Curfman Gallery displays student art as part of annual exhibition

People are encouraged to shop locally, eat local produce and explore their own backyard. There is not an exception when it comes to art.

The Lory Student Center Curfman Art Gallery is allowing students to experience local art with its annual Student Art Exhibit, which features pieces created by graduate and undergraduate students at Colorado State University.

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“I think it’s a really wonderful exploration of what our students are doing at CSU,” LSC Arts program manager Doug Sink said. “I think it’s a really interesting mix we get.”

The collection, which features 33 art pieces, includes photography, paintings, a diorama and more. These pieces were selected  from the 202 student submissions to be featured in the gallery, and works came from both art majors and non-art majors alike. The submitted pieces were evaluated in terms of quality of craft, concept and creativity.

“I have installed five student exhibitions and this certainly one of the best ones I’ve seen,” Sink said.

Abby Galvin poses next to her photo project titled 'Sorry/Not Sorry' in the Student Art Exhibit in the Curfman Gallery. (Photo by Ryan Arb
Abby Galvin poses next to her photo project titled “Sorry/Not Sorry” in the Student Art Exhibit in the Curfman Gallery. (Photo by Ryan Arb.)

One of the students recognized in the gallery is third-year Abby Galvin, an art major with minors in Spanish and biomedical science.

Galvin has two pieces in the gallery: “Sorry/Not Sorry” and “Squilt.”

“Sorry/Not sorry” is a collection of Polaroid photographs representing Galvin’s journey with the habit of unnecessarily apologizing. After a boss encouraged her to be aware of what she apologizes for, she started noticing how often she was apologizing in instances where she did nothing wrong.

“It undermines your authority and invites people to walk on you,” Galivin said. “So I started thinking about how much I do that in my everyday life … and I started keeping a tally and marking it down on my hand, and it was, like, eight times a day. It was a lot.”

At the end of the day, the hand-drawn tally marks were replaced by needle and thread stitches in various locations on her body. The process and the stitches are displayed in a set of dated photographs.

Her second piece, “Squilt,” a combination of the words “skin” and “quilt,” bridges her interests of art and biological sciences.

“I’ve always been interested in the body, specifically,” Galvin said. “A lot of the work I make is centered around the body as a place where the public and the private merge. I’m also interested in merging art and science.”

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Senior art history major, Abby Galvin examines her project titled 'Squilt' in the Student Art Exhibit in the Curfman Gallery. The project took over 150 hours to make and is made of pig instestines. Photo by Ryan Arb
Senior art history major Abby Galvin examines her project titled “Squilt” in the Student Art Exhibit in the Curfman Gallery. The project took over 150 hours to make and is made of pig intestines. (Photo by Ryan Arb.)

The hanging sculpture is  constructed from sausage casings made from pig intestines. The left side is more opaque and transitions over to the more frayed and distressed right side due to the higher amount of salts left on intestinal material.

The sculpture functions on multiple levels. The artist designed the piece to reflect a closeup image of skin tissue on a human finger. It also provides commentary on the concept of memory.

“So, really, what it is about is how subjective memory is and our perception of what we see,” Galvin said.

Within the piece, there are small drawings of people Galvin created while sitting at the Alley Cat Coffee House. As she drew people, she noticed how her brain was able to fill in pieces that she was unable to catch and gave her the ability to draw from memory.

Third-year art education major Liz Griffin is featuring her work, called “Familiar,” in the gallery. “Familiar” is a series of black ink and colored pencil drawings of various angles of the body.

“I think it’s interesting how a lot of  people feel uncomfortable about their actual selves, including their body, and I related that to how we are so connected to nature as well,” Griffin said. “I wanted to appreciate who I am in my natural state.”

Griffin was assigned a self-portrait assignment for class and decided to take a more abstract approach by drawing familiar parts of the body up close to the point where they are not as easily identifiable. Griffin’s piece allows the viewer to look at the drawings and ponder what they remind them of. 

“I’m all about the creative process,” Griffin said.

Griffin finds inspiration from nature, organic designs, the concept of chance and the unpredictable. She also looks up to American abstract artist Mark Rothko. She likes to approach her work with a concept in mind, but not a detailed plan. She also believes that art is for everyone.

“I think that everyone is an artist,” Griffin said. “Creativity is an important thing, and it should be nurtured.”

Griffin said art is something that she believes can inspire others and open their minds. It is not necessarily about completely understanding a piece of art — it is about reflecting upon it.

“It’s fun to be weird and expand your mind and be comfortable with the fact that you don’t understand a piece of art, but that’s kind of the point,” Griffin said.

The Student Exhibition is located in the Curfman Gallery, which is open 12 – 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be on display through May 14.

Collegian Reporter Nicole Towne can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @nicole_towne21.