Art gallery showcases senior thesis projects

April 11, 2014

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The opening reception for “In This Place, In This Time” featured the senior honor thesis projects of undergraduate NYU students in the Barney Building on April 9.

A collaboration of senior projects, the gallery featured paintings, small sculptures and other works of art spread out in both gallery rooms.

Work from Steinhardt seniors Sarah Awad, Sejin Park, Michael Villarosa, Apple Nunez, Minji Lee, Maya Misra and Monica Park was featured in the exhibit.

“We wanted to transform the space into another world,” Awad said. “We wanted to have small nuances in nooks and crannies where people [could] immerse themselves in the space.”

A wide variety of media was represented, including sculpture, oil on canvas paintings, graphite and colored pencil on paper, c-prints, a comic strip and a motorized, wood-and-paper drawing machine. The comic book “MAT-MAN,” a collaborative work of Park and Villarosa, included an accompanying live performance wherein the performer lay on the ground in a full fabric bodysuit. This was an audience favorite, with many visitors capturing the performance on their phones. Initially, the performer lay still at the gallery’s entrance, but later in the exhibition she began to crawl through the group, still in full bodysuit.

Apple Nunez’s sculptures were another notable part of the exhibit. The untitled pieces were small ceramic sculptures, many resembling tiny creatures, which were spread throughout the space, providing a sense of cohesion between the two gallery rooms. Even though the exhibit included a range of media, these small details served as a reminder to take the exhibit as a collective whole.

“We wanted Apple’s creatures to act as a spirit guide in the space,” Awad said.

Navigating the space between the two rooms seemed to be one of the challenges of immersing viewers in the space, and the use of the “spirit guide” creatures certainly helped create cohesion. Visitors flowed between the two rooms without disruption, admiring the various pieces of artwork and talking with the senior artists. The exhibition is the first of four thesis-shows for Steinhardt seniors, and will be on display until April 13 in the Rosenberg and Commons Galleries.

Sam Del Rowe is a staff writer. Email him at features@nyunews.com.

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