Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New "Diversity" Art Exhibit on Linden Street

There's a new art exhibit made possible by the generous support of Federal Realty in the vacant windows between California Pizza Kitchen and Ace Hardware on Linden Street.
Wellesley High School's Art & Community Club is a student-run club that focuses on creating and exhibiting artworks around specific themes that bring awareness to essential elements of a healthy community. This year’s exhibit, “Diversity”, is centered on diversity in our community and in the outer world. Students dealt with various issues of ethnicity, race, religion, culture, language, unity, community, and more.  

Discover Your Unique Color
Eunice Lee

This piece is made out of a cardboard box for the window and coffee filter for the flowers. I was inspired by the natural color that came out in the coffee filter when I brewed coffee. Some of the flowers are dyed with real fruit juices, but most of them are dyed with acrylic paints. The open window symbolizes being open-minded to and accepting diversity. It represents discovering hidden ability of an individual. Through the mirror, the viewer can see his or herself surrounded by flowers that show different colors, talents, or abilities of the viewer. The various colors of the flowers demonstrate different perspectives of people. Its overall message is that there are numerous aspects of humans and we can discover them by exploring new things and communicating with others.

One Hundred Rivers Form an Ocean
Maggie Zhang

I was inspired by “Afghan Girl,” a photograph of Sharbat Gula taken by Steve McCurry in December 1984 for the cover of National Geographic and “The Dreamer,” an acrylic-on-canvas painting by Kevin Chasing Wolf Hutchins. The Chinese have an idiom, Hai Na Bai Chuan - All rivers run into the ocean. The greatness of the ocean arises from the currents that feed it; be it the vast Amazon of South America or the trickling streams that meander through the walks of Wellesley, both eventually empty into the ocean. In turn, the ocean accepts their gift in its womb. The beauty of Mother Nature is the life that she sustains; like the bold and majestic American eagle and the elegant yet valorous Japanese koi fish, life braves blue skies and graces translucent waters. Together they lend biodiversity to our ecosystems. The strength of mankind emerges from a spectrum of people; we differ in color, creed, or culture. With acceptance and compassion, our differences become a mosaic of beauty and greatness. Together, we find perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose; together, we are strong.
Hai Na Bai Chuan - Be tolerant to diversity.

Serena Benages

On one page, there are newspaper articles. These represent generalizations Americans can make when all they know about another culture is what they read or see on the news. The cut-out question mark shows the next page, which has personal stories my father has from his childhood in Cuba. This piece shows my personal diversity, but also my belief that cultural diversity and experiencing other peoples or beliefs is so much more important than simply reading the news.

Different yet the Same
Serena Benages

The piece is centered on a phonebook, which is a testament to the amount of diversity that thrives today. This diversity is apparent not only in our names but also in our food. America today is a melting pot of so many different cultures. The inspiration from this piece came from the quotation "How alike we are, and yet how different". The hand that rises from the book symbolizes this shared humanity.

Pooja Reddy
This piece depicts Gautama Buddha in a reverie with various demons in the background trying to disturb him. This piece represents how even in times of almost complete darkness, truth and peace will find a way to shine through. The inspiration for this piece came from a visit to Bylakuppe, which is in Karnataka India. It is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India. Here, I visited a Tibetan monastery, which was decorated profusely with statues and wall murals. These wall murals caught my eye because Buddha was depicted as extremely peaceful, when the murals surrounding him where of demons and walls of flame

A Mélange
Pooja Reddy
This piece shows the face of Gautama Buddha at rest. Even with his demise, Buddha influenced so many people and his influence spread around the world from India to places such as Korea, Japan, Tibet, and throughout the world with immigrants. This spread created an interesting mix of people with different cultures and backgrounds who were brought together by the central teaching of Lord Buddha. A mélange of individuals as the canvas to absorb the trails of knowledge left by Buddha.

Thing Unseen
Chloe Kolbet

To recognize diversity is to acknowledge differences and similarities simultaneously. Yes, it is to notice how someone is black, while another is white, how someone is poor and another is rich, how someone is female and another is male. Yet, it is also to recognize that despite the differences, we are all human—99.9 percent of our DNA is the same. In this way, we can assign true human dignity to all, rather than only establishing separation. For this reason, I used only sharpie and poster board as my media in order to represent our diverse unity.

