The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Art exhibit showcases student work

Styles resembling graffiti, illustrations, food culture and abstract shapes will be featured in the 2011 Graduate Art Exhibition in the Tarble Arts Center.

The exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, printmaking, weaving, installation, and mixed media artwork by 11 Eastern graduate art students. One of the featured students, Jonathan Massullo, said he was not interested in art for most of his life.

“I doodled my whole life but never took it seriously,” Massullo said. “It got to be my second year of college and I was still a non-major. I almost dropped out. I had to think about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. (Drawing) was the only thing that came to mind.”

Massulo has several drawings in the show and each one transitions to another. His drawings feature insects, houses of cards, automobile accidents and construction equipment.

“It’s kind of like a giant sketchbook,” Massulo said, “It’s a metaphor for how I picture society in sort of a pessimistic, futuristic sort of way.”

Lei Curtis, another student in the show, said her work focuses on food culture and the connections between agriculture and food.

“I’m very passionate about what I feed into my system,” Curtis said. “We are not producing the healthiest food. It’s become more about brand names.”

Curtis’ work involves mixed media, installations of grass and grain and bronze statues of various farm animals. She said her work requires a lot of research from books and journals on food culture to make sure the facts she is portraying are correct.

“I wanted the piece to be a little ambiguous so the viewer would be a little challenged and question why are there this many cows or this many chickens,” Curtis said.

In addition to her work being featured in the Tarble, Jessica Harman has several paintings up in the south side of Booth Library. Harmon’s paintings form abstract shapes using acrylic paint and water on Mylar sheets. The paintings are set onto light boxes Harmon has built so they are illuminated from behind.

Harmon said the paintings involve a lot of trial and error.

“It’s all about timing when you add the paint or the water,” Harmon said. “It’s an easy and fast process so I can do a lot of them. Not all of them turn out that good so it’s a bit of a number’s game. I have about 50 of these.”

The opening reception for the exhibition was Sunday in the Tarble. Each student featured spoke to the audience about their work and their future after they complete the graduate program.

Several of the students said they would likely take a year off to work on art, some said they are eager to start their careers or start the Master of Fine Arts program. Other students featured in the show include Kristy Hughes, Elizabeth Turrisi, Colby Julian, Ashley Moore, Jeneba Koroma, Maggie Crowley, Crystal Means and Sean Walker.

“All of us really work hard and are enthusiastic about the program,” Curtis said.

“You need to really consider if this is what you want,” Harman said. “The pressure can be overwhelming, but it’s good. It can help you define yourself.”

Seth Schroeder can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

Art exhibit showcases student work

Art exhibit showcases student work

Andrew DeDecker, a freshman art major, examines a piece by Kristy Hughes at the 2011 Graduate Art Exhibition. Hughes’ submitted work included drawings and printmaking. (Seth Schroeder


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