An opening reception for “Two Ways: Sweet Briar College Studio Art Majors’ Exhibition,” featuring Krista Maldonado and Ellen Reid, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, in the College’s Anne Gary Pannell Center Gallery.
Hosted each year by Sweet Briar’s gallery staff, the studio art majors’ senior thesis exhibition is the culmination of the students’ four years of work toward their degree. This year’s show promises diversity, with North Carolina native Ellen Reid experimenting with sculpture, while Krista Maldonado, a varsity tennis player from Texas, focuses on mixed media.
Maldonado’s artwork involves inkjet transfers and acrylic painting on wood panels. She uses pop icon portraits, then gives them a special weathering treatment to create an eroded look.
“It’s a gluing technique; I place the image face down to allow the ink
to come off, then I rub off the paper on the backside,” she explains.
After taking the original image apart, little bits of it are pieced back together in a grid-like manner.
“This allows me to see these icons in their ‘supposed’ beautiful state deteriorating in front of my eyes to give the effect of the flaws which are present in every person regardless of their appearance,” she says. “The end result allows the viewer to see this icon differently than before.”
Maldonado has been interested in mixing found images with different painting techniques since high school, but says she’s ready to expand other aspects of her repertoire. After graduation, she plans on moving to California to study animation and graphic design.
Reid’s work has already drawn attention beyond Sweet Briar. Last fall, the Lynchburg News & Advance’s weekly entertainment guide, the Burg, featured her senior thesis performance “Such is Life,” which combined installation sculpture and dance.
This semester, it’s all about sculpture.
“I embrace exposure to a dialogue with the sculptures; through this, the nature of my work becomes illuminated and profoundly self-referential,” Reid says, adding that concepts of growth, reciprocation, fragility and support inform this dialogue and influence her art.
“The concepts rely on the authenticity of the materials. Searching and reacting are factors in the material selection for my work.”
Not surprisingly, Reid’s sculptures reflect her abstract approach to art. Instead of featuring more traditional materials, such as stone or wood, they’re comprised of straight pins, fishhooks and fuzzy pieces of cotton, to name just a few.
Reid deliberately chooses materials that “speak to [her] innately.” Through her experimental creative process, Reid finds out what it is the material wants to be, she explains.
This process isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to her philosophy.
“I value improvisation, experiments and uncertainty as responses to influence,” Reid says. “For me as an artist, the balance between what is conceptually sufficient and what is aesthetically complex is the most valuable and affective consideration in the formation of a piece.”
“Two Ways” can be viewed April 13-May 1 during regular gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Between May 2 and May 10, the exhibit is open by appointment only. On graduation weekend, hours are 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 11, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12.
The exhibit is supported in part by a fund established by Carl and Barbara Calandra, parents of Amy Calandra Davis ’90.
For more information, email [email protected] or call (434) 381-6248.
Contact: Janika Carey