Hundreds of student drawings, paintings, sculptures, handcrafted pieces of jewelry and other works of art are now on display in the CVA Gallery as part of the new “Studio Arts II” exhibition.
The showcase, which opened with a public reception on March 29, features work from nearly 75 students enrolled in Brookdale’s upper-level courses in ceramics, drawing, figure drawing, jewelry, painting and 3D design.
From seven-foot-tall drawings of the human form to exquisitely crafted necklaces to striking, three-dimensional sculptures chiseled from a single block of bulsa wood, the exhibition shines a spotlight on both the talent and the diversity found among Brookdale’s student artist community.
“We think that’s really important,” said Brookdale art professor Ed Stein. “Nowadays the arts, especially some of the crafts like ceramics and jewelry, are being phased out. We have a 45-year history of offering those courses, and we have some of the best studios, the best equipment and the best teachers in the state. And you can see here what our students are able to achieve.
“With this show, we wanted to highlight the work of our advanced students, which we hope can serve as an inspiration for the students who are now enrolled in our level one courses,” Stein added. “Having a gallery like this is really nice. It allows us to share the work with other students and try to get them to think more about their art, and whether they want to draw seven foot drawings or not.”
For student artist Anjali Tampi, the exhibition is also a rare opportunity to put her work on display in a real, functioning public gallery.
“It’s very exciting. It makes me feel a little more legitimate as an artist,” said Tampi, a second-year biology major who said she fell in love with ceramics after taking a level-one course at Brookdale. “Part of the fun about art is that it’s a conversation, and that the more people you can have that conversation with, the more meaningful your piece is. The fact that it’s on display in a gallery means it’s talking to a lot of people. That’s pretty cool.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Helen Chen, a former Brookdale chemistry instructor and a part-time student in the Brookdale jewelry program for the past 15 years.
What began as a hobby, Chen said, has become a full-fledged passion, one that has led to numerous gallery showings and even a few commissions from people who want to buy and wear her nature-inspired jewelry. That transformation, she added, is due in large part to the faculty and facilities she has found at Brookdale.
“The teachers are so helpful, and the studio is fantastic,” said Chen, after touring the new exhibition with her long-time jewelry professor Susanne Anderson. “You couldn’t find another studio like ours anywhere. Coming here as a student, the sky is really the limit.”
The “Studio Arts II” exhibition is free and open to the public. It will be on display in the CVA Gallery through Thursday, April 7. For gallery hours or more information contact the CVA Gallery at (732) 224-2881 or visit the gallery webpage.
To learn more about studying the fine arts at Brookdale, click here.
Check out more photos of the exhibition here.