The Balcony To Host Second Art Exhibit of the Semester, “Casting Shadows”

Tonight The Balcony will open its second student exhibition of the year, “Casting Shadows,” in the Smith Campus Center at Pomona College. 

As the title suggests, the exhibit will focus on light and shadow aesthetics through a variety of media. It will include photography, paintings, and sculptures from 16 artists. The opening will also feature plentiful wine and cheese pairings, and KSPC’s Cameron Kell PO ’14 will DJ, according to the event’s Facebook page. 

The Balcony started up last semester in response to what was deemed a faltering presence of student art at Pomona and the 5Cs in general, President Amy Ragsdale PO ’15 said.

The overarching theme between each event is popular accessibility. For example, this exhibition relies on enigmatic imagery, and can mistakenly give off the air of an exclusive art function. However, The Balcony emphasizes creating a space where art can be appreciated universally by all who attend.

One of the featured artists, Mary Margaret Groves PO ’16, chose to construct an interactive piece for the exhibit. Her piece is composed of a series of mirrors. Groves described the piece as a hexagon hanging from the ceiling at head-height so that people passing by are compelled to look inside it. 

“It’s a way for people to experience light in a lot of different refractive ways. I’m also really interested in portraying presence in the art gallery,” Groves said. 

The Balcony’s past exhibition attracted large crowds, and the club is looking to grow their audience as much as possible. According to the vice president of The Balcony, Sana Javeri Kadri PO ’16, the goal of this and other events is to attract anybody who is interested in art. 

“We’ve tried to make it a lot more diverse,” Kadri said. “It’s a nice way to bring people together to talk about art, because I don’t think we do very often.”

If the exhibit’s dichotomous theme of light and shadow does not allure, fear not, because The Balcony varies their exhibit themes. Every event is given a basic theme in order to connect each piece into a cohesive net of artwork. Their last exhibit, for instance, focused on relationships with social media and functioned as a space for individual reflection. 

The Balcony decides on a theme for the exhibit and then distributes the subject matter to the artists via e-mail. 

“We just give the artist a starting point for inspiration; it’s about how the artist interprets the theme. It’s a chance for them to get their art out,” Ragsdale said. 

She added that The Balcony typically features student artists of all capacities; some are art majors and others are simply in an art class and want an opportunity to showcase their work. 

Ragsdale said that too many people feel that because they’re not artists, they’re not creative. The Balcony strives to debunk this misconception and create a gallery space where art can be discussed and digested by all.

There will be one more exhibit this semester in early December, which will likely feature a yet to-be-determined political theme. Ragsdale said that The Balcony hopes to organizes more events in upcoming semesters.

 Tonight’s exhibit will run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will be held in room 235 in the Smith Campus Center.

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