Sprucing up the USU with student art

Sarah Gilbert / The Collegian
From handwritten art to photography, six student artists showcase their unique artwork

The first ever University Student Union (USU) Student Art Exhibition featured six pieces: three paintings, two photographs and one word art picture.

The theme-less exhibition displayed several different styles and each picture had a statement from the artist next to it to better explain his or her intent.

The two smaller paintings were situated side-by-side and were starkly different from each other.

The pink rose titled “Rose on Concrete,” by Maria D. Bravo was used by the artist as a symbol of beauty and bounced from its neutral gray background.

The earthy colored combination of three women titled “Tres Mujeres,” by Cresencia Cruz sank into its darker gray background.

When asked what inspired her art Cruz said, “Everything. The world, people, my family, emotions, my never ending thoughts, nature, the social and political problems that arise, my heritage, the list goes on and on.”

The photographs were placed next to each other. Each photo featured an outdoor scene.

“Knowledge & Involvement: Self-Reflection of a Fresno State Student,” by Soua Xiong was a photograph of the reflection of the Peace Garden and its immediate surroundings mirrored in the side of the Henry Madden Library.

Sarah Gilbert / The Collegian

“In my pictures, I want people to see life and its surroundings from a different point of view,” Xiong said.

The other photo, “Into the Quietness,” by Elena J. Polanco was a picture of the artist’s “quiet place,” situated in front of a setting sun.

The largest piece in the display filled the corner of the USU building with its staring eyes. The colors evened out the two forms, struggling for visual representation, the butterfly losing little ground against the blank stare.

“Nature serves as a great basis for my work, along with the human connection that one has with the earth,” said artist Mauro Carrera of his large “Untitled” painting.

The word art used a combination of light ink, dark ink and a bit of red ink to outline the face of President Obama in his own words, his acceptance speech.

“In lieu of the new president being our first African-American president, it was the best I could do to commemorate his election,” Nicholas Montgomery said. His piece titled “Change,” is the eighth piece of its kind. Montgomery previously did the Twin Towers with the names of the victims and a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., using his speech “I Have a Dream.”

The deadline for submissions was April 20 and the six pieces were on display for three days in the study area of the USU building.

During the exhibition, students were offered the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece. The top voted piece was then recommended for purchase by the board of directors.

Participating artists said they were pleased with their experience and hoped the USU would continue to do similar artist involved events.

Coordinators of the event said that money had been put in the budget to do the art exhibit and will possibly purchase more student art next year.

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