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Wake Up and Smell the Artwork

By Josie Rerecich

Staff Writer

The S.A.L. Gallery unveiled their first exhibition of the year entitled, “Wake Up.” The formal reception was held on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and consisted of artwork by five masters in fine arts (MFA) students. Each student chose a current issue that people need to be aware of as their source of inspiration.

Jessica Hart, a first year MFA student, focused on animal abuse and the killing of endangered animals with her artwork. Inspired by her love for animals Hart used soft pastels and charcoal to draw her two displayed pieces. Hart, who is also an art teacher, hopes that by looking at her drawings people will realize the brutality of animal abuse.

Kathleeen Celestin-Parts with “No More Wire Hangers”

Kathleen Celestin-Parks, a second year MFA student, focused on women’s rights and issues with her artwork. She was inspired by various news stories about topics such as the “Me Too” movement. Celestin-Parks, who is also an art teacher, hopes that by looking at her printmaking artwork, people will realize that someday they might wake up and find that their rights are gone.

Danielle Savarese, a second year MFA student and elementary school teacher, focused on pollution of the earth and oceans as the concept behind her pieces. Inspired by her passion for the ocean and the time she met sea turtles while snorkeling, Savarese hopes that by looking at her paintings people will become more aware of the pollution and the dangers animals face in the polluting world.

Second year MFA student Sharon Papp focused on the enviromment and humans’ wasteful ways with her artwork. Inspired by the plastic vortexes in each of the Earth’s oceans, Papp used mixed media, mostly utilizing plastic bags she found on
the beach. Papp, a special education art teacher in Queens, hopes that by looking at her artwork people will feel a sense of urgency to do something about the planet’s garbage crisis.

Additionally, Farina Bayat’s work was also on display. Her use of calligraphy and India ink gave her drawings a delicate touch.

Those who attended the reception were completely absorbed in the artwork. The room was quiet, but everyone’s thoughts were loud enough to spark a feeling of change within their hearts.

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