The Benton hosted an opening reception for its two latest exhibits this past Thursday in the East Gallery. The gallery featured “Ancestors of the Passage” by Imna Arroyo and the 51st Annual Studio Art Faculty Exhibition. While strolling through the gallery, attendees were treated to live music from student musicians Nathan Giordano, Kevin Duffy and Steven McArdle, light refreshments and a cash bar.
As soon as attendees walked into the gallery, they were greeted by Imna Arroyo’s “Ancestors of the Passage” installation. The exhibit was inspired by this semester’s UConn Reads book, “The Refugees” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The walls were covered with photos of Arroyo’s creative process and informational panels describing how things were made and what she was trying to convey.
The exhibit itself took up a fair amount of the floor and considerable wall space, telling the story of those who were lost at sea by having figurines rise from the water. Her piece also incorporated sound, video and two-dimensional art in order to truly set the scene and enforce her message
In the larger room of the gallery, the Benton hosted the 51st Annual Studio Art Faculty Exhibition. The exhibition displayed pieces created by University of Connecticut faculty, which featured a wide variety of media.
The opening reception managed to draw a diverse crowd of all ages and backgrounds, many of which were students looking to support their professors. Megan Cascella, a sixth-semester printmaking major worked with professor Ray Dicapua in Florence last semester and was excited to see his artwork done during this time displayed in the Benton.
“It’s really fun to see that [their artwork] and support them, because they are always supporting you,” Cascella said. “It’s a fun role reversal.”
While many of the students came out to support their professors, they couldn’t help but also leave feeling inspired seeing their work in a gallery. To see the artistic efforts of their professors proudly displayed in a museum encouraged many fine art students to continue their hard work and commitment to their studies.
“It’s really nice being able to see your professors work. You kind of pick up certain things from them and then actually seeing what they do is a really cool way of seeing their style,” sixth-semester painting major Bella Saraceni said. “I want to get my work shown like this at some point, so it definitely motivates me to really push harder and keep working and creating all the time to get to this kind of exhibition level.”
The exhibition included three-dimensional pieces, manipulated digital photographs, ink on paper, photography and watercolors. Sixth-semester printmaking major Isabella Uliasz said she was excited to see that pictures of John O’Donnell’s performance pieces had made their way into the exhibition. Uliasz had been able to watch O’Donnell’s pieces when he performed them, and was interested to see how they would translate in a photograph.
“It’s nice to see how that translates from being in person and seeing it, and then seeing it in a photographs,” Uliasz said. “His performances are really dynamic and energetic, so it’s hard to capture that in a photograph.”
The Studio Art Faculty Exhibition and “Ancestors of the Passage” will remain on display in the Benton through March 11.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.