Maggie Reid, Features Editor
If you venture down to the library concourse and take a look into the Barrett Art Gallery, you will see a new exhibit on display by artist Mona Brody. The exhibit is called “In the Whisper of Silence” and will be open from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Feb. 24.
Brody’s work is abstract and primarily uses muted colors, text and oils on canvas as she takes inspiration from nature.
“They (the paintings) start with objects and the objects get transformed,” Brody said. “There is a metamorphosis of mysterious places that are unfamiliar. They deal with place and something other than what you might be familiar with, they have some sort of sensibility and what you might recognize.”
Megan Austin, director of the art gallery, described Brody’s work as “abstractions of memory and history.”
“It’s not always apparent because it is abstraction,” Austin said. “It is helpful to have myself or another student employee talk about work and what they know about it based on Mona’s description of her process, which does a lot with layering. In this body of work she uses a lot of muted colors, pale pinks, grays, blues, ect. She also uses Golden artist colors interference paint, which is dimensional. As you move from other sides of paintings it changes colors.”
Austin believes that student exposure to art is an “integral element of a liberal arts foundation” because it leads them to the thinking process and the way in which artists experiment and are not afraid of failure.
“It is aesthetically pleasing, a nice place to take a mental break from the demands of coursework and a way to ground yourself in this visual experience,” Austin said.
Junior Lukus Becker was “instantly relaxed” as he viewed Brody’s exhibit.
“The earth tones used in the art was like walking in a mountain scene,” Becker said. “I took plenty of time to pause at each of the pieces, and I even went back to take in the work again.”
Becker’s favorite piece was a wall full of small canvases that had quotes on them. He felt that separately they were unique pieces of art, but together they tell a story.
“I personally love the part about abstract art where you can very freely interpret what you see,” Becker said. “That it is dependent on the individual to who is viewing it what they see.”
In the future, Austin plans to have one exhibit on display for the length of a semester in order to expand the time frame and opportunity for “events, programs and teachings.”
By having one exhibition per semester, Austin said that they would be able to invest in artists and exhibitions of higher caliber which is normally more costly.
“The exhibits would be up for “By having one exhibit up 15 weeks of classes in the future, there are more opportunities for other departments to engage in these exhibits,” Austin said.
For the next exhibit, Austin plans on bringing artwork that will have an interdisciplinary tie where she can “utilize artwork for teaching.”
“A big part of the vision I have for the gallery is to enhance object based learning, help students and community members develop visual literacy skills and to expose the visitors to either different forms of artwork or different ideas and cultures they may not have been exposed to before,” Austin said.