North Texas Daily

Top art students recognized in junior review art reception

Top art students recognized in junior review art reception

Top art students recognized in junior review art reception
September 03
18:03 2016

Art professors chose top-of-the-class pieces and displayed them at an art reception Thursday evening at UNT’s Cora Stafford gallery.

About 20 works of art hung in the gallery, ranging from abstract to portraits.

The College of Visual Arts and Design picked the top 13 students from last year’s junior class to display selected works from their drawing and painting portfolios.

All juniors have to go through a ranking process by  faculty as part of CVAD’s drawing and painting degree plan. The art work will be on display until Sept. 24 at the gallery, located at 1120 West Oak St. 

The overwhelming sentiment among the young artists is one of pride, though they do not call the displayed works their very best. They said their current works are the ones they have most pride for, and they feel most excited about what they produce in the future. Three of the 13 artists were Juliette Vaissaire, Josh Reyes and Tori Herbst. 

No. 1: Juliette Vaissaire

Vaissaire has always been allured by the beauty of works by Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer and takes them as her inspiration for many of her pieces. Her pieces, “Stockings” and “Queen of disaster,” explore human sexuality and attempts to bring beauty back into a world which seems devoid of it.

“As people we have a tendency to make nature ugly,” Vaissaire said. “Art is about making things beautiful. We’re a generation of making things now, quickly, even if it means they’re ugly.”

In her pieces she displays women, often expressionless and devoid of feeling to “portray the modern woman.” The women she paints, reflections of herself and of her closest friends, are all meant to be the same apathetic person. She doesn’t like painting smiles or frowns, but simply emotionless women, a commentary on women’s passive roles in society.

“As a woman you’re just sort of there,” Vaissaire said. “We passively take in everything. So I portray them never happy and never sad. In a way these pieces create a secret life in women, keeping them as an object of beauty.”

A French native, Vaissaire feels her works also have a political message. When asked why she so often paints women bare-breasted she said “La poitrine est républicaine” — Breasts are republican.

No. 3 Josh Reyes

As an abstract artist, Reyes’ goal is to create tension within his works. He said his piece, “Angst,” is based on two concepts — chaos and order.

I wanted to present a push and pull and create tension,” Reyes said. “I take an intuitive process to my paintings. I paint it and then I figure out what inspired me after I’m done.”

Reyes gets most of his inspiration from his favorite artists with whom he regularly keeps up, like Gerhard Richter and Richard Roth. His work appears like an urban landscape, cut by sections of simple, orderly lines of popping color. Of his works he said though the one displayed is one of his favorites, he can’t help but reject it as his magnum opus.

“I try my best, and I would probably place it in my top three favorite works,” Reyes said. “But my goal is to just keep making work and focus on making a lot of different stuff. I’ll be proud of the stuff I create later in life.”

No. 13 Tori Herbst

Emotions are most important for Tori Herbst’s artistic expression. Her piece, “Sisterly Love,” portrays the emotions she feels while with her little brother, joking and care-free. Her aim is to represent, in an abstract manner, the different emotions people feel every day.

“I paint so that people can visualize their emotions,” Herbst said. “My life wouldn’t be the same were it not for the people I meet, even in passing, that inspire me.”

Herbst said she gets most of her inspiration from what she feels in the presence of others. Her works range from personal connections and emotions with her close friends and relatives, to strangers on the street that bring something out in her worth painting. She said she’s not most proud of the piece displayed at Cora Stafford, but has learned a lot from its creation.

“Weirdly enough I’m not most proud of this one,” Herbst said. “I’m happy and pleased with it and from what I learned from this painting and ones before it, but I’m most proud of my future work.”

Featured Image: Students art work is displayed at UNT’s Cora Stafford gallery. Professors curated the gallery with top-of-the-class art from various students. Adalberto Toledo

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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