VCU’s Painting and Printmaking department opened “Interaction 37” last Tuesday, Nov. 23 at the Fishbowl Gallery. The showcase is a collaborative effort of 16 graduating senior art students and explores a multitude of themes ranging from social commentary to personal iconography.
Edward Gross, one of the seniors featured in “Interaction 37,” is a former VCU student who dropped out to explore other opportunities and returned to finish his education with VCU.
He created an illustration that epitomizes his experiences in those years that he wasn’t attending school.
“I left VCU years ago to pursue the life experiences outside the institution,” Gross said. “This ‘sabbatical’ was the inspiration behind my illustration.”
Gross described his illustration as a man in a striped shirt walking along a scenic path. He explained that there is a much deeper meaning to the drawing than what one would expect.
“The real narrative is within the clothing,” Gross said. “His shirt is adorned with stripes, and it is my hopes that people reflect on them as restraints binding him from his full potential.”
While his piece has a rather serious undertone to it, Gross said that he doesn’t consider himself a serious artist.
“I still debate that I am making art seriously,” he said. “I make art my avenue to escape seriousness.”
Dane Cozens, a Communication Arts major, said that homeschooling in his early childhood made art a major part of his life, but it wasn’t until high school that he considered it as a career.
“I began doing illustrations for local bands and high school plays,” he said. For Cozens, this was a major motivation to choosing his major.
The painting that Cozens created for the show was inspired by his childhood, specifically a friend’s refrigerator. The piece is appropriately named “Refrigerator,” and it is actually part of a larger series Cozens created about life in American suburbs.
“When I painted ‘Refrigerator,’ I was inspired to paint my friends’ first house.” Cozens said. “The food above and the papers magnetically held to the refrigerator seemed like personal artifacts of my friends’ lives in their new house.”
Andrew Indelicato is also a Painting major that found his passion late in his high school career. He draws his inspiration from space and it’s vastness.
“All my work centers around the theme of the vast void of space and (the) loneliness we associate with it,” Indelicato said. “The piece (in the exhibition) comes from the stars and the void of space.”
‘Interaction 37’ features mediums from various disciplines including lithography, etching, silkscreen, oil, charcoal and digital prints.