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Observations from the Emerging Artist show at Moore College of Art and Design


The annual Emerging Artist show at Moore College of Art and Design opened earlier this month, showcasing the talents of a multitude of up-and-coming female undergrads.

Opening night visitors were invited to see Becca Jennings’ dynamic performance Live Fierce, in which Becca illuminates her experiences of examining her sexual identity by utilizing the combinations of her natural gift of storytelling with her vivacious sense of humor as a vehicle to convey her message to audiences.

Still from Jennings Live Fierce

While at first Jennings opens with entertaining tales of panty-thieves and pokes fun at the many uses of water balloons as a child, her stories arrive at the hardships of being openly gay throughout adulthood. “Although such stories reflect my own narrative and cultural identity, they are not about me,” says the performance artist regarding her work. “Instead, my story is merely a part of a whole- one that aims to evoke a reflection of the similarities and diversities of the human experience and the imperativeness of human rights.” Jennings’ uninhibited outward energy that thrives on stage successfully concludes with a final moral that reminds us of the courage that it takes to be ourselves when in the face of adversity.

Still from “Love that Comes Last”

Inside the Goldey Paley Gallery, Janelle Mariana Adamska’s video installation “Love That Comes Last” documents a candid portrayal of her grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. The opening scenes provide glimpses of the dynamics inside her grandmother’s living room, where she lives with her husband who has now taken on the additional role of being her caretaker. The video unfolds itself by revealing the slow, melancholy existence of individuals at the height of their old age: much of their time is spent in sporadic, minimal interactions between each other in front of their television set, amidst a setting littered with knickknacks and pill bottles. The grandmother, after repetitively folding and re-folding her handkerchief, later interrupts the silence of the room when she asks if she can be taken home when she seemingly doesn’t recognize that she is already in her own house– much to the bewilderment and frustration of her husband. In certain ways, the video is a testament of what a lifetime of marriage entails for two individuals caring for one another, but it leaves the viewer with the saddening realization of the struggles that the elderly face, and frighteningly, the possibility that one day we could face the same. By making herself a voyeur in the middle of a commonly private family struggle, Adamska’s work powerfully sheds awareness on the seriousness of this degenerative disease for which there is no cure and for which there has been little exposure thus far.

A view of May’s abstract paintings

The majority of the paintings throughout the show echo similarities between their geometric, abstract nature. The pieces that adorn the walls in the front of the gallery feature themes of conversing shapes intermingled with cellular, colored patters. Victoria Marion May’s paintings emerge from a white canvas with organized geode formations that provide structural elements, which contrast with the washes of color underneath. Adjacent to May, Kelly Kozma’s painting “Eucalyptus Rust Jungle” consists of bubble formations that shade underlying fluorescent, linear drips, which are hyphened by patchwork patters that create a successful balance of color, layering and sense of space.

Kozma’s painting Eucalyptus Rust Jungle

The Emerging Artists Show at Moore College of Art and Design is located on 20th and the Parkway and runs until May 16th, with its closing reception on May 15th.