BY SOPHIA STRAUSS
The sculpture gallery hosted the art of Emily Schmitz, first year MFA in fine art, from Monday, Feb. 17 to Friday, Feb. 21. Schmitz titled her exhibition, “Embrace,” to encourage viewers to imagine warmth and hugs. The artist said she felt as though when a person hugs someone, they embrace them in a circle, and as all of her artwork centered around circles, she felt it was an appropriate name.
Although Schmitz has been involved in art since around 2010, she also spent eight years working at Summit Vision, an eye doctor’s office in Islip. This experience inspired most of her artwork. “A lot of my paintings started off being eyeballs, and I always stuck with the circular form,” Schmitz said.
The artwork in the gallery showed circles in various colors, designs, and mediums. The work captured the viewers with texture, as some paintings were more than just paint. Many of Schmitz’s pieces were multimedia pieces, extending from the canvas, with materials like cloth, denim, and other items.
With plenty of experience showcasing her art in group collections this was Schmitz’s first time in a solo show. While an exciting moment, Schmitz said that preparing for a show is more stressful than anything. However making her work available to the public is her favorite aspect of being an artist. “I think seeing people’s reactions, and seeing that other people say ‘Oh my god I really love that’,” Schmitz said about what she finds exciting. While someone enjoying her art is rewarding in itself, Schmitz also sells her pieces, which makes attracting a crowd all the more exciting.
Several people attended the Sculpture Gallery’s reception on Wednesday, Feb. 19, including Schmitz’s long-time friend Christina Lorenzoni, who made a special trip from Islip to see the show. “It’s all very colorful, unique, and sparkly,” Lorenzoni said about the work. When asked if she had a favorite piece, Lorenzoni pointed out a glossy piece called ‘Ring,’ which Schmitz created by pouring resin over a finished canvas. Schmitz also pointed out her favorite painting, a piece near “Ring” titled “Space.”
As a teaching assistant to professor Seung Lee in a figure drawing and painting class, Schmitz tries to help students stay inspired by pushing them to look online or search for something that’s new to them, “I think being a graduate assistant helps me push other students in the art field,” she said.
Those looking to see more of Emily Schmitz’s work, or purchase some, can find her on instagram @art_em_schmitz.
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