International Diversity
Rey Duran

artwork is done in pastel pencils on white paper and the black background is done with acrylic paint. It depicts many continents on Earth and several gray hands pouring colors into the world. The lands are surrounded by four interlocked arms of different skin tones. For this piece, I wanted to have more of a human feel by using the arms and hands. The different colors seeping into the world map represent various people and their culture, connected by humanity as a whole. The quotation demonstrates the importance of diversity in the world.

Diversity in Wellesley High School
Juyon Lee, Wendy Zhuo, Monica Ong, Amanda Ong, Eva Loh, Jin Kim, Han Li, Chloe Kolbet, and Maggie Zhang
This group project demonstrates diversity within Wellesley High School. The photos show students, faculty, and other members of the Wellesley community. Instead of focusing on a specific group, we took photos of various people with different talents and character. The myriad of colors and shades portrays the uniqueness of each individual or place in our high school. By demonstrating different aspects of our community, we want to raise awareness of embracing diversity and respecting differences. Moreover, the eagle symbolizes freedom and every individual’s ability to express his or herself.

Tree of Life
Katie Pedersen

This piece of artwork was inspired by the tremendous diversity in the nature. By depicting a tree made out of types of branches from all over the world, I hope to show the interconnectedness of all life. Moreover, by using both glossy photos and dull prints, I use a variety of mediums to create one coherent whole. Just as nature is diverse, so are the people that live among and depend upon it. Thus, a tree from around the world serves as a symbol of diversity.

The Life of a Water Lily
Eunice Lee

This piece shows life of a water lily from its birth to death. I thought its life was similar to human's life. I was inspired by paper-cutting artist Peter Callensen, who cut out flowers and made them into 3D figures. Similar to Callensen’s technique, I made some 3D water lilies with cut out materials but used a different type of paper. Water lily symbolizes resurrection because lilies close their petals at night and reopen in the morning sunlight. Buddhists regard the water lily as a symbol of enlightenment because of the beautiful bloom that emerges from the mud. They also consider the water lily an emblem of purity, spontaneous generation and divine birth. This piece demonstrates diversity of religions as a whole. 

Love after Love
Nic Shepard

To capture diversity artistically, one immediately must think about all the different ways that we separate ourselves from each other. This minimalist expression of Derek Walcott's "Love after Love" is an exercise in negative space. This piece shows both unity and diversity to the viewer. While each person is shaped by his or her own experience and has thoughts unique to his or herself when we read the poem, we all share the human experience. At the end of the day, we all must sit, and face ourselves together.

Amanda Ong

This black and white photo shows a picture of reeds in a small marsh that I took at Wellesley College. Though I was planning to take all of my photos at the pond, while I was walking on the pathway towards the pond, I was inspired by the light yellow color of the reeds that contrasted the dark marshy pond. Although they look very similar, variations in lighting represent that diverse personalities of a community, which is symbolized by the marsh, can hold and support. The darker reeds symbolize the quite personality that is hidden in the shadows while the lighter reeds show the loud personality and visually attract the viewer. Despite the differences, these reeds, like people, are unified through the feeling of community that comes from being part of whole.

Zahra Pirani

"Unity" exhibits the techniques of collage and painting, combined on one canvas to display the beauty of differences. The cutout faces of numerous people from around the world are used to make collage silhouettes which, in turn, create a cohesive star in the center of the piece. This star, as well as the bright yellow border around the silhouettes, symbolizes the glowing strength and vitality emanating from diversity. The quote by the Aga Khan, Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network and an advocate for pluralism, exemplifies the central message of this piece. "Unity" was inspired by various photographic displays I have seen of cultures around the world and my desire to combine different mediums into one artistic creation.

Art and Community Club members support Children Helping Children, a student charity organization. Our mission is to help children in third world countries or children devastated by natural disasters. Just like us, they want happiness, strength, and compassion in their lives, but struggle over simple necessities. In doing to, we also strive to foster "one love." We’re reaching out to people of all races, regardless of creed or color, because we’re connected through this common thread of compassion, of hope, and a longing for a bright future. As high school students, some of our members have gained first-hand experience by working with underprivileged children from other countries.

If you are interested in purchasing original or printed copies (photo images) of the displayed artworks, please contact J.Y. Lee, President. Art & Community Club via email juyon95@gmail.com or cell 781-733- 3515.

All the charitable donations will be sent to the Children Helping Children organization, which will help many lives of children in the third world countries.

Thank you for your support!