Visual Arts Society showcases student artwork

Photo by Kim Bongard

The Visual Artists Society (VAS) hosted a student art showcase in Friends Hall on Tuesday afternoon. To showcase a diverse variety of artwork, VAS invited Ramapo students to submit art of any medium from photographs to sculpture pieces.

“As a club our mission is to create a space where students of Ramapo College can come together and have an area where they can express themselves artistically,” said Emilia Szmscinski, president of the Visual Artists Society.

Szmscinski pointed out that this showcase was especially unique because it was not exclusive to the members of the Visual Artists Society or solely art majors, since Ramapo students of all different backgrounds were welcome to submit their creative projects.

“There’s so much talent in this community that you aren’t even aware of until you see it all together in an event like this,” said Szmscinski. “So I think it’s just really reflective of how young people can create such amazing things and be so in tune with art.”

One table was topped with three nature photographs by Katharine Michael, a senior contract major concentrating in photography and environmental science. Her affinity for capturing nature brings ordinary scenes, like the greenery around a pond or a sunset on a golf course, to life.

Michael said, “I love light and shadows, just nature. I like the seen and the unseen.”

Jonathan Rojas, a visual communication design major, linked one of the sculpture pieces to Dadaism, a form of conceptual art that plays with incongruity and nonsense.

“One of the early pioneers of it was Marcel Duchamp,” said Rojas. “He took regular everyday items and changed them slightly to make them useless, so he took them out of context to make it a form of art. This kind of reminds me of that,” gesturing to a lamp coated with dark black acrylic paint, titled “To Dust I Shall Return.”

Photography major Miranda Christensen explained her passion for capturing portraits and photography itself. “I was originally going to be a teacher, but then I was like I just want to do something that I love and then photography kind of fell into my lap.”

Christensen enjoys staging portrait profiles more than any other form of photography because it presents the opportunity, as she calls it, “to express their expression.”

One of her portraits was taken for the Hobby Lobby challenge, where people pose in photographs amongst artificial flower aisles in craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, in attempts to make the photo shoot appear as if it was captured in a real garden.

Photos from the challenge spread rapidly across social media sites in late January of this year.

“I like to try to do different trends that are going on in the photography place,” Christensen noted.

A drawing titled “Squares” was one of the most visually striking pieces in the showcase. Nadia Conway detailed the motivation and purpose behind her creativity.  

“It’s actually an assignment from my fundamentals of drawing class, and we had to draw two hundred squares,” said Conway. “So I was just thinking of anything that had squares with it so I thought checkered vans, waffles, Cheez-Its, Rubik’s cube, cross word puzzle, and even on the sticky note is square roots.”

Nadia Conway explained her greatest passion involves mixed media art forms, where she utilizes materials from magazines and other recycled materials. She said, “I just love piecing different things together and making something out of other things.”