sears

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Lydia Sears for the Winter Art Show in the fourth-floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Lydia Sears for the Winter Art Show in the fourth-floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Lydia Sears for the Winter Art Show in the fourth-floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

When Visual Arts Department Chair Kate Randall broke her arm in Vermont, the stone carving substitute, Emma Strebel, assigned an unusual bit of homework: topographical drawings. Sears took that idea to a whole new dimension. Literally.

Sears’ wall displayed three figures in various postures. Each was composed of rigid paper layered so that the body came out of the wall, forming a topological map.

Sears’ fantastical display of color and dimensionality captures the vulnerability that her art intended. The bodies are mounted alongside Sears’ stone carving project, which depicts a woman’s bust and adds to the theme of vulnerability.

 

Brad Bell

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Bradley Bell for the Winter Art Show in old library on the third floor on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Bradley Bell for the Winter Art Show in old library on the third floor on Feb. 15, 2018.

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Bradley Bell for the Winter Art Show in old library on the third floor on Feb. 15, 2018.

When I saw Bell’s work, I felt like Basquiat’s audacity and Warhol’s tastes had produced a child who was promptly buried under a sprawling city. Whimsical, with a bubble-gum pink and baby blue palette, and industrial, via the use of tarps and Tyvek roofing material, the canvases explore the way in which the modern world is composed of layers.

Bell’s work conjured my memories of the modern world in bizarre ways. My thoughts of Cheez-Its and Cheetos from the corner store were juxtaposed with my childhood fear of falling down holes at a construction site. Another panel with discount tags triggered my memories of walking through thrift shops, which were contrasted by my recollection of Old Spice commercials where creepy moms stalked their sons. All those memories stacked on top of each other compelled me to reflect on my world.

 

Nina Criswell

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Painting created by Nina Criswell for the Winter Art Show in the fourth-floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

If I sat in front of this radiant painting for 1000 years, dwarfed by its size, as my bones were scorched into dust by the ravages of time, I would somehow survive and be sustained by the warmth of this piece.

Criswell’s color choice evokes heat, not just in the sense of temperature, but also in comfort. It reminds me of the comfort that one’s own room provides. Like a plant performing photosynthesis, the light of this colossal painting would provide me with the energy to outlive civilizations.

 

Edan Lambright

Kian Nassre, Editor-in-Chief, Visuals.
Project created by Edan Lambright for the Winter Art Show in the third-floor hallway on Feb. 15, 2018.

The chutzpah that Lambright had to reverse course a couple weeks into the seminar paid off beyond imagination. Originally she expressed a desire to create some type of fire-themed collage, until she realized that she hated everything about it.

With its intricate ink drawings, which are precise enough to belong in an anatomical journal, Lambright’s mannequin captures the concept of humans being born as a blank slate, until they are ‘marked’ – like a tattoo – by their various influences.

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Winter Art Show graces Urban walls with a night of wonder