Students braved the icy weather Friday to peruse through the incredible art, selected from the LGBTQ+ community, displayed at the Rainbow Center Art Gala. The art gala showcased an array of art, spanning from drawings, paintings, words and pottery.
Greyson Nackid’s “Koi Pond Vase” was the only sculpture, but was eye catching beyond its uniqueness. The rounded vase was glazed blue with streaks of muted green, acting as the twists of seaweed at the bottom of a pond. Giant orange and white koi were both carved and glazed onto the vase, giving the illusion of swimming to the fish due to the curve of the pot and swish of seaweed around their bodies.
“[I came here] just to support queer artists, plain and simple,” Anna Marie LaChance, a chemical engineering third-year PhD candidate, said. “I love coming here, the Rainbow Center is very supportive, accommodating and affirming, and art is a main way for us to express ourselves.”
Many students surrounded Lucas Brunt’s “Lou,” which was one of the largest pieces in the gala. Segments from “Lou Sullivan Diaries: 1970-1973” were scrawled across a giant white page. Sullivan is a famous author and activist who worked on behalf of trans men. Lines like “I don’t want to be a girl. I hate it.” and “I wish I was a boy!” are overlaid by a gigantic transgender symbol scribbled on in what appears to be pink colored pencil.
“I decided to come today because I want to show support to some of my friends and experience another part of our campus culture,” Bret Olson, a seventh-semester accounting and German major, said.
Several artists had multiple art pieces in the show. Alex Leo’s photo collection “Night in the city” used muted, dark colors in the background to make certain aspects of each photo pop, such as the red of someone’s sneakers, the red of the railing at a subway and the orange of a dog’s fur. The color scheme was cohesive across all his photos, working to bring the idea of a night in the city to life. Aries V Peralta’s drawings “The lodge” and “Man myth legend” used what appeared to be rough charcoal lines on an old fashioned, almost parchment-like paper to evoke an air of antiquity, like a page of Norse mythology. Peralta’s use of framing also worked to make the drawings look like photographs.
Other art pieces were made cohesive simply by the skill of whoever had displayed them on the walls. The green theme in Aven’s “Shiny Goomy,” Rhys Moskowitz’s “Tears of confusion,” Jen Halpern’s “Leaves, I Guess” and Golnaz Zamiri’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go” helps to tie them all together, despite the fact that their only commonality is that they were placed next to each other. Otherwise, they were pictures of a Pokémon, an eye, leaves and an impression of Dr. Seuss’ famous book, respectively.
The art gala featured one artist in particular: Robyn Ventura-Chavez. Ventura-Chavez is a queer, disabled, Puerto-Rican artist, who gets his inspiration from creators on YouTube and Instagram. His work is incredibly diverse. Where his “Maquette Studies” painting used oil paints, “From Maurice Sendak’s ‘In the Night Kitchen’” seemed to use watercolor. He also used printing techniques in “Climate Strike Prints” and digital painting in “Troy Kyoung.” With subject matter spanning just as widely as his use of different mediums — with paintings of flowers, people, animals, symbols and words — it’s clear that Ventura-Chavez is an incredibly skilled and multifaceted artist.
Students and visitors were welcomed to write notes for any of the artists they viewed Friday and were supplied with pens and paper, accordingly.
“They’re letting us leave notes for the artists, just in case the artists want to read them,” LaChance said. “So I just figured the ones that impacted me most, I was just thanking them for sharing their power.”
All in all, it was a wonderfully executed and impactful art gala, and it seemed like the students present really appreciated it.
“I think it’s fantastic, every one of the works is fantastic, especially the quote ones,” LaChance said. “[It’s] just really meaningful to me that we can have this space.”
Rebecca Maher is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.