The Graduating Seniors Art Exhibit in the Lederer Gallery is a bittersweet event, displaying the fine art of those students who will soon be leaving Brodie and will never grace the halls and galleries with their work again. It is a sophisticated show, including two installation pieces, drawings, paintings, photos and screen prints, and every work makes a statement.
On the right wall of Lederer is something a bit unusual compared to the typical Brodie fare. Several large sheets of paper with comic book-style art are positioned above large word bubbles that narrate the contents of the pictures. It is, as the artist Will Perkins says in his written blurb, a comment on "the power of imagination." There is a theme of the world being a dark place, where "the only thing [people] are missing is hope." The boy in the story finds solace in thinking about superheroes and how they make the world better, and how, perhaps, he can make the world better himself.
In the vein of making the world a better place, Tracy Gosda's "Measure of Wealth" stands as a solemn but strong cry for people to open their eyes to the extraordinary poverty that has an iron grip on much of the world. At the head of the table that makes up the piece is a podium with a binder on it, containing pages and pages of statistics on the wealth of many countries. On the table are dozens of bowls, each filled with an amount of rice proportionate to the wealth of the specific country that each bowl represents. There are, at best, 10 bowls that contain a lot rice. This number is dwarfed by the number of bowls that have as a dozen grains of rice. Gosda's piece illustrates the power of images to personalize impersonal numbers.
The second installation piece is a collaborative effort by Kristen Matheson, Sara Oliver and Jaime Schemer called "Who We Are." Included in the exhibit is a darkened corner of the room where viewers are encouraged to use flashlights to see the artistic nudes inside. The need to use flashlights represents the difficulty in showing oneself to the real world. People would much rather stay hidden. The only problem with this portion of the exhibit is that it is tucked away back in a corner and not easily noticeable.
There are some more whimsical pieces on the left wall, including "Don't Count Your Chickens..." a silkscreen print project by Jaclyn Costanzo. It features pastel-colored eggs and chicks with various patterns imposed over their usual shape, giving some of them an Easter feel. In the center of these small square prints is a larger print of a multicolored rooster, placed in a frame with chicken wire instead of glass in front of it. This and "You Have to Kiss a Few Frogs," another print of Costanzo's, have a whimsical feeling to them. The vibrancy of the colors gives them a great energy.
The Senior Exhibit is always an impressive show, but in more ways than one. It is always sad to see such talented artists leave the Brodie halls, but hopefully they will move onto even greater accomplishments. Congratulations seniors: your show is beautiful.