Family matters in undergrad art show

Karen Herland

Carl Osberg describes the process of creating Erik and Elif, his painting in the annual undergraduate art exhibit. Eight hundred people visited the show during the first week.

kate hutchinson

Our Aim is True, the annual undergraduate exhibit, is all about family.

It could also be because half of the work showcased deals directly with family relationships. Brian Hunter’s video, Alice, uses old footage of his grandmother that has been looped, overlapped and manipulated to both reference her memories and reflect her current battle with Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, Laurie Kang presents part of her photo series My Father and I, which she produced to illustrate the dysfunctional relationship between herself and her father. At the vernissage on April 5, she described her father’s frustration with the late-night photo shoot itself, in which she elaborately staged their poses. However, his direct gaze into the camera seems to challenge the lack of connection she feels in their relationship. Kang’s twin sister is not represented in the images.

Yet siblings are clearly important to brothers Carl and Erik Osberg, who are featured in each other’s work. Carl has painted Erik and Elif as part of a larger series titled Why Did My Parents Overlook My Overall Lack of Interest in Anything Meaningful?

Erik’s photographic series was inspired by the fact that the annual Christmas gathering involved four siblings, all over the age of 21. In other words, there were technically no “kids” home for the holidays. He took the opportunity to restage typical snapshots with his now adult siblings.

The nine works in the exhibit were culled from over 140 applications to participate in the show. VAV Gallery co-directors and show curators Corina Kennedy and Emily Shanahan wanted to find pieces that both exemplified the work being done in the department and represented the range of disciplines in the Fine Arts Faculty. In addition to photography, painting and video, Fibres student Caitlin Livingston produced a huge quilt.

For the first time, the event is being held in the FOFA Gallery of the EV Building. In other words, it is in the same building that is home to an increasing proportion of the Fine Arts faculty. Previously, the final student show was held in the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, far from the VAV Building where students produced their work and developed their ideas.