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Art is the new smell and works well with color

Student artists incorporate various scents with their gallery pieces.

Asia+Roberge%2C+one+of+many+artists+featured+in+the+student+gallery+incorporated+mulch+in+her+exhibit.+
Asia Roberge, one of many artists featured in the student gallery incorporated mulch in her exhibit.

Asia Roberge, one of many artists featured in the student gallery incorporated mulch in her exhibit.

Sabrina Flores

Sabrina Flores

Asia Roberge, one of many artists featured in the student gallery incorporated mulch in her exhibit.

Haley Martinez, Staff Writer

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about a thousand smells?

Various student artists showcased their work this week in the Cal State Long Beach Max Gatov Gallery in the Fine Arts Building by putting together an exhibit that incorporated different scents with their pieces.

The artist’s goal was to encourage others to use multiple senses when experiencing their work, according to their introductory letter explaining and introducing the exhibit to gallery attendees.

“There is a visual presentation that goes with the smell of something.” Asia Roberge, fourth year studio art major said. “It ranges from personal to subjective interpretation of it. My sculpture evokes how I felt the first time I experienced the smell of something.”

Unique styles and abstract work such as woven tapestries painted with colorful designs, photos depicting urban areas and a single megaphone were featured in the numerous exhibits the composers created.

“We decided to complete our art early to critique each other’s work,” junior Dalia Perez drawing and painting major said. “After looking at your art for so long you need other artists to look at your work so they can give you their opinions.”

Within their introductory letter, the artists wrote that smell is used in these works to trigger memories of love, irritation, happiness and a sense of relaxation.

The artist’s analyzed the correlation between smell and imagery while creating the exhibit, then decided which smells to incorporate into their work.

“The smell preceded the imagery. We all found our personal smell,” Roberge said. “I chose mulch because I really like the smell and it brought back a memory of mine that I had in a garden with my mom. It’s a very abstract feeling.”

Each artist created pieces that incorporated a certain scent, where viewers were able to smell and touch each part of the gallery.

Perez used acrylic on canvases hung throughout the room with abstract paintings of women in her exhibit. Inspired by the smell of Eucalyptus, which created an earthy scent throughout the art gallery, these canvases brought a splash of color to the otherwise neutral pieces filling the room.

“There is a meaning behind my work, but I would rather have people interpret my work in their own way,” Perez said. “I want people to figure it out on their own, sort of like a puzzle.

Samantha Tagaloa, third year drawing and painting major, combined vibrant colors that she used on canvas which was also inspired by a Eucalyptus scent.

“It’s important to be experimental and not take things so seriously,” Tagaloa said. “My piece ‘Black Licorice’ is my favorite. I used a bunch of old drawings and I’m giving them a new life.”

“Black Licorice” is a unique interpretation of nature’s beauty.

Tagaloa used all recycled work of hers to create “Black Licorice” and said that it creates a new way of experiencing the art.

“I think that in terms of human experiences, incorporating recycled work in carrying that experience is important to us,” Roberge said. “Something that once had meaning to me should be purposeful.”

Yoni Keynan, third year illustration major created a watercolor and gouache painting also known as water based paint on paper and incorporated the scent of garlic.

“My style is normally different,” Keynan said. “I normally make cartoons so this was new to me. It’s hard to navigate smell in a gallery. We took a smell and paired it with an image to see an effect.”

The team of artists had been preparing for the exhibit since last semester, brainstorming ideas and creating the layout of the gallery.  

“We started on a concept and a large portion of our time was spent on brainstorming. We also had to think about how we were going to showcase our work and we think about how these pieces will talk to each other,” Roberge said. “Finalizing the space was probably the hardest part for all of us. The opening was a big relief for me.”

The student art galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Max L. Gatov Gallery, located in FA2.

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