Confabulation: a new Trustman Gallery exhibit: Faculty artists join together to form one cohesive show

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By Victorria Barreras
Contributing Writer

The Trustman Gallery was open after usual hours on Thursday evening for a reception to celebrate its newest exhibit and contributing artists. The room was filled with the buzz of conversation and a contagious creative energy.
On display is the work of six talented faculty members of the Department of Art and Music. A varied collection of works created with multiple media, video to sculpture, fills the exhibition space.

Open until Oct. 3, the show is intended to be “an extended visual conversation about art” according to the description found on the gallery website.

The department faculty, dedicated to enriching the Simmons student experience with the creative process, has created a collection inviting viewers to question art. Why does art matter, and what methods are used to create it?

Senior Lecturer Edie Bresler’s collection of digital photographs includes poignant portraits of people and places associated with lottery tickets. Her work seems to make a statement on “the lottery as an economic engine” and examine its societal ramifications.

Intended to resonate emotionally with the viewer, Bresler’s work identifies the lottery to be the “stuff of dreams.” She explores the archetypal stories that have become a part of our society.

Lecturer Jaclyn Kain presented a group of exquisite black and white photographs. Including portraits of her family and one self portait, her work explores how a portion of one’s self is transmitted into the next generation.
“Veiled, indistinct images” are created after taking multiple steps in a process to create textured prints with both formal and conceptual depth. To examine each photograph is to examine the transition from one generation to the next and the transformations occurring in the process.

Associate Professor Colleen Kiely’s amusing and engaging works feature her dog and muse, Beau. Kiely’s paintings explore the relationship between human beings and animals. The tension present in her juxtaposition of contrasting colors and washes reflects the tenuous relationship between man and creature.

There is an exploration of this relationship and how humans employ animals as a metaphor. Do we see animals as a vehicle for our projections, emotional and personal?

Senior Lecturer B. Lynch works with video and sculptural figurines created in a simplistic DIY approach opposing our digital, retouched society. The figures use “outdated or reconfigured non-digital technology” in much the same way as they were created.

The scenes are set in a period you can’t put your finger on. Is it futuristic or archaic?  This work is another striking piece in the exhibit inviting the viewer to examine and explore art as a statement.

Faculty member Helen Popinchalk crafts images of trees to create a dreamscape of memory and change. Her manipulation of the medium prevents the viewer from being able to establish perception of depth or order.

Popinchalk’s work serves to break down an ordered depiction of the natural world and dissolve it into chaos. It mirrors how memory disintegrates. Internal representations shape memory into simple recollections departing from reality and becoming personal interpretations.

Faculty member Guhapriya Ranganathan’s conceptual work made from mixed media transforms memories of her daily walks. Questioning human understanding of the transience of body and spirit is a great focus for the artist. Scientific theory is incorporated to visually construct her work. These thought-provoking pieces are a pleasure on which to reflect.

This exhibit is an opportunity for the Simmons community to explore art in different media with its very own. The artists are present to discuss and explore their works.

As you move from work to work, it’s like savoring a new flavor, an experience for the entire palette.  It includes such a wide range of approaches and subject matter that work beautifully in conversation with one another.
The exhibit is free and open to the public as well as wheelchair accessible. For more information, such as hours and events, check out the gallery website at

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Confabulation: a new Trustman Gallery exhibit: Faculty artists join together to form one cohesive show