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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Clifford Gallery Showcases Senior Artwork

Colgate University

How does someone know that they’ve achieved their goals? For some, it may come in quiet ways, like passing a test or receiving an acceptance letter. For senior Kate Partridge, success comes as bold, brightly colored paintings. As a participating artist in the 2024 Senior Exhibition: PushBack at the Clifford Gallery, located in Little Hall at Colgate University, Partridge’s work is proudly exhibited for public viewing. Her project is titled “Saturating the Senses” and consists of five paintings representing five items, illustrating each of the five senses. 

“We have colorful projections of light from a crystal prism, the touch of gooey slime, the chemical scent of nail polish, the static noise of a TV and the sugary taste from candy,” Partridge said.

She collected the ideas for each of these items over a few month’s time. 

“Over the summer, I kept a list of each time one of my senses was heightened, such as the sound of a can opening, smelling freshly done laundry or watching ASMR videos as I was scrolling through social media,” Partridge said, speaking on her process of gaining inspiration.  

On a deeper level, her paintings convey mediation. 

“There has been a human hand in the process of all these objects at various stages,” Partridge said. “It is this process of mediation that drives our identification.”

Senior Riley Farbstein is another artist featured in the Clifford Gallery. Her project blends fashion, art and nature into two projects: a gown made with unconventional waste materials and a dress for an apple tree. 

“I was inspired by my previous classes in environmental studies,” Farbstein said. “I wanted to combine my interests in both environmental geology and studio art.”

The projects encompass themes such as fast fashion and ecological waste.

“My work hopes to glamorize unconventional materials,” Farbstein said. “By cherishing waste as a precious material, I hope viewers will rethink how waste could be utilized.” 

As one can imagine, the construction for this piece was not easy. The mushrooms had to be maintained and grown, which can be time consuming. Additionally, the dress required an unconventional approach due to its materials.

“It was a bit of a challenge sewing together a gown out of an atypical material,” Farbstein said. “The plastic bags acted like fabric and I was able to construct the garment.” 

Farbstein hopes to continue her work with ecological art (eco-art), a contemporary form of environmental art that responds to concerns with local and global environmental situations.

“My interests definitely lie with eco-art, and I want to continue creating pieces that collaborate with nature,” Farbstein said.

Throughout the coming semester, Farbstein plans to work with Colgate’s visiting artist Jackie Summel on her exhibition at the Clifford Gallery, creating a different type of garment.

Another artist’s work with an interesting theme is senior Jordan Hurt, whose project consists of a series of postcards featuring various individuals engaging in mundane chores. Each of these chores is labeled with something seemingly nonsensical. For example, an image of someone taking out the trash is labeled “carry your trash with you all day.” Jordan Hurt’s work seeks to diverge from traditional conceptions of labor and mundane chores. It’s a call for viewers to take on a positive attitude towards activities with often negative connotations. 

“I aimed to bring joy and pleasure back to the mundane tasks of life, making chores a more exciting part of our daily routine,” Hurt said.

Her work was inspired in part by her time spent living independently this summer. 

“I found myself figuring out new routines, enjoying summer walks, handling my chores and managing my living situation solo,” Hurt said. “This blend of change and freedom was the perfect recipe for happiness and whimsy, which I brought into the core of my project.” 

Hurt has always enjoyed art and recalls art being integrated into her life as early as her childhood. 

“As a toddler, my mother would set up lots of arts and crafts activities for me and my sisters,” Hurt said. 

Today, Hurt considers Yoko Ono to be one of her biggest artist inspirations. Hurt affectionately described Ono’s ability to challenge traditional conceptions of art.

 “[Ono] embodies the essence of transformative art — art that dares to question and engage, leaving a lasting impression in the mind of the viewer,” Hurt said.

In addition to these impressive projects, student artists Zul Ahmed, Emma Barrison, Thomas Cernosia, Tess Dunkel and Andy Weinstein also had their art featured in the Clifford Gallery. 

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