Not Your Grandmother’s Art Exhibit

Pablo Medina

More stories from Pablo Medina

Spectators take in the art.

Even after they graduated, NEIU brought them back.

As part of the first homecoming weekend, NEIU held special reunion events across the campuses inviting alumni and their families for food and fun. Some jammed at a block party in Lot F, some clapped along to Ensemble Español and some enjoyed a cocktail reception at the Fine Arts Gallery for the Alumni Art Exhibition.

Leading the juried exhibition, art history alumna Jane Elizabeth Ross exhibited the works of Patricia Stevens, Brandon Sherrod, Socorro Mucino, Ken Klopack, Lindsay Obermeyer and other alumni artists.

In the middle of the exhibition were two art sculptures, 24 Beaded Flowers by Lindsay Obermayer and Pan Co. Art by Vijay J. Paniker. Both are complete contrasts in style and presentation; Obermeyer’s Beaded Flowers capture the simple and elegant product of nature, while the beaten and worn look of Paniker’s Pan Co. Art represents the negative impact of industrial tools and products on the environment.

While Obermeyer and Paniker’s work represented creations of nature and man, respectively, Patricia Stevens’ creations were those of her own charm and craft. As her Alpaca Tokens, Brush and Bumper hung on the wall, closer inspection details the unusual pattern of materials used to make them: Alpaca felt, recycled auto parts, copper, bottle caps, urban gems and even a hearing aid held by wax thread.

“The stuff used to craft these, I just find on the street,” said Stevens. “Once I found an iPhone 6, run over on the street, completely cracked. I used the screws holding the housing in place, and I used it for the Bumper.”

Socorro Mucino, another event attendee displayed two works, “From This Dream I Have Awoke” and “Little Black Dress”. Mucino’s approach to her artwork plays mostly with digital color and texture, however her displayed works are in black and white with a great emphasis on simplicity and shaping.

One piece highlighted the impact of industry, is the work “Until My Cup Runneth Over” by Eric Seaborg. Judging from the content and the perspective, the piece is a great example of mid century imagery, greatly altering the view and scale of humans, environment and objects.

In Seaborg’s statement, he writes, “By using disparate images of people from different eras coupled with foregone places of the past and present, my intention is to evoke a thought provoking story of a moment captured in time.” With the contents being a blue suited man climbing a ladder with plates in hand, a child in overalls drinking water from a pan and a void containing the event in black space, the story of it all could start and end in many ways.

Sophomore art major CJ Colon remarked upon the quality of Seaborg’s work. “I like it, it’s really weird,” said Colon. “I just really like the vintage quality. It’s got that 1950s home style.”

The versatile styles of the creations in this year’s Art Exhibition were charming, experimental and complex

Who knows what next year’s alumni will offer?