StArt Gallery Presents Student Artworks – Old Gold & Black

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The annual StArt exhibition showcases works of art from a wide range of students

“Grip of the Past / Silenced” (pictured above), a protest artwork by first year Sofia Trujillo, is on display this week and next in the village of Reynolda as part of the StArt Gallery.

“Let it show! Is the annual student holiday art exhibition at the stArt gallery located in the village of Reynolda. The gallery showcases works of art created by Wake Forest students and allows students to gain experience in the visual arts market by providing them with a space to professionally showcase and sell their work. Submissions were welcome from all Wake Forest students, regardless of major or year.

The gallery contains a wide range of artistic media, including photographs, paintings, sketches and sculptures. Some of the featured artists shared the type of statement or story their piece communicates.

Sophomore Emily Clark has created a sculpture that speaks of exploitative labor and poverty. His inspiration for the work started with a bag of chocolate.

“My friends and I were studying at a table outside Shorty eating Dove chocolates,” Clark said. “And we were laughing at how the inside of the packages had funny little quotes. Like, “There is always a rainbow at the end of the storm” or “You are beautiful” or just other fun inspirational quotes like this. We just thought it was so silly.

Their laughter quickly gave way to inspiration. Clark had just been given an art history class project in which she was to create a piece of art based on the story. While munching on chocolates, she recalled some disturbing facts she had recently learned about the chocolate industry.

“I had just learned the history of operating the chocolate industry,” Clark said.

She continued, “Many cocoa farmers are horribly mistreated and never even get the chance to taste the cocoa beans they tirelessly harvest. I found it interesting that a chocolate company could treat people like that, but then write happy quotes on the inside of their wrappers.

She immediately got to work, hot-gluing wrappers of Dove chocolate to fold concrete wire into a tapestry-like pattern. She titled the piece “Bitter Aftertaste”.

“Having the ability to turn my art into an art exhibit and get it accepted has shown me that it deserves to be shown to other people,” Clark said.

Second year student Claire Falletta submitted a photograph that told a personal story of love and family balance. Her work is a self-portrait that she created for an art class she took in first year. She was going through a lot of changes in her life at the time, and she wanted to create a play that explained how the people in her life gave her balance during a time that was anything but balanced. The photograph is of her with the hands of different friends and family touching her. She titled her piece “Equilibrium”.

“All of these hands represent something different,” Falletta said. “These are the hands that have helped me grow and made me who I am.”

She continued, “Without all these people, and without all these good and bad parts of life, we wouldn’t have balance.”

Freshman Sofia Trujillo submitted a sculpture installation titled “Grip of the Past / Silenced” which makes a statement about feminism and sexual assault. The piece contains three distinct layers: canvas, paint, and photographs. Each room communicates and survivors of sexual assault.

His inspiration came in part from the student protest that took place on August 28 and also from the ongoing #MeToo movement. Knowing about sexual assault survivors and listening to their stories, Trujillo noticed that survivors often put on a facade and pretend that everything was fine, even when it wasn’t. She wanted to capture this in her art and explore why women often feel like they can’t express themselves.

Trujillo said it was a piece she had wanted to create for a long time and that she is happy that she was finally able to accomplish it.

“Since I had the resources, I decided to do what I always wanted to do, which is to create a large facility that makes people a little uncomfortable. It’s strong, it attracts attention and it’s a poignant message that’s relevant to our contemporary times, ”said Trujillo. “It’s this huge story.”

The gallery contains many other works of art by a diverse group of Wake Forest student artists, some of which are for sale. The exhibition will be open until December 11.

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