Tensile Strength: Six Art Theory and Practice Students Present Their Senior Exhibit

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Because it’s about self reflection and exploring perceptions of reality, art is a highly personal thing. So when artists bring their work into conversation with one another, they create something even more powerful. That’s what Tensile Strength is. Six artists. Six perspectives and backgrounds and sums of experiences.

The artists are all Art Theory and Practice seniors: Sylvana Caruso, Gabriel Corona, Erin Gregory, Siena Moreno, Anna Reishus, and Aric Waldman. Each of their practices are vastly different from one another. While Reishus works in digital media, printmaking, and drawing, Moreno uses fiber art to explore tactility, and Caruso sticks mostly to photography. They explore trauma, solitude, nostalgia, femininity, and more.

Gregory uses their photography, films, and embroidery to push back on gender norms. During their creation of their 63-photograph collection for the exhibit, Gregory considered how women are portrayed in media and invited viewers to question these norms through their work.

In mainstream media, “whether you're crying, happy, or about to be murdered, if you're a woman in a film, you have to look beautiful,” Gregory explained. “But once you see the last still [in my photo series], you realize how stupid that is and how that idea turns women into cartoonish caricatures instead of real people.”

Tensile Strength allowed the seniors the unique opportunity of collaborating with their colleagues to co-produce a show. “Working with the other seniors has really helped me grow as an artist,” Gregory said. “Our show doesn't have a unified theme and we all make very different work, but it's great being able to give and receive help and advice. Everyone helps install the work, so even though our pieces are all very individual, it's nice to be able to work as a team.”

The Tensile Strength opening reception will be May 18 from 4–6 p.m. in the Dittmar Gallery. The exhibit will show through June 15. Visit the Dittmar Gallery website for information.