Visual Arts at HMC: “Accounts of Their Times”

January 30, 2020March 9, 2020 Add to Calendar

9 a.m.–5 p.m.


Opening Reception: Thursday, Jan. 30, 6:30–7:30 p.m., with guest performance at 7 p.m., featuring “The Other Voice,” a spoken word by Mary Jessie Celestin ’21.

Sprague Gallery is pleased to announce "Accounts of Their Times." The exhibition features student artwork from Art 33 HM (fall 2019), a photography course taught by Ken Fandell, professor of art and Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson Chair in Arts and the Humanities. Artists include Garrett Cheadle, Jessica Drapkin, Michael Guzman, Ivy Liu, David Mindlin, Kaitlyn Paulsen, Kaveh Pezeshki, Nick Richardson, Ginger Schmidt, Caroline Sunshine, Rikki Walters, Sabrina Wong, and Audrey Young.

The selected works are very simple and still photographic records of people, objects and landscapes that are not so unusual. There is peeling paint. There are water and mountains. Fruits are arrayed and so are boats, shadows and figures. Even girls playing beer pong appear still and composed. Yet, there is an air about these images that is rare and moving.

Each image is a result of moments and days lived by the artists with and for the subjects. For example,

  • Nick Richardson uses a program he had written to perform Bayesian optimization in order to give his “Salted Fruit” the best configuration of ISO, white balance, aperture and shutter speed and to connect to photography as a medium.
  • Michael Guzman zooms in on the peeling paint of his “2002 Honda Accord - 306,237 Miles” to evoke a scene of the starry night and a sense of time, space, and value.
  • Sabrina Wong’s lake becomes a source of reflection as she, after having questioned whether a reflection alone can make a landscape, decides to show both the land and the water of the lake and title the image “Reflection.”
  • Through “Soothe,” Kaitlyn Paulsen shares a space where the uncomfortable is safe and reminds the viewers that rooms and spaces are holders of secrets, traces and memories.
  • Similarly, the cars in Audrey Young’s “1:45 am – November 22, 2019” symbolize death and longing and are accompanied by messages addressed to friends who died in a crash.
  • Ginger Schmidt combines her photos into a triptych, which informs the viewers accurately of a controversial Nativity scene.
  • For “Hidden Treasures,” a still life of a mirror on a scarf, Jessica Drapkin chooses nature as the setting so that the still life also captures life that so elegantly reveals what is normally hidden, in this case an orange on the bottom branch.
  • Kaveh Pezeshki’s “Progress?” is a collection of many trials and failures he and his roommate made on the 3D printer.
  • With “Lustful Lovers,” Rikki Walters demands viewers’ sensitivity to recognize the ugly beneath the visual pleasure and comfort she intentionally adds to the frame.
  • Through “The Demise of a Lipstick,” Ivy Liu introduces drama by crushing the lipstick and removing its color.
  • David Mindlin, while he hides the reality of what makes the shadows of “Cave Life,” takes a self-portrait in front of it along with his other works; the playful of his character may be the reality of the works.
  • In Garrett Cheadle’s “333 Beer Cans on the Tree,” what seems to be an innocent portrayal of an everyday with friends is really documentation of a social practice piece.
  • Caroline Sunshine’s blue appears mostly of chance, and this chance is what is chosen for printing.

There is no hesitance nor manipulation about these accounts. The artists’ gazes remain simple as they tell thoughts and memories. Perhaps the stillness and simplicity are what make these works rare, moving and hard to ignore.

Curated by Julia Lee L Hong

Accounts of Their Times is presented by the HMC Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts. The Caryll Mudd and Norman F. Sprague Jr. Courtyard and Gallery is located at the lower level of R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, 320 E. Foothill Blvd., Claremont.