Senior Art Show Preview: Amy Vachal and Jia Kim

Photo courtesy of June Xie.

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.

The Senior Art Shows of Amy Vachal and Jia Kim open today in the List Gallery from 4-6pm.

Amy Vachal starting painting in high school and picked up oil painting at Swarthmore. Although painting is her concentration for this show, she is open for exploring other media during her time post-Swarthmore.

Amy is interested in the thickness of painting, the ability that she can use it to convey gesture and movement. Tired of how photographs can be stagnant, she “uses memory to inform the energy” as she recalls the moment the photo was taken.

Her paintings capture the busyness and liveliness that exists without dialogue. Amy is attracted to figures, strangers in a space, they way they interact to “form a dialogue within space without talking”. Each painting has a story attached to it that relates back to her personally in some way.

Amy’s involvement with music has tied how she goes about writing songs and melodies with the process of painting. Looking at painting as it were music in some way, she states, “I love paint, I love medium. I don’t think I’m at the level I want to be. I still want to learn and am still learning. I am a student; I don’t think I’ll ever not be a student. “

Jia Kim’s art show will be exhibiting fashion based on architectural structures. Jia has been working with fashion and design since her sophomore year of college, but had originally thought she would do photography. She soon built up an interest in architecture and modeling houses.

It was a bridge-inspired costume design and the advice of a professor that led to the complete picture of designing sculptural art for the human body—fashion.

Being a Biology major has added to her interest in fashion because of her interest in the human body and anatomy. Fashion is something that embodies all three of her interests: fashion, architecture and the human body.

Jia’s works uses a lot of wires and mesh: “You can’t really reach that level of sculptural element without wires”, she said. The structural elements make it feel like she’s constructing and building a piece.

The show is titled “Skin and Bones.” The skin refers to the outer-most portion of a house, while the wiring and structure represent bones. Jia states, “It’s fascinating how there are so many common elements between the human body and architecture. The pieces are like moving buildings.”

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