Arts, Features

Visual Arts students cultivate creative, personal exhibitions in CFA

The white walls are a canvas themselves in Gallery 5, where visual arts students in the Boston University College of Fine Arts showcase their best work.

Gallery in the College of Fine Arts. Art students can display their work on a rotating basis each week in Gallery 5, an exhibition space located on the fifth floor of CFA. ERIN BILLINGS/ DFP FILE

On the fifth floor of the newly renovated CFA, the student exhibition space features work that rotates biweekly and pushes students to produce their own exhibit.

Julianna Augustine, administrative coordinator at the School of Visual Arts, wrote in an email students have complete autonomy in shaping their exhibit.

“Students are responsible for all aspects of their exhibition, including curating, installation, and publicity,” Augustine wrote. “This level of experience and responsibility is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn and grow as artists.”

Students must find a faculty sponsor for the exhibit and complete a comprehensive proposal detailing their layout, design, theme and issues the art will reflect, she wrote. The SVA Exhibition Committee decides whether to accept or reject the proposal.

CFA sophomore Katie Schuldenberg put together her exhibition with fellow sophomore painting major Alessandro Lopresti.

The pair’s exhibit, “Working at Home and Away,” consisted of two 3-by-5-foot paintings, and was displayed in Gallery 5 the first week of November.

“You’re deciding on scale pretty early, which was kind of difficult for me, because I created everything once I came to school in September,” Schuldenberg said. “From September up to Nov. 1, I was working really hard to finish all that amount of work in that time.”

The artists were given a layout of Gallery 5 in the application, including dimensions and wall space. Schuldenberg described the process as “pretty freeform,” allowing her to become comfortable with different types of art.

“I wanted to more so explore different styles and approaches to drawing and painting, that was kind of my goal,” she said, “to step out of what I usually do, like what I’m inclined to make, and make something different.

After detailed work and many long nights in the studio, the pair installed the exhibition themselves, Schuldenberg said.

Schuldenberg, who only had one studio class this semester, said she saw Gallery 5 as a way to stay connected to the CFA community and keep making art.

“It was a way to push myself to be creating more work,” she said. “It was just an overall good experience.”

CFA painting senior Ran He’s exhibition is currently on display in Gallery 5. For He, this solo exhibition — “More Than a Landscape” — is a first.

“I just feel it’s time to show my final work,” He said. “My work [has never been] shown in the public like that before.”

He’s work is made using oil and acrylic paint, and incorporates photos and tissue paper. The exhibit is a collection of He’s work throughout her time at CFA.

Augustine wrote that although CFA has several galleries, Gallery 5 is devoted solely to visual arts students. She wrote the exhibit’s goal is to improve the student experience and help them cultivate their artistic dreams.

“The mission of Gallery 5 is to enhance the quality of life of students in the School of Visual Arts,” Augustine wrote, “by offering an exhibition space where they can conceptualize, propose, plan, and install their own professional-quality exhibitions.”

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