Mixtape Art Gallery

The Mixtape Art Gallery, hosted by the Sacred Heart University Department of Art and Design, commenced its opening reception on Feb. 8 at the Edgerton Center for Performing Arts. The exhibition, showcasing artwork from students, staff, and community members, will remain on display until March 10.

Artists were asked to submit a high- resolution image and link that portrayed their view of the community. The gallery featured large-scale posters of the images submitted through the open call with QR codes to create an interactive experience for viewers. Each artist was allowed to submit up to five entries and there were about 40 submissions featured overall.

“The show is just an updated version of wanting to make a Mixtape utilizing the technology we all have available on our phones,” said Prof. Nathan Lewis, Chair of Art and Design and Director of the gallery.

“We see QR codes used for commerce most often but there isn’t anything in the technology that suggests it couldn’t be used more artistically,” said Lewis.

Most of the images experimented with Artificial Intelligence, and other images were inspired by previously created artwork.

Sophomore Kayce Lewandowski was one of the many inspired artists who contributed to the gallery with her inspiration stemming from a previous piece she created.

“This piece was from a final exam project and I thought this one would be the coolest piece to scale up large,” said Lewandowski.

Her piece was inspired by her love for incorporating self-portrait and human anatomy elements into her artwork. The piece revealed a face made up of yellow and blue colors using realism with colored pencils.

“I had bright blue hair and I thought of how I could put that in the drawing,” said Lewandowski. “I wanted it to look completely insane and I wanted viewers to see the crazy emotion from the colors and the lighting.”

Lewandowski’s artwork was set alongside other artists’ work throughout the lobby of the Edgerton. The gallery is an invitation for people walking past, to stop and interact with the exhibition of people’s artistry. Lewis said, “We are constantly sharing stuff on our phones and learning things through our phones. The show is giving space for those interactions.”
At the gallery, attendees can explore the

artwork while utilizing their smartphones to access the provided links via QR codes. These links directed viewers to a variety

of multimedia content, including songs, speeches, podcasts, videos, and web pages.

Most of the links are to songs on YouTube that the artist felt represented the community and their artwork. Examples of some of the songs used were “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove, “Moonage DayDream” by David Bowie and “Do the Evolution” by Pearl Jam.

Another example of a link used in one of the pieces was a video on YouTube by Thirsty For Art called “How We Killed The ‘Little Artist’ Inside of Us.” Senior Bella Vaccaro featured this link in her piece she called “The Little Artist.”

“Growing up, my imagination and creativity always made life brighter and inspired me to find the beauty in the little things,” said Vaccaro.

Vaccaro along with other artists was able to express her artistry and give voice to what is happening artistically within the community.

Vaccaro said, “This piece is a sneak peek inside my brain and the importance of fostering the little artist that lives inside us all.”

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