Faculty showcase artwork in Broyles

     The faculty art gallery is the newest addition to the Broyles art gallery, running from August 15 to September 18. Various genres and styles fill the gallery, including ceramics, sculpture, photography, and painting. Of the pieces displayed, all of the works come from the lower, middle, and upper school faculty.

    The development of art takes place through numerous stages. The process begins with inspiration, which the artist then uses to create tangible works of art.

     Upper School Photography teacher Michael Reese draws his inspiration from a personal philosophy. “It kind of comes from a Buddhist philosophy; to be in the present, to just be aware, and take nothing for granted,” said Reese, commenting on his work “Nothing is Permanent so Everything is Precious.”

     On the other hand, Upper School drawing and painting teacher Pamela Diaz Martinez drew her inspiration from a series of verses from the Bible. 

     “My first set of images is about the holy spirit and wind as a form of it,” said Martinez. “After it does that, it becomes a different form…then it becomes fire. To me, it’s really interesting, like a superhero.”

     After the inspiration, the next step is making the piece itself. Martinez created a set of images of the apostles of Jesus. The process was long and tedious, starting with drip painting onto styrofoam, letting it sit for a week, and then picking the pieces that she likes.

     Although rather simple, Martinez uses a creative approach to choosing her pieces. 

     “It’s like looking at clouds, and you notice, ‘Oh, that one cloud formation looks like a tree. Or that one looks like a squirrel.’” Martinez said.

     Utilizing several techniques, Martinez produces the texture she likes. 

     “Sometimes I pour stuff into the paint, so for example, it can be charcoal, beeswax, anything that makes it a little more textural,” Martinez said.

      Martinez’s techniques have been noticed by the many visitors of the exhibit. Most noticed was her unique texture, a signature element of her piece.

     “I love the texture, it gives me the impression of a barren, snowy, land,” said Dennis Liu, a freshman.

     The process is not an easy one, nor is it quick. In most cases, many drafts are made before a final piece can be chosen. 

     “I did 110 paintings prior to this and they were all bad… I rejected all of them” Martinez said.

     Martinez’s work took a great deal of time. Through the many rejections and revisions, the final product slowly took form. 

     “I would say probably 8 months [of work]” said Martinez.

     “Nothing is Permanent so Everything is Precious,” said Reese. Reese’s work, in comparison to Martinez’s, was very contrasting. Reese’s work was a series of photos set in a beach landscape. Although not nearly as time-consuming as Martinez’s process, Reese’s process also took a considerable amount of time. 

     “It was a full day at the beach, probably in total four or five hours,” said Reese. 

     Being in a beach setting, Reese didn’t want the typical beach photos. Rather than the stereotypical image of a crowded beach full of palm trees, kids swimming around, and beach chairs everywhere, Reese wanted to capture the beach in a different manner. “I didn’t want the typical beachscape pictures… I wanted to aim for something different,” commented Reese. On top of that, the pictures are done in black in white, not something you’d see in your typical beach photo. 

     Reese made use of several techniques to attain the type of setting he required. 

     “All of those pictures are done with a very slow shutter speed, and I did that intentionally,” said Reese. “[I] dragged the shutter… without a tripod, without the assistance of support… so you’ll get this more ethereal, more dreamlike landscape.”

      The students have also noticed the distinctive aspects of the Reese’s pictures. “His works are very unique one,” said Liu, “I like the blurring effect.”

     The exhibit has been well received by the students. The different forms of art portrayed throughout the gallery allow students to view a wide spectrum of art, while simultaneously giving students the opportunities to view the works of their own teachers.

     “[The exhibit is] pretty modern, and intriguing,” said Liu. “There are so many styles of art here and they contrast very well.”

     The students come to see the exhibit both in their free time and in their class time. “Ms. Martinez took the whole class to look at it,” said Ethan Gao, one of Ms. Martinez’s drawing and painting students, “I like how much detail is in each piece of artwork.”

     Overall, the exhibit was a success and the astounding amount of work put into each piece impressed all onlookers. 

    “I was recommended to visit the art exhibit by other students,” said Liu. “It’s so cool to know that the people who made these teach here at Westminster!”