Senior artist trio to exhibit talent at Brandstater Gallery
May 9, 2013
Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) The work of three La Sierra University senior art majors is as varied as their intended career paths, drawing viewers inside divergent perspectives, emotions and concepts.
The exhibit “Three Seniors, One Show,” will be held at Brandstater Gallery May 13 – 24 and will feature batik prints, paper dresses and geometric paintings. Like old photographs, batik prints of villages, boats and hills in the muted, earthy hues of Sarai Thompson’s exhibit “Wanderlust” transport viewers to another time and place. Her sister, Adaiah Thompson’s “Broken & Whole” line of high-fashion gowns made entirely from newspaper demand a closer look. And Jimmy So’s bold, bright patterns in “Geometric Chroma” splash the eyes with a torrent of color.
The show will open Mon., May 13 with an artists’ reception from 6 – 8 p.m. Admission is free.
So was born in Seoul, South Korea and comes from an artist family. He was raised in Flushing, N.Y., and resided in various parts of the United States, an experience that allowed him to observe numerous styles of art. In addition to his artistic career, So has a background in dental technology fabricating veneers. So enjoyed working as a dental technician because it allowed him to use tools similar to those used in the art world such as brushes, carvers and gauges, he says in his artist’s statement. Many of his paintings are influenced by his work in dental technology, which incorporates angles, measurements and accuracy.
So will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree next month and will continue his career in dentistry. He plans to incorporate both interests and views dentistry as a form of art, he says. “Art is an escape from reality where my imagination takes a trip into another world,” he says. “I am free to express myself without limitations that I am bound to in reality, such as rules. …My world of art does not have one specific direction. Although I start out with a plan, my objective can easily change in the midst of my creation.”
Sarai Thompson, younger sister of fellow artist Adaiah Thompson, drew inspiration for her batik prints from photographs taken during a year studying in Germany, her mother’s native land. While earning a minor in German, Thompson traveled around Europe and documented her travels in photographs and through journaling.
“Batik is a unique form of art that is very much about the process,” Thompson says in her artist’s statement. “It consists of many steps to get to the final product – layers of waxing and dyeing, rinsing, ironing and washing. …In the end it is impossible to predict all the crackle that will appear in the batik.”
The process of making batik is much like traveling, Thompsons says, in which trips can be planned, but experiences along the way are unpredictable. Just like traveling, “ mistakes I make while waxing the batik can turn out to be something beautiful.”
In June she will receive a Bachelor of Fine Art with an emphasis in textiles. Her awards and experience include assisting with the design of a directory for the Bermuda Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and design of a logo for Adventist Television of Bermuda.
Adaiah Thompson has held an interest in fashion and art from childhood. “My mom would tell you that I have been a fashionista from day one. As a child I loved clothes, I was particular about my hair, and I have always had an eye for fashion and color,” said the senior Bachelor of Fine Arts major.
She first designed paper dresses last spring for an annual Revo fundraising fashion show that raised money to benefit overseas outreach endeavors. For the fundraiser Thompson used magazines, books, phonebooks and other paper materials. For her senior show this month she chose to work with newspaper. “Because paper is a source that comes from nature and newspaper is a source that we have in excess and take for granted, …I felt that it would be a perfect representative of how we take what nature provides us, use it how we like, and then forget it,” said Thompson. “I make it into fashion because it is something different and unexpected, and it is a creative way that I enjoy repurposing these materials.”
Typically it takes Thompson about a week or two to create one paper dress. She decides on a theme and draws inspiration from photographs, artwork and other sources. “Once I have a solid concept, I’ll blast some music and start making tons of sketches,” Thompson said. “I can't sketch without the right music. Then I will think about colors, materials, models.” She uses Tyvek®, a synthetic material made by DuPont, to sew patterns for the dresses which then function as dress linings. She then covers the Tyvek® with polyvinyl acetate, a strong, non-acidic book-making glue and incorporates designs on the dress using the desired paper.
Thompson’s degree specializes in textiles and she will earn a secondary emphasis in graphic design with minors in German and psychology. She and her sister have been the recipient of La Sierra’s Katchamakoff Scholarship for three years. Adaiah Thompson also won awards in the Annual Student Art Show and her designs will be featured in a new La Sierra publication, “U-Life,” this September. In keeping with her interests in psychology, Thompson plans to pursue a degree in art therapy.
Brandstater Gallery hours are Mon. – Thurs., 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Fri., 10 a.m. – noon, Sun., 2 – 5 p.m. The gallery is located at the Visual Art Center 112, Building 1. For further information call 951-785-2170. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside.