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Student Photographers, Sculptors Featured in New CVA Exhibit
A wire sculpture designed around an automotive spark plug featured in a new museum exhibit.

From 3-D wire sculptures and hand-crafted clay plates to striking portraits and sweeping landscapes, the very best of Brookdale’s sculpture and photography departments is now on display in the CVA Gallery.

The new exhibit, titled “Printed, Assembled, Formed: Photography, Ceramics & Metal,” features more than 50 works of art by dozens of advanced Brookdale art students, including “spark plug” wire sculptures and painted clay tiles from professor Lori Uffer’s sculpture class and a wide variety of portraiture from professor Geanna Merola’s portfolio development class.

“I am so proud of these students,” said Uffer, during a public reception for the exhibit on Dec. 5. “They are just so enthusiastic, they are so encouraging to each other and they are an incredibly talented group. It’s exciting to see their work in a show like this, and for them to see their work displayed here in the gallery is just amazing.”

One of Uffer’s students, third-year fine arts major Nelson Solis, contributed four pieces to the exhibit, including a large 3-D wire sculpture of bull fighter and an interconnected series of hand-painted clay titles. Solis, who plans to graduate in May and pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts next year, said the show served as a source of personal pride and reassured him in his decision to change majors two years ago.

“In my country, we don’t emphasize the arts. If you are good at drawing, you are expected to become an architect or something like that,” said Solis, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador ten years ago. “When I came to Brookdale I majored in business administration, but I always had this desire to draw. One day I decided to take a class with [fine art professor] Ed Stein, and everything changed.

A Brookdale professor and a student pose with the student's wire sculpture in Brookdale's CVA Gallery.

Lori Uffer (left) and Nelson Solis stand with Solis’ “bullfighter” wire sculpture in the CVA Gallery on Dec. 5.

“I feel like I found myself in the arts,” added Solis. “I’m still discovering all of the art forms and mediums, so I can’t really say what I’m into yet. But I like everything so far. I’m very happy to be included in this exhibit tonight, and I’m very happy I began taking these classes here at Brookdale.”

The exhibit also features selected photography from Brookdale’s Permanent Teaching Collection, including portraits from world renowned masters and acclaimed photographers such as Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson and Jill Freedman.

Those iconic photos are hung alongside student works that share similar characteristics or methods. Black-and-white portraits by Evans and Davidson, for example, are displayed adjacent to similar portraits by Brookdale students Christa DeAngelis, Noah Swanson and Margaret Reilly. Student Tom Smith has the privilege of sharing a corner of the exhibit with both Evans and Walker.

“We selected photos from the collection that would allow for comparisons, and that aligned with the work the students had done,” said Merola. “I’m really proud of them, and I think their work stands up really well in this exhibit. They have invested a lot of time and energy in their vision and into the production of the work, and I think it really shows.”

Those sentiments were shared by painter, photographer and fine arts major Jack Cordova, who is being featured in the CVA Gallery for the third time in his Brookdale career.

“We have incredible photographers featured in this exhibit – people who we study in class,” he said. “They are amazing, famous photographers, and having their work next to ours makes you go, ‘Hell yeah.’

“We have some really good teachers here,” Cordova added. “They push us to our limits. When you see the difference in the work between the first day and the last day of a class, when you look at the work in this exhibit and you see that progression, you know that the teacher was behind you the whole time. I am really grateful for that.”

The exhibit will be on display in the CVA Gallery through Dec. 21. The gallery, located on the Lincroft campus, is general open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. For more information, contact Marie Maber, Gallery Curator, at 732-224-2881 or email mmaber@brookdalecc.edu.

Learn more about Brookdale’s wide range of art programs here

Check out more photos of the opening reception here.