By Michelle Reistad
The arts are a big part of MSUM. Last week’s reception for the student juried exhibition proves that, as the various works of art displayed show off different artists’ innovation, dedication and passion while portraying the individual artists’ unique expression.
Kristen Perala, who will be graduating this May with a BFA in studio art with an emphasis in both photography and graphic design, is a great example of how experience at MSUM can shape an artist.
“My work definitely reflects my growth here at MSUM,” Perala says. “I am continually looking for different ways to produce my work and incorporate my different areas of emphasis.”
Perala’s ambition shows in her piece entitled “Co. Hwy. 137,” which was crafted using intaglio, a printmaking method involving copperplate, an acid resistant and hatching lines. The final product is an abandoned house with a claw-like tree next to it.
“The inspiration for this piece came from a reoccurring dream I have had since I was a little girl,” Perala explained. “I’m always frantically running to an abandoned house in an open field with a creepy tree alongside.”
Perala’s ability to transform her nightmares into beautiful works of art is encouraging for other aspiring artists.
“I was rather pleased with the outcome of the final piece since this type of subject matter is something that I don’t normally do,” Perala said. “Abandoned homes have been a reoccurring theme in my work, but nothing like this. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and for that I am glad.”
Along with Perala, many other students have their artwork displayed in the gallery. The mediums range from photography to ceramic sculpture. The wide variety of art forms showcase the individuality and passion for art that makes MSUM unique.
The gallery displayed many beautiful sculptures as well, including Christopher Alvashere’s “Weathering” and Erika Mathison’s oil on canvas piece, “But You’re Married…?” Mathison’s piece portrays a female with various arms covering her mouth and surrounding her face.
Cara Allbee’s monotype, “Memories of Rage” showcases her artistic ability along with a fantastical side to art. The wolf depicted in the piece evokes an element of imagination and nudges the viewer to perceive things in a different light.
Overall, the works of art displayed in the gallery were received by a generally impressed audience. Much of the artwork shows how truly far the creators have come not only as artists, but also as individuals. The emotions and personalities brought to life in the art reflect the masterminds behind it as well as their personal growth.
The exhibition is on display now in the CA Gallery and will be open through Thursday.