Hosted by Emory College freshman Stephen Fowler and Yamini Kumawat and Emory College seniors Lauren Henrickson and Kevin Kang, the Emory Student Arts Showcase was a phenomenal display of visual and performing art surrounding the theme “re.imagine, re.invent, re.create, re.present.” The pieces evoked strong emotions from greed to heart-wrenching despair, which led to intense reactions from both audience members and judges alike.
The event was held in the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts last Friday. A total of 18 finalists had their pieces entered into the competition. Ten artists spoke about their visual arts pieces on display upstairs in the Chace Upper Lobby while eight artists performed a variety of art forms from inspiring monologues to instrumental and vocal performances.
A few pieces stood out in particular. Among the visual arts candidates, College sophomore Megha Chiruvella’s painting, “The Sound of Wrong,” and College senior Tianjiao Chu’s “Take Care” were masterful in their uses of color. Each painting possessed the ability to tell a story.
Chiruvella, motivated by a Natasha Trethewey poem, depicted what one would look like upon hearing “wrong.” Essentially, the painting depicts an individual’s reaction to hearing the sound of something wrong.
Comprised of varying colors of blue, orange, black and white, the painting shows a distorted face half covered by a hand. Very detailed and intricate, Chiruvella’s piece manages to accurately visually depict a single phrase.
Chu’s piece, created digitally on a computer using a stylus, combines all of the natural forces — earth, fire, water and air — into one. Her piece depicts the fusion of nature’s forces and humanity.
Among the performing arts candidates, College freshman Harriet “Zoe” Yin’s original composition “All Fall Down” was strong and smooth, while College senior Ruben Diaz’s monologue “Struggle & Triumph” was incredibly moving in its lyricism.
Yin’s voice completely filled Emerson Concert Hall and harmonized perfectly with the piano melody. The lyrics were strong and Yin sailed ever so smoothly and effortlessly over the high notes.
Diaz performed a dramatic monologue following the intense struggles and triumphs and the basic ups and downs of life. The monologue had a very raw feeling as Diaz shouted the rhymes one after another, each sounding more desperate and emotional than the last.
At the end of the evening, the winners were announced. First, second and third place for visual arts, winning $100, $50 and $25 respectively, went to College junior Amanda Mui (“Beneath the Universe”), College sophomore Megha Chiruvella (“The Sound of Wrong”) and Candler School of Theology graduate student Ashley Nicole Kirk (“The Alpha”).
First, second and third place for performing arts, winning $100, $50 and $25 respectively, went to College freshman Harriet Yin (“All Fall Down”), College junior Hao Feng (“Sunflower”) and second year graduate student Bryant Chica (“Recuerdos de la Alhambra”).
All of the pieces were strong displays of the artistic ability that exists within Emory students and thrives on our campus everywhere. A strong emphasis was placed on the idea of tradition and keeping the arts at Emory alive despite the recent program cuts.
Filled with art, appreciation and unparalleled talent, the Emory Arts Student Showcase proves that the arts still matter, and that artistic endeavors will always have a place here at Emory.
— By Annie McNutt