Site-specific installations designed by studio art majors as part of their ART300: Advanced Studio Concepts course have appeared throughout campus. "The students are always excited to have the opportunity to respond to the inspiring natural and architectural environment here at Salve," said course instructor Susannah Strong.
The goal of the project is to create a piece on campus that transforms the public's experience of the chosen site. Some works have a political or environmental message, while others are created purely for aesthetic appreciation.
Ayu Sakamoto ’20: “Relationship III”
I chose to explore ways in which composition and color elicit thoughts and feelings in the viewer. The formal relationships between size, height and color provide opportunities to experience a variety of visual stimuli. From different angles, the piece can look completely different. In this way, the spheres symbolize people’s movement. Students, faculty and staff from a variety of disciplines and departments use these stairs every day. The different colors and sizes of balls hung at various heights represents the diverse types of people who travel up and down this staircase.
Brielle Salamone ’20: “Untitled”
The composition of this image is inspired by street art. I always wondered what art is. Street art always fascinated me, but growing up I always heard it associated with the term “vandalism.” I enjoy the way the vibrant colors attract attention. Whether that attention is good or bad, it still attracts viewers. Street art, specifically graffiti, is considered an anti-social behavior and can be punishable by law. The law tries to censor what we create and holds artists back from truly expressing themselves. The purpose of the repetition of this image makes people question what something means. What does this design mean to you?
Jaeyoung Lee ’20
My piece relates to this year’s critical concern of the Sisters of Mercy that focuses on the environment. It also addresses the social inequalities that often result from a lack of ethical environmental stewardship. In this piece, industrially manufactured cotton and yarn have been hung from the windows to symbolize rain. In order to raise awareness around environmental sustainability and fair trade, I want to call attention to the circumstances through which we benefit from industrialization and mass production. Although we gain convenient access to these types of products at more affordable prices, the situation among cotton farmers and workers grows more difficult each year because of water shortage, the falling price of cotton, and unfair labor practices. In the process of making cotton, a great number of laborers are exposed to heavy amounts of poisonous substances such as pesticides. Workers suffer and even die from the diseases caused by these chemicals. Therefore, I decided to use cotton to represent clouds as the source of rain. The strands of yarn represent rain which symbolizes the countless number of hardships. Additionally, producing commercial cotton causes serious environmental pollution such as water contamination and soil erosion. The rain/yarn running from the clouds/cotton implies that the pesticides and fertilizers run off into nature. I chose these windows to install my work because the ocean setting helps to strengthen the metaphor of water contamination. My hope is that people will reflect and consider the deeper impact that their economic choices have on society and the environment. Convenience comes at a price.
Kyra Steinmetz ’21: “The Fairy Project”
In a world where people are forced to grow up quickly, imagination fades from our everyday lives quicker than a candle’s flame flickers out. Yet, we still grow up with fairy tales in our hearts no matter what culture(s) we are a part of. As humans, we cannot help but get carried away by a wisp of wonder as we begin to daydream of our own childish fantasies. “The Fairy Project” represents childlike imagination that spreads itself all over campus. Can you find all five of the pixies playing hide-and-seek?
Maggie Parker ’19: “My Rhode to Heritage”
I chose to create this mixed media piece inspired by the crazy walls detectives made in crime shows where they would use yarn to connect the dots. I am a first-generation American, my father is from Rhodesia, today known as Zimbabwe. I am creating awareness to the struggles that some first-generation Americans face, after being inspired by my own conflicting feelings. The green yarn connects the stories and images I have to piece together in my head. I may never make it to Zimbabwe, and I will never know Rhodesia the way my family did, so I have to put together what I can through stories, history and surviving photos. The gold strings connect key moments in my memories, those that I feel have driven me to be the best I can be. The blue strings represent myself as a first-generation American: blue for the American flag. It’s hard to piece together my family history, and how it has affected my character. It’s in this piece that I show how the mind works: not precise and organized, but rather disconnected and a mess.
Leigh Olson ’20: “Creation of School Swimmin’”
I began thinking of the origin of Salve Regina University and the community of sisters that was once much larger than it is today. One night, Michelangelo’s painting “The Creation of Adam” came into my head as the starting point for this project. I decided to create my own version of this famous work by incorporating Mary James O’Hare (First Dean of Salve Regina University), my best friends that all major in subjects taught in O’Hare, and objects to symbolize the courses instructed within the building. Discovering more about myself as a painter, this project allowed me to use black lines and various color and texture to visually story-tell. Bringing history together allows the viewer to connect the past and the future as one, presenting itself as a continuous tale. This large-scale piece is meant to be experienced as there are many details that make up the entirety of it.