Elis exhibit summer art

After spending hours toiling at intensive summer programs around the world, student art majors are exhibiting the products of their hard work.

Mixed-media sculptures and black-and-white canvases adorn the School of Art’s Green Hall as part of the “Undergraduate Art Summer 2009 Work Exhibition,” which opened on Sept. 23. The exhibit both allows art students to showcase their independent summer projects and provides exposure of undergraduate artists to the Yale community.

Mindy Lu ’10, one of the artists featured, spent her summer at a six-week art program in Norfolk, Conn., where she collaborated with other artists to make a video installation and material-based paintings. Showing her work at Yale, she said, allows her to broaden the conversation about her work.

“It’s really great to be able to exhibit in the gallery,” she said. “The conversation I can have with people here is a lot different, and it’s nice for people to see what I’ve been doing.”

Her experience at Norfolk was both confusing and motivating, she said, but ultimately made her realize what is at stake with her own art.

Several students, including Chika Ota ’11, spent the summer exploring themes they began to develop during the school year. Ota’s pieces include part of a dress made from the tops of soda cans and a reconstructed shirt hanging on the wall. The clothing items she made mix do-it-yourself craftiness with high fashion, she said.

“I wanted to transform perverse tastes into high fashion,” she said. “I hung them on the wall as if they were paintings.”

The exhibit also contains several pieces from students who worked long hours at a Yale Summer Session program in Auvillar, France. Large, abstract canvases created by these eight students are aesthetically similar, reflecting the tutelage of their instructors in Auvillar.

Not everyone, however, chose to exhibit their summer work. Anna Moser ’11 said she interned at the Museum of Modern Art over the summer and found it impossible to find time for her own artistic endeavors. The works she chose to show were completed after the summer, but reflect ideas she had been pondering.

“It’s weird to be saturated with art all day and then you can’t go home and paint a picture,” she said. “All these views had been building up over the summer and then three weeks between the internship and coming to Yale I really started working again.”

Her paintings, she said, were largely inspired by poetry and imagery. One of them includes a blue chair tipped over bearing the inscription: “Here lies my old red chair with its three legs.”

Though more than a dozen students exhibited their work, Moser said she hopes that in the future more students will take advantage of the opportunity to display their work in the gallery.

“It’s hard to get your act together after the summer,” she said. “But it’s an awesome opportunity to be given because it’s such a nice space.”

The “Undergraduate Art Summer 2009 Work Exhibition” is on view until Oct. 7.

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