By Caitlyn Young, Visual Arts Faculty Member
Photo by Ali De Jarnett ’16
The first Swartley Gallery exhibit of the 2014-2015 school year featured selected works by D-E Visual Arts faculty members Rachel Brusky, Marisol Diaz, Elisa Garcia, John McCabe, Lydia Scrivanich and Caitlyn Young. The exhibition opened September 22 and ran through October 30, and it featured a wide variety of themes and materials that our six faculty members use in their personal artwork.
Ms. Brusky’s collection features emotive portraits painted in oil on canvas, as well as a mixed-media artist book based on her travels to Israel and Jordan. Her portraits of her brother focus on dealing with difficulties in life and searching for healing. The book shows a wonderful array of sketching, painting, artifacts and writing, reflective of her journey through the countries.
Ms. Diaz’s work displayed in this exhibit deals with refuge and memory. Her pieces reflect on her animal-self and how we in the West have divided and deconstructed ourselves from our primal animalistic selves. It showcases the struggling between a personal path of the “American Dream” versus personal fulfillment. She has included large-scale works created with a mixed media approach, combining painting, glass sculptures, wood and found objects.
Ms. Garcia’s current projects include figurative work that features emotional abstractions evolving from her appreciation for the human figure. The work derives from “a sensitivity and desire to understand and describe the human condition.” The neutrally colored paintings are beautifully subtle abstractions, in which the viewer can draw upon ideas of portraiture.
Mr. McCabe’s work showcases striking documentary photography images taken in the Lower East Side/East Village area of New York City. The graphic images document the struggles and divisions of the neighborhood that was home to a burgeoning art, music, theater and political scene that existed alongside drug abuse, crime and poverty. The tense situations and confrontations are visually captured through the lens of Mr. McCabe.
Mrs. Scrivanich’s theme consists of the oasis and escape one can find in nature. Her selection of work is reflective of her appreciation for the environment, which has influenced her work throughout her life. Colorfully rendered parrots and texturally drawn white trees with a painted forest background are some of the highlights of her work.
In Ms. Young’s exhibit is a series of both 2-D and 3-D work that focuses on finding refuge in enchanting spaces. It features watercolor and pen & ink paintings alongside wheel-thrown and handbuilt pottery. A gestural watercolor captures the sun setting over the ocean and a large sculptural vessel forms coral with clay that is the color and texture of pink sand, as meditations on the sea. Red clay pieces represent the land in Oklahoma, while the forms themselves are reflective of ware in South Korea.