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Artist Brings the Street to Hillwood

By Bendik Sorensen
Staff Writer

Alexandra Zampelli, a senior Fine Arts major, is holding her senior thesis exhibition in the SAL Gallery in Hillwood Commons from Nov. 17 through the 23. Her show, “Anthony St.,” is based on street art, inspired by the likes of Banksy, and Shepard Fairey, who is known for his OBEY sticker campaign. Zampelli is from Queens, which is where a lot of her influence and interest in street art comes from.

The artwork itself is spray painted on wood, diamond plate steel, and paper. “I found some old photos after my grandfather died, and figured these were too good to waste,” Zampelli said. She took the photos and made them into stencils for spray-painting through Photoshop and “days of exacto-knifing” them into stencils.

“The pictures are of my family. Not portraits, but more like moments,” she said. The snapshots include her grandparents and parents, including pictures from the army, a simple shot of someone enjoying a beer, and even the family cat.

Zampelli intends to make the space for her show feel like a street corner. “I made a fence, and I’ll have cones and old garbage cans I spray painted to make it look like a street corner in Manhattan or Brooklyn,” she said. “I also have posters like the ones you see around the city. Using wheat paste, I’ve pasted the ‘posters’ on boards full of graffiti that I’ll have against the walls.”

Zampelli says graffiti and street art are her favorite medium. “I believe the most controversial form of art is graffiti because of the people and places with which it’s associated. I’m intrigued by the controversy, technique and the way this art form is perceived,” she writes in her statement, presented by the artist at the exhibition, explaining the goal and thought behind her artwork.

After she has finished her education at Post (she’s due to graduate in May 2015), Zampelli plans to teach art in high school. The reception for her exhibit will be held in the SAL Gallery from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

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