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’s senior Studio Art exhibition features the work of Kathryn Gonzalez ’12 and Elizabeth Laplace ’12. Their artwork will be displayed together in List Gallery from May 10th to the 13th. The opening reception is today (Thursday the 10th) from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Gonzalez, a painter from Los Angeles, California, works with oil paint on canvas. Her exhibition is titled Transitions.
“I have been particularly focused on transitional times of the day — at sunrise or sunset, or when light is moving through clouds,” said Gonzalez, who specializes in landscapes.
For Gonzalez, who works both on-site and from photographs, painting is an attempt to translate “the visceral impact” of the real-life scene.
“How a scene actually appears in a photograph isn’t what I’m really interested in, and the landscape that I originally look at isn’t necessarily what is presented in the final painting,” she said. “I try to convey a sense of energy and vibrancy, and to create spaces that the viewer can really enter in to, even if it means that elements of the landscape essentially come out of my imagination.”
Gonzalez’s paintings demonstrate her love of color and shape. She explained that she often breaks down her sketches of places into basic relationships of light and dark, and then pieces the sketches back into a full landscape.
“I really enjoy transforming, for example, a rocky landscape into a fluid patchwork of reds, blues and yellows,” said Gonzalez. “Painting [is an] energetic, freeing process.”
Laplace, an artist from Charlotte Amalie in the U.S. Virgin Islands, creates nature-inspired ceramic sculptures. Her exhibition, Contours, intends to showcase “the beauty of the natural construction of life.”
“Line, shadow, form, flow, elegance, and nature; these are all words that I aim to bring to mind in my ceramic pieces,” said Laplace. “‘What it is’ is of less concern to me than ‘what makes it.’ Though inspired by specific biological forms, none of these pieces are meant to depict any single organism.”
Laplace forms her sculptures from paperclay (clay combined with paper pulp) to build delicate, fluid pieces. She examines plants and breaks them down into shapes, then rebuilds those shapes slowly and carefully into forms from her imagination.
“I have always had a fascination with the forms in nature,” said Laplace. “They are beautiful, elegant, and strong. Of course, nature has had billions of years to get it right.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular List Gallery hours. All are welcome at Thursday’s reception.