By: Jackie Champoux
As students arrived back to classes from winter break, new paintings were hanging through the halls of the Frank and Marisa Martire Center for the Liberal Arts.
The new paintings are abstract representations of influential figures that have framed the course of history. Their colorful presence and exaggerated features have caught many student’s eyes while also bringing a new life to these significant figures.
“It’s electric and challenging,” said English and CIT professor Emily Bryan. Professor Bryan took one of her classes around the Martire building to look at the collection of paintings.
“At first I was a bit startled by the new paintings. However, I did notice them right when I walked in on the first day,” said sophomore Ellen Micallef. “At first they scared me a bit. But after taking the time to look at each individual painting, I realized the significance of the person it was about.”
Many students have different comments and questions regarding the new paintings.
“I first noticed the paintings because they were colorful and abstract,” said junior Gabrielle Fezza. “Although they caught my eye, I do not know why they are here or where they came from.”
Although the new paintings caused confusion for some students, the 35 portraits scattered throughout the building are part of a collection called “The Great Minds Collection.”
The portraits were created by an artist named Robin Morris, who was commissioned to begin the project by a man named Dick Resnick.
According to “The Great Minds Collection” commentary, “The concept for this project was directly influenced by the required core course, ‘Philosophy and Religion,’” said Resnick. “The class opened my eyes to the extraordinary history of human thought that has shaped our existence.”
As an artist, Morris claims that she has always been inspired by the human mind and was thrilled to work on “The Great Minds Collection.”
“As I portrayed each individual, I came to know them, their values, accomplishments, travails and triumphs,” said Morris through accounts in the commentary. “The contradiction that I enjoy most about my work is reality and imagination with a touch of humor.”
Bryan feels that these new paintings will serve a greater purpose for the SHU community.
“I like them especially because I think they invite you to think about who these people were and of course that the text of the paintings invited you to think about their contribution to the arts, politics, history, civil rights, presidency and the list goes on,” said Bryan.