2021 Student Art & Design Exhibit

Bright blue and baby pink oil pastels. Rubbed charcoal on Bristol paper to form a picture of a woman’s body. Red, orange and white oil paint blended to make a skin complexion. Students take a step back to view their artwork hanging on the gallery wall.

Mary Treschitta, chair of the Art & Design program at Sacred Heart University, announced that the 2021 Student Art & Design Exhibit will be open from March 21-April 5 in the Art & Design Gallery following COVID-19 restrictions.

“I was happy with the range of paintings in the show, and it was really nice to see the faces and work of our talented students,” said Prof. Nathan Lewis, a studio art professor.   

Due to COVID-19 and the protection of the viewers, a maximum of 25 students will be allowed in the gallery at one time. Facial masks are mandatory, and you must hand sanitize before entering. Also, all viewers must socially distance while viewing the artwork.

Students had the opportunity to submit up to six pieces of artwork from the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. The four categories of judging were foundation, graphic design, illustration and painting. The pieces accepted for the exhibit were selected by a panel of judges.

A group of students won awards for their pieces that were accepted into the show. The awards consisted of first, second and honorable mention.

Thirty-three students were accepted into the 2021 Art & Design Exhibit, ranging from foundational classes to advanced classes, such as Senior Project and Graphic Design IV.

“Out of all my pieces in the show, the most sentimental to me is ‘What Now?’” said senior Leanne Hooper, a double major with a concentration in graphic design and illustration. “This piece is meant to highlight the struggles of mental health, specifically depression, and what it can feel like waking up every morning, sitting up and asking yourself, ‘What Now?’”

“The main purpose of my art is for people to look at it and for it to spark joy. I use bright colors and designs that give off positive vibrations that carry on to the viewer,” said senior Meredith Oakley, an illustration major.

Sacred Heart students created pieces using various mediums such as oil paint, acrylic paint, watercolor, graphite, charcoal and color pencils. Additionally, students used programs such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to create magazine spreads, layouts and graphics.

“For my project, I designed an article spread in InDesign. I wanted it to have a more personal feel to it, so I incorporated handwritten quotes into the design,” said senior Erin Rondi, a graphic design major. “I start with sketches, then transfer them into Photoshop and then into InDesign.”

The 2021 Student Art & Design Exhibit allows students to showcase their work to the Sacred Heart community as well as the local art community in Fairfield, Conn.

“There were two monumental painted pieces in the show that packed a punch, Carly Julius’ highly experimental painting ‘Burn Me Down’ and iSABEL’s mural-sized ‘the surfer’,” said Prof. Lewis.

“The show was just perfectly curated and gave a strong representation of the talented students that Sacred Heart University has,” said senior Alexa Lombardo.

The exhibit will be on display at the Edgerton Center Gallery until April 5.

Staff writer Carly Julius participated in the exhibit. The title of her painting is “Burn Me Down.”

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