The show was well attended. I only stayed about an hour, but when I left there were probably about 30 to 40 people still in the salon. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about her artwork, which was amazing!
I took many pictures and I'll show some of them here. Here are some of the crowd.
She had some prints for sale; I brought two of them home with me.
The show was called "Children of Dust".
Her statement about the show:
My oil and watercolor paintings for this show are based on a series of interviews I conducted throughout the year. I intentionally chose very introverted people to model for me. For each interview, I asked the participants if I could photograph them for references for my paintings. During the photo shoot, I asked intense personal questions. Both the questions and answers remain confidential. I changed the photographs depending on what the participants said, and used their answers to create my compositions, color choices, and titles. The pieces also contain information about the emotional aspects of the interview, both what I felt and what I sensed the participant felt during the photo shoot.All of the pieces are incredibly expressive. Her subjects all seem to be searching for something. Perhaps something that would benefit all of us, should they find it. The overarching theme that I noticed in most of the faces was a sense of heroism. They struck me like the grand propaganda pictures from old Soviet posters. It doesn't quite sum up what I felt when I looked at them, but that's the closest I can come to describing it. I will let you make up your own mind about it.
I was shocked by the openness of the models. This body of work is something of a confession, and a description of the complexities of communication and brokenness. I chose the title, "Children of Dust," as a reflection of the tension in which we live: the interviewees were strong and filled with shame, angry while pursuing peace, had high goals yet paralyzed by fear.
Lena has accomplished much in her just under 30 years. Most recently she graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a double major in art and art history. She worked as hard as I've ever seen anyone work to achieve anything. For that reason alone I'm incredibly proud of her. But when I look at her artwork I am amazed at her talent and vision. I hope her work will soon get the exposure it deserves.
Lena has an Etsy shop at gift of amnesia etsy
and a tumblr blog dedicated to her artwork at gift of amnesia
Her show will be hanging at Tula through the end of January. Stop and see it if you can!