“In This Place” opened to the public on Thursday with free food and a chance for students to talk to visiting artists Monika Sosnowski and Carlos Loret de Mola.
Students went to the gallery opening for the free food, but also for the experience.
“I’m a photographer, so I’m here getting to know what other people are taking pictures of, how they’re taking pictures, and to get tips on how to become better,” Emily Searles, fine arts student, said.
Samantha Caruso, fine arts student, said, “I’m not really into photography as much, but it’s interesting to me to see how people go about it and how they perceive the world.”
Though both artists are photographers, their work is very different. Sosnowski’s work is located on the first floor of the Teaching Gallery, and she has many more individual prints on display than Loret de Mola, including objects from her life scattered throughout the exhibit. Many of her pieces have portions that are out-of-focus, and they have more of a whimsical feel to them.
“Over the past year, I started getting very kind of irked by how typical exhibitions are shown, not just photography, but you go to most galleries, especially with two-dimensional works, and there is usually kind of a standard way of displaying the work. It’s typically framed, it’s typically in a row, and I’ve been wanting to do other things,” said Sosnowski about the nonlinear arrangement of her works in the gallery.
The unique display appealed to fine arts student Mariah Day. “I like the whole setup of Monika’s pictures downstairs because you’re not looking at one picture at a time, you’re looking at them all at once. In a sense, they kind of make their own picture as they come together as a whole,” she said.
Loret de Mola, on the other hand, describes his work as “more disjointed at times and not necessarily a direct message.” His work, on display on the gallery’s second floor, focuses more on the real, tangible “now” of life, and music was a huge inspiration for the pieces he chose for this particular exhibit. His photographs are much larger than Sosnowski’s and are displayed in the traditional, linear format.
“I didn’t want it to look overly photographic, and that’s why [my prints] are big and almost poster-like,” said Loret de Mola about “In This Place.” “I didn’t want it to get too polished. I wanted it to stay a little bit raw but still have some sort of impact.”
There are common themes in both artist’s work, according to Tara Fracalossi, gallery manager. “Both of these artists share a connection through their formative years or their family’s histories that involves movement or displacement and resulted in work that explores their own sense of place and identity.”
Loret de Mola agrees that despite the obvious differences between his work and Sosnowski’s, there is one commonality: “If nothing else, we both play with photography as a medium of recording memories and thoughts.”
Loret de Mola will be giving his artist’s talk in the BTC Auditorium on Mar. 15 from 3 to 4 p.m. “In This Place” will be on display in the Teaching Gallery from Feb. 11 to Mar. 19.