Art After Hours: Penn State Creates celebrated student creativity through a diverse selection of mediums Thursday night at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art.
Art After Hours is a series of evening events and exhibits hosted by Penn State College of Arts and Architecture to help visitors connect with art in different ways. Hosted at the Palmer Museum of Art, the series is free and is aimed at Penn State students and the State College community.
Located on the second floor of Palmer, the pop-up exhibit greeted viewers with two contrasting halves of a monarch butterfly drawn on two separate canvases. Titled “Climate Metamorphosis,” each half of the piece represented a different notion the artist, Jessica Myschisin, had about the species.
Myschisin, a graduate student from the College of Agricultural Sciences, said that while the vibrant left half described “people’s admiration for the species”, the lackluster right half focused on the death of monarch butterflies in recent years due to environmental impact.
“I specifically want to examine the impact of climate change on monarch butterfly species,” Myschisin said. “I am inspired by my interest in environmental science and the impact of climate change on various species.”
In painting, Myschisin’s goal for his creation was to have a “strong science communication impact” on the general public who do not necessarily follow science subjects.
A few steps from “Climate Metamorphosis” was an untitled photograph of a woman sitting on a dumpster made and taken by Emma Kappel. Kappel (young professional in photography and art history) spent 10 hours on this project, perfecting small details like the cigarette to the overall “grungy” composition of the photo.
“I really enjoy putting together and styling my own shoots. [There’s] not too deep of a sense, but you know, sometimes it’s OK,” Kappel said.
The photo caught the attention of several onlookers and was Emily Baker’s favorite piece at the exhibition. Baker (senior biochemist) said it caught her eye because she could tell the artist had put a lot of effort into creating the perfect image.
“She tilted the trash can…and she had the woman sit at a very specific angle so it could lengthen the picture,” Baker said. “I really like when people do that. It was no accident.”
Another popular creation at the showcase that drew crowds from time to time was “Midnight Exchange of No Particular Kind” by Madisyn Simington.
Simington (graduate studies in visual arts) bound a book containing poems she wrote after the death of her mother. Each poem, written from journal entries and typed on a typewriter, coordinates with a black Polaroid photo of a room in her former home.
Simington emphasized “the sense of immediacy” in his work by matching the materials produced by the typewriter and the Polaroid camera. After her mother’s death, Simington moved out of her old home, but she said she was “mentally still there”.
“I like the immediacy because you want to do it now,” Simington said. “When you’re upset, you don’t have patience with these things, and you want to do them right away.”
Katharine Getz said she “really liked” Simington’s work, deeming it “a very meaningful piece”.
“It’s obviously so painful, and it hurts a lot to take the grief and turn it into art. It’s really powerful,” said Getz (first-year chemical engineering student).
Around 6:30 p.m., the exhibition welcomed the students of ARTH 112-Renaissance à l’Art Moderne. Accompanied by her class, Paige Balliet said the “large spiral tunnel” piece caught her eye.
“When I first looked at it, it was something that I couldn’t quite recognize. I looked at it and had my own interpretation of what it is, whereas the others, I know exactly what I was looking at,” said Balliet (freshman in public relations) while taking a look at “Summer Textile”.
Created by Megan Gottfried, Fiber Painting tolerates constructed sexism and how historical values have diminished female artists. A master of art candidate, Gottfried said she has a background in textiles and the history of sewing, fiber and fabric.
“A lot of crafts and fiber art were not considered high in the pecking order compared to oil painting or [others]said Gottfried. “Essentially, a lot of artists like Anni Albers were told they couldn’t be painters, or they couldn’t do metal casting. So a lot of women have taken fiber courses.”
The abstract of creation stands out at Balliet.
“I love how you can interpret it in different ways,” Balliet said. “Somebody can look at it and think it’s something completely different than it is.”
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