Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This weekend the Kitao Gallery opened its “Back to School” Show, a collection of pieces by Swarthmore students created over the summer. Ranging from paints to black and white photography, the space provides a wonderful opportunity to view the personal artistic projects of students. “Back to School” is the first Kitao show of the semester, and the pieces will remain on display when student-run cafe Qub opens in the near future. The gallery is accepting any show idea submissions that students may have for the rest of the semester.
Especially impressive is the range of subject matter and mediums on exhibit. In terms of paints, works like those by Claudia Seixas ’10, show her range as an artist with both a dichromatic abstract painting and a large scale realistic scene. Jessica Thomaston ’10 has two abstract pieces whose patterning calls to mind Kuna molas, while her focus on warm and cool colors create striking color studies. Blake Roberts ’07 has created two bold and dynamic still lifes, making use of the sheer physicality of paint, layering it with a thick impasto style balanced in intensity by keeping the color range fairly dark and narrow.
A special treat of the exhibit is Meredith Leich ’08 ‘s “Through the Looking Glass” comic books. Leich created them while working as a camp counselor over the summer, designing the comic strips to be placed in the counselor bathroom. “I thought, ‘I’ll just post it in the bathroom.’ I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. It just sort of caught on…. You don’t really think about the bathroom as a place for art,” she explains, an idea she has clearly set about changing.
The photography is equally distinctive. Cheryl Tse’s ’09 lovely compositions in black and white from her series “Chinatown” offer viewers a chance to see what details caught the artist’s eye. Allison Cappuccio’s ’08 distinctive photographs overlay nudes with trees, glorifying and comparing both forms in line and curvature. Sasha Raskin’s ’09 two “Works in Water” photograph series, taken from a river boat, are of the houses in St. Petersburg. In the first series she makes use of the effect of water on the camera lens while in the second she uses the reflection of
buildings in the water to create intriguing images of beautiful landscapes.
Lastly, the photo series “Southeast Asia: from the village to the city… and everything in between, Spring 2006” by Nicole Oberfoell ’07 are beautiful travel shots with gorgeous color and resolution. She has treated her subjects with the sensitivity of a portrait artist, capturing them in their daily activity to both describe a moment and suggest a broader story.