Bardwell Hall and Green Art Gallery host two new alumni exhibitions

Both exhibitions are centered around finding new connections post-pandemic and translating the isolating feelings within that time.

Chris Charpentier, Staff Writer

On Tuesday evening, Biola students and families crowded into Bardwell Hall’s gallery space to witness the opening of a new alumni showcase. According to gallery director Jeffrey Rau, this event allowed students who graduated during the pandemic to showcase their work.

COVID COMMENTARY

Connection was the main theme running through every piece of art that circulated through the galleries. The Bardwell Project Space exhibition, aptly named “Re: Connections,” prominently features personal stories from each artist. One of the artists, alumni Grecia Cordova Galdamez, created what she refers to as “an adaptation of an activity book, volume 1.”

“Part of the creative process was me spending time in my home country, El Salvador,” Galdamez said. “I collected a lot of stories from my childhood and translated them from Spanish to English.”

Like all the pieces within the Bardwell Project Space, Galdamez’s project was interactive, allowing guests to read her own personal stories from El Salvador, play with childrens’ activity books and write down their own personal stories on a long piece of paper.

“I only had limited resources and I had to make do with what I had at hand to produce this project,” Galdamez said. “I think if we wouldn’t have been under COVID restrictions to begin with, the project wouldn’t have turned out this way.”

DAY-TO-DAY ISOLATION

The second exhibition at The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery, called “In Search of the Miraculous,” focuses more on very intimate installations that evoke feelings of isolation. The pamphlet read, “the objects, locations, feelings, and desires of day-to-day experience are given material form and emotional resonance.” 

This sentiment is best explored in alumna Marie Kolenski’s “Untitled” piece, which features three different flags made of dyed fabric and reclaimed lace. All of Kolenski’s pieces were complemented by a 10-minute video of these flags in three different rooms within Kolenski’s house.

“The show is called ‘My Mother’s Mother,’ which is in reference to my upbringing and the way that religion played a role in my family, specifically with my mom,” Kolenski said.

Kolenski centered the piece on her mother, her grandmother and Mother Mary. She embedded the generational connection and the significance of religion in her life.

REINVIGORATED COMMUNITY

As the night died down, it was clear that new connections were made and old connections were found once again.

“Even if it’s not a big celebration like at graduation, it’s still the closest thing that we have as an opportunity to come together to celebrate the alumni’s accomplishments face to face,” Rau said.

Bardwell and the Green Art Gallery will be hosting both exhibitions until Nov. 8 for students and faculty to enjoy the art and celebrate the accomplishments on display.

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