Upcoming exhibit highlights artists’ majors

A submission to “My College Is…” by Gabrielle Bejarano, geology major. Bejarano created the piece for the Hatcher Pass Junior Geology Program, in which she taught children about geology. Photo credit: Gabrielle Bejarano

In the academic world, invisible walls separate fields of study. Aspiring artists and future scientists are placed on tracks that don’t often converge. That’s why an upcoming art exhibit at UAA hopes to find some common ground between disciplines.

“My College Is…” will feature work inspired by artists’ various majors and will be on display at the Learning Commons in Sally Monserud Hall from Friday until the end of the semester.

The show was organized by Learning Commons employee and The Northern Light contributor Jacob Holley-Kline.

“I’ve always thought that there was a common ground for humanities and science majors and auto majors and things like that to express their passion for their major, because I think that’s where people really connect, is when they share their love of something that’s very important to them,” Holley-Kline said.

The dozen or so pieces were created by artists whose fields or study include psychology, geology, English and business. The work ranges from digital art and collage to video and mixed media.

Not expecting to get any submissions at all, Holley-Kline was surprised at the response. He attributes that to keeping the open call for artists simple — artwork inspired by your major.

“I wanted it to be as vague as possible, first of all, to maximize possible submissions, but also because how people express their love for their major comes in many different forms, and I didn’t want to limit anyone who wanted to submit,” Holly-Kline said.

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Geology major Gabrielle Bejarano submitted a number of pieces to the show. For her first couple of years in college, she was torn between pursuing the arts or the sciences. Her mother was an artist and her older sister chose that path too.

Bejarano had been a part of the art scene in Colorado Springs, but it wasn’t the right fit. In the end, the sciences won out.

“I have chemistry with chemistry,” Bejarano said.

Despite choosing geology over art, she uses her skills as an artist to complement her studies. Whether it’s taking notes and drawing diagrams or using her knowledge of art and science when she’s teaching kids about geology, her artistic side persists.

Not intending to degrade the arts, she thinks that while making art can be cathartic, it’s limited to what the artist chooses to include, and while art comes alive through conversation, the conclusions are often vague or abstract.

“That’s not for me, but with the sciences, especially with chemistry, there’s people having like whole careers and one lifetime at a time following a scientific process and it’s not for themselves and it’s not to be cathartic,” Bejarano said. “It’s for a love of the science and hundreds of years later, one person will come along, pull all that information and do something really beautiful.”

There will be an opening reception for “My College Is…” on Friday, Oct. 6 at 12 p.m. in Sally Monserud Hall, room 116.