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Students get ‘scents’ of art in galleries

Artist Yvonne Phan has five illustrations that are showcased in the Gatov Gallery this week.

Janine Zuniga | Daily 49er

Artist Yvonne Phan has five illustrations that are showcased in the Gatov Gallery this week.

Janine Zuniga, Assistant Diversions Editor

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Patrons can sniff and view their ways into the memories and creative illustrations put on display in this week’s student art galleries.

The walls of the Gatov and the Merlino galleries are coated with three to six pieces of artwork per artist as a part of the BFA Senior Exhibition: Illustration and Animation.

The mounted pieces vary in style from simplistic cell-shaded cartoons to intricate and realistically detailed artwork. Uniquely, artist Victor Camba even included an action figure of himself alongside his comic-like illustrations on display in the Gatov Gallery.

In addition, each artist included a small third-person biographical tidbit about themselves.

While some artists wrote simple answers or nothing at all, others like Yvonne Phan wrote a comical interpretation. Phan’s read, “Yvonne Phan came from another planet. Her work as well as her persona shifts with the moon phases.”

The displayed art carries over into the Merlino Gallery with a mini slideshow with music.

On display in the Dutzi Gallery is the distinctively named “a – o + j” by artists Marissa Johnen, Khadija Razzak and Jason Webb. An obvious display of objection toward budget cuts, a makeshift classroom seems to have been created in the space with a cloth-like net overhead. A podium is crafted from items such as books, a speaker and a tape player playing what sounds like a recording of a speaker at a conference. Rub-on paint transfers with statements like “Health education no longer required for Long Beach Unified High School graduation due to reduced budget” are displayed on the walls.

In a sudden and surprising twist for the art galleries, the Werby Gallery engulfs the space with a fresh aroma entitled “Par, Through, Fumm, Smoke” by Julia Barbee.

Along the walls are descriptions of memories by time and date, and pheromones that accompany that memory. Barbee explains that the framed descriptions are almost like self-portraits. Small cloth pockets adorned with crystals, each made to smell appropriately to the memories the artist sees fit, are displayed in front of each frame.

“So far [the smells] have been really pleasant,” Shane Butler, UCLA classics professor, said. “I was afraid to smell them at first because I thought some of them might be horrible but so far they’ve been really wonderful.”

The most prominent pieces are three large sacks that hang from the ceiling and are similar to the smaller pockets, also with distinct scents.

“There is something kind of creepy about them but also something very elegant,” Butler said. “Smell is weird thing, it’s very beautiful but it’s also very animal-like.”

The weekly student art galleries run Monday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. between the FA2 and FA3 buildings.


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