Friday November 21, 2014

Perspectives: A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

By Kiersten Remster '17

ArtStreet’s White Box Gallery recently opened its annual Citizens of the World exhibition, celebrating a 10-year anniversary. Perspectives: Citizens of the World aims to showcase both the international and domestic journeys of University of Dayton students as they experience, engage and capture the world they live in. ArtStreet director, Brian LaDuca, stated that “over the past 10 years on campus there has been a dynamic change; it is now global.”

The design of this exhibit incorporates elements that reflect the social media atmosphere that surrounds us. By using various textures and creating a new Instagram photo series for the show, the exhibition came together to display beautiful photographs of student work. ArtStreet incorporated students’ Instagram style stories because the series of photographs conveyed strong narratives and gave each photographer a voice of justice and ethics. Photos that were selected in the show revealed interesting stories about a student’s experience in a new vision of their global image.

Series of Instagram stories hung down from the rafters of the gallery in columns corresponding to each photographer’s collection. The photos appeared to be floating in the room, metaphorically calling upon the way social media is dispersed among users across the globe.

Jackie Zondlo, a junior and resident at ArtStreet, was selected in the exhibition to share her stories –Instagram style. Her vision of the world was when she travelled to Italy for study abroad. Zondlo used Instagram as a way to show her friends and family what she was up to. When asked about her story of the world through her photographs, she replied “these [pictures] represent a foundation of who I am.”

Salah Mohammed, an IEP student, discussed the meaning behind his three photographs. Mohammed drew upon the significance of what happens during an equinox –a special time of half day and night. Using this concept as his inspiration, Mohammed’s three photographs all conveyed his message that the world he lives in has been a brutal warzone. Living through the Libyan revolution, he has seen sights that have led him to question the world around him. After two photographs capturing the devastations of war times, Mohammed included a picture of his daughter. “My daughter was born on June 1, 2011, but I cannot see her because of the war. Her name is Zaharra and that means Rose,” he said.

Joseph Gerlach, a senior at U.D., photographed his experience abroad in Malawi. In his stunning photographs, Gerlach captures the lives of children who are forced into the fishing industry at young ages in order to provide for their families. “Many boys, as young as eight years old, experience harsh child labor while fishing throughout the night for Usipa (a small “Sardine-like” fish), said Gerlach. He struggled to find a way to be able to send a clear message of what is going on with child labor in this country because most of the labor would occur at night, which he was unable to photograph. Instead, Gerlach’s photographs reveal extremely happy children, serene lakes, and the daily life of fishing, masking the reality of what is actually happening.

Stop by and visit ArtStreet’s Citizens of the World exhibition in the White Box Gallery. The show will be closing on the 19th of December.

Kiersten Remster is a sophomore Art History and German student at University of Dayton. She is the new student arts writer at ArtStreet and is very excited to be a part of the ArtStreet family. Kiersten has been a competitive swimmer her whole life and is continuing her swimming career through the Dayton Master's program. She is also serving on the Academic Affairs Committee this year as vice president and is looking forward to working with faculty in order to improve Dayton's academic curriculum.

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