Acrylic paint collides with student’s vision

Photo by Kristen Shimabukuro

Walking into the Academic Advising office, one sees a shelf cluttered with handbooks on everything from pre-medicine programs to college life style, and this month instead of fliers, a piece of original art hangs on the wall.

Junior Joy Nelson was approached several weeks ago by senior student gallery director Zach Mitlas and was asked if she would like to display some of her artwork.

The gallery features four of Nelson’s paintings from the past two years, all done with acrylic paint on either canvas or masonite. Bright colors and bold design are heavily featured in her work. There also appears to be a heavy influence of the natural world in her work, such as rippling water, mountain ranges and budding flowers.

The intense variations in color and design between each of her paintings is unique and intends to get viewers thinking about more than just what is on the canvas.

Nelson’s favorite piece in this collection is “From the Roots,” which shows a plant with a closed flower, the roots stretching deep into the dark soil.

“[The idea] has been showing up a lot in my sketch book,” she said. “It’s an interesting idea because you can only see the top of the plant, but you can’t see its roots.”

The artist said it was meant to be a commentary on human beings and how they only ever see the surface of someone, the outer appearance, unless they are willing to do some digging to uncover what is underneath.

Nelson has been painting her entire life, but did not become a serious artist until last year when she took a painting class. She said she learned about all different aspects of art and how to expand her skills. While her favorite medium is paint, she has yet to find an art form she does not
find interesting.

She said she has always loved art because it allows her to express herself to others.

“It’s my way to enrich other people’s lives,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s artist statement is an excellent expression of her work and what it means to her:

“My existence as an artist revolves around my experiences as a human being. The results seen in my painting are a product of every day, every mood and every interaction. There is energy and an exciting presence in color and line,” it reads. “Conscious decisions are made about the paint, but
many subconscious, intuitive actions also take place. The subconscious and the conscious interact when I paint. Tangible pigment is transformed into a story
of life.”

Nelson does not have any concrete plans for her art in the immediate future, but she is confident that it will continue to be a big part of her life.

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