Guilty! of being creative
Online student art exhibit recognizes hard-working students
As the school year is coming to an end, it’s time for students to be recognized for their hard work, and Emmanuel Art Gallery is doing exactly that with its annual exhibition. This year, the gallery has had to be innovative with its presentation, moving to an online format, but art students are still honored in the spotlight at its virtual art exhibition Guilty! From May 5 to June 6.
The flyer that was sent out to the student body for submissions informed them that the jurors would be from the Denver Art Museum and that those who submitted work to the gallery were required to do so by April 24 with specific photography guidelines that would allow for optimal online viewing. Any media was accepted, and every artist could submit up to three works, which gave submitters plenty of room for creativity.
Director of Emmanuel Art Gallery Jeff Lambson sees the importance of emotions that art evokes, like compassion, and the tradition of the annual gallery. He works specifically with two veteran students of the gallery, Neftalí Pazo and Chelsea Minter-Brindley, who have had extensive experience in the art world.
Neftalí Pazo, a self-declared nontraditional student helps run Emmanuel gallery alongside Lambson. He submitted three pieces of different variety to Guilty!, including two that touch on current events. One submission is titled Pintura Blanca (White Paint) that was inspired by the completely white painted canvases of Robert Rauschenberg during the 1950s. Pazo added a sculptural element to this piece with three carrots, making it a multidimensional painting.
He also submitted Kiss, an inflatable installation that spells out the title of the piece. As Pazo explained, it’s “about universal forms of interactions [that] we use to express love and appreciation and how those have turned into deadly weapons during Covid.”
In his last submission, Liebre King (Hare King), Pazo brings in pop culture references of Tiger King and the news of the stimulus check. As he explained, this painting shows how people got distracted by other things instead of dealing with the historical pandemic.
As evident from this last piece that uses an image of a hare, Pazo likes to incorporate this animal into his work as his signature style. Originally from Puerto Rico, Pazo draws inspiration from his cultural roots, weaving subtle imagery into his artwork with colors, Spanish speakers, and animals, specifically hares. Pazo calls this process “restoring the color,” as he takes pride in creating original Latin American artwork as a Latin American himself. He even incorporated liebre into his Instagram handle at liebre_k_rrotz.
Chelsea Minter-Brindley, an art practices major and the social media manager for Emmanuel Gallery, also submitted artwork to Guilty! as part of the challenge herself to submit to as many exhibitions as possible this semester. Her submission to the gallery is a collaborative piece titled Alloy Typical, a series of hand-sewn doll dresses made by her mother that were casted in bronze. Minter-Brindley describes this piece as a “link between artists of different generations,” as her mother gifted these dresses made of scrap material to her while she was working at a sewing factory. Her mother’s past served as inspiration for Alloy Typical, which is meant to speak about women’s labor.
As an artist, Minter-Brindley is a sculptor and photographer with a “creative process [that] is continually moving between the second dimension and the third,” she said. Not only does she put work into her own art, she dedicates her time beyond social media to Emmanuel Gallery, also working alongside Lambson with curatorial practice. This has put her in contact with local and international artists as well as art historians and the Denver community, proving to be, in her own words, “invaluable to [her] education and future career in the arts.” More of her artwork can be found on Instagram at chelseaminterbrindley.
The works of Pazo and Minter-Brindley as well as other submitters to Guilty! can be viewed on the Emmanuel Gallery’s website until June 6.