Pomona Art Museum Presents Student Summer Art Projects

The Pomona College Museum of Art exhibited the Summer Experience in the Arts
(SEA) 2013 student project presentations at Art After Hours on Sept. 19.

The event began with a short series of
student presentations and lasted throughout the evening. From embroidery
to video art to electronic music, the SEA exhibition offered viewers myriad
forms of artwork, which were all inspired by unique summer experiences funded
by Pomona College’s Mellon Elemental Arts Initiative. The
2013 SEA student recipients were Joaquin Estrada PO ’14, William Appleton PO
’14, Ian Byers-Gamber PO ’14, Maurissa Dorn PO ’14, Joaquin Estrada PO ’14,
Sana Javeri Kadri PO ’16, and Paul Koenig PO ’14.

For his project “Stitching
Historias,” Joaquin Estrada spent 10 weeks in Claremont, dedicating 5-7 hour workdays to hand embroidering. Throughout this process, he sought to create something
that would capture his experience of being “undocuqueer”: undocumented and

“It made sense for me to
make a definition—one that would hint at everything. I ended up combining two
words in Spanish, maricón—faggot—and mariposa—butterfly—to make ‘maricónposa,’ which is the heading of my piece,” Estrada said.

“Maricónposa” is a 21×27-inch embroidery of a butterfly,
which, according to Estrada, took five weeks to stitch.

“Maricónposa is
one who traverses borders, nations, cultures, and
more,” Estrada said. “In order to live and in order to thrive, I
have to be able to occupy all these spaces. More than that, I need to own that
entire process. It’s a very beautiful process.”

Javeri Kadri’s project,
“Hinduism in 21st century India: A Photographic Journey,” is an array
of colorful dynamic photographs chronicling her five-week trip through India. Intimate
portraits and chaotic urban landscapes convey the tensions embedded in a
traditionally religious country trying to reconfigure itself as a modern state.

Kadri said her project was an attempt to
learn about her own history. “I never felt Indian enough, and I thought this
trip would help me change that. Nope—for some reason they all thought I was a
foreigner. But it was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot, and the pictures
tell the stories of my journey,” she said.

“I really loved the
photographs. Each image was so powerful and emotive,” Aimee Miller SC ’16 said of Javeri Kadri’s project.

Byers-Gamber worked with Associate Professor of Art Mark Allen at Machine Project, a non-profit art space in Echo Park,
Los Angeles.

“Machine Project is an art
space that focuses on performance and time-based art,” Byers-Gamber said. “My
role was to document the performance art and edit the videos into shorter
pieces that were representative of the material.”

One of his pieces featured
actors performing a segment of The Odyssey within the confines of a car.
According to Byers-Gamber, only two audience members could view the performance
at a time, which limited viewership severely.

“The goal of the videos is to
open the material to a wider audience. I try to convey the spirit of the piece
and capture the energy while also making it enjoyable to watch,” Byers-Gamber said.

Koenig’s project sought
to fuse art and science together via an electronic musical composition called
“Four Voices over Newport.” Koenig used “sonification,” the process of
representing information through sound, to assign different weather variables (temperature,
pressure, humidity, etc.) to music parameters like pitch, timbre, and tempo. He used weather variables from Newport, Rhode Island as a testament to the
community in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“The idea was to merge the
role of scientist and artist,” Koenig said. “I wanted to represent nature
through sound; but in a funny way, the piece sounds kind of unnatural.”

Dorn traveled to
Bali to study the music of the ‘rindik,’ a Balinese bamboo xylophone. She composed
rindik and banjo arrangements for traditional Balinese and folk songs to
demonstrate the surprising similarities between the banjo and rindik. Later in the evening, she performed her song with Appleton and Pomona Associate Professor of Music Joti Rockwell. All three dressed in traditional Balinese clothes while playing Dorn’s arrangements.

Although her travels in Bali
were educational, Dorn revealed that her research was set back momentarily when
she caught typhoid fever. Nevertheless, she brushed it off playfully.

may have gotten typhoid fever, but at least I made some sweet jams!” she said.

“The performance was very
soothing and beautiful. There was incense, cool costumes, and the rindik and
banjo went so well together,” Manya Janowitz PO ’15 said after listening to Dorn’s arrangement.

For his project entitled
“Objectivism in Mid-Century Music,” Appleton studied music from two
music movements—the Total Serialist movement of the 1950s and the Minimalist
movement of the 1960s—and combined the styles to create a two-movement
orchestral piece.

“I was looking into objective
ways of creating art, looking at 20th century music from the ’50s
and ’60s, and how they used abstract number sequences and different theories to
create music that wasn’t based on emotion or intuition,” he said.

For his presentation,
Appleton played a few segments from both movements of his composition, giving
occasional comments about the interplay between the two musical movements he
chose to emulate.

“I was tired of listening to
music based on psychological manipulation. I tried to find a new goal for the
music, to communicate something on a different level than an emotional one, to
stimulate something in the listener that’s entirely new,” he added.

The festivities
concluded with live music co-sponsored by KSPC and featuring Caroline Ashkar
and Foxxhound.

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