ASU students display artwork in 'It's Personal' gallery

Artists express personality and life experiences through their work in Tempe art show

Eight fine arts students ended their time at ASU by displaying their artwork on the Tempe campus in their final gallery, which opened this week to students.

The “It’s Personal” art gallery is on display in Gallery 100. The gallery had its opening on Monday and will continue through Friday. "It's Personal" is a cumulative final showing for the School of Art students within the Herberger Institute.

The exhibits have a singular theme: that each piece of work has a personal meaning to the artist who created it.

Art education senior Grecia Villa, one of the artists, said the diversity of the artists and their work contributes to the gallery's theme. 

“Everyone has their own narrative," she said. "And we are all so different."  

The gallery is full of different art styles to match the personality of the artists. There are detailed and life-like portraits of people mixed with abstract thoughts pulled deep from the mind of the individual who made it.

Villa said her method is taking old photos from her childhood and using a stencil to turn them into paintings. The use of her family as subject matter is what makes it personal to her. 

Villa said she enjoyed having her work on display and sharing it with friends and family.

“It’s nice to have my peers come and see what I’ve been doing for my homework,” she said.

Painting senior Antonieta Carpenter-Cosand also used photos of her family as subject matter. Carpenter-Cosand said she used photos from when her grandparents, aunts and uncles were children, and turns those into paintings.

“(My paintings) are complex in the sense that I am using my past to connect to my present,” Carpenter-Cosand said.

Carpenter-Cosand said she had never met one side of her family until she was went to college. By using the old photographs, she said, she is able to connect to a missing part of her family and her past.

“Painting is a way to heal,” she said. “There is this gap in my life from where I never met my father, but now I’ll always have this information from my paintings.”

Nancy Salas, a painting senior, doesn’t use pictures for her paintings. Instead, she paints portraits of the people around her. Salas said she spent up to six months working on her pieces for the gallery to ensure they properly reflected the subject.

Self Portrait (work in progress)

A post shared by Nancy Salas (@nancyelizabethsalas) on

Salas said the exhibit is personal to her because, “it’s for my family and friends." 

Being able to display her work for an audience was an incredible feeling, she said.

“I’m so proud of myself, and so happy,” Salas said. “I was nervous, but after everyone’s feedback I’m so happy. It was worth all the work and sleepless nights.”

Painting senior Summer Stennerson said she paints out of her own mind, making her art literally personal.

“All of the pieces go back to my personality of being an introvert and how I engage or don’t engage with relationships,” she said. 

Stennerson said she used her art to convey a message to her audience. 

She said the meaning of her artwork is about, “Trying to get to know someone past their cover and see what they are beyond the surface."


Reach the reporter at amckenn2@asu.edu or follow @AndrewMcKenney  on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.  


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.