6 students challenge the misrepresentation of art majors with 'Stigma'

Contrary to prior belief, being a student-artist is no easy task. This week, six student artists look to dispel the myth with their senior exhibition “Stigma,” showing in ASU’s Gallery 100 on the Southeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive.

Senior painting major Amanda Johnson, along with fellow painting majors Bradley Thompson, Alexandra Brunet-Giambalvo and five of their classmates are teaming together to present a gallery that challenges traditional takes on norms such as politics and nature.

“I think there’s sort of a stigma that painting majors just sit in school and paint all day,” Johnson said. “We really want our gallery to show that while that’s part of what we do, there’s a lot more of it than one might think.”

Johnson said she has six pieces in the show, three of which are paintings. Her pieces examine the relationships between people and the world around them. To further highlight this element, she said that textures feature predominantly in her work.

“I think there’s something really interesting about the way they reflect each other,” Johnson said. “And I think the texture is a really great way to highlight that and bring it out.”

Like Johnson, Bradley Thompson’s work also focuses on relationships but not between humans and the Earth, rather the human relationship with war and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said this relationship is explored in three of his pieces, a series that hauntingly and beautifully portrays war and its power to strip people of their innocence.

“I paint largely what I’m feeling,” Thompson said. He formerly served in the military.

The artist, who also has an affinity for charcoal drawings, often incorporates them into his paintings.

“I think they provide a really awesome balance,” Thompson said. “I like fusing them together because I think they work well together.”

Painting and ecology senior Brunet-Giambalvo said her work focuses largely on plants and nature.

“Plants and the way the Earth works really fascinate me,” she said.

After graduating in May, Brunet-Giambalvo said she plans to pursue botany.

Her interest in botany is clear in one piece that sees ornaments of various desert plants hanging from a cholla skeleton.

“I had the idea in a dream one night,” she said. “I thought putting the different plants together would just look really neat.”

Joining the painters in the exhibition is sculpting senior Chase Young, who also has a family of two and a wife, has several pieces in the gallery.

One incredibly fascinating piece features a clock face with various other clock faces on it.

“I wanted it to represent how I feel splitting my time between being a student and being with my family,” Young said.

The student’s week long showcase kicked off today, with it’s opening reception on Tuesday night from 6 to 8 p.m.

“I’m really excited for my family to come see my work at this show,” Young said. “It’s been a lot of fun putting it together so I’m really looking forward to seeing how people respond to it."

The gallery is open from noon until 5 p.m. until Thursday and will be open from noon until 3 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free.


Reach the reporter at seweinst@asu.edu or follow @S_Weinstein95 on Twitter.

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