‘Retina Riot’ holds a conversation of color

By Jordan Jackson
Contributing Writer

On Thursday, September 11, the Trustman Art Gallery held an opening reception for their first installation of the academic year. Retina Riot, which features works by painters Andrew Fish and Nancy Hayes, is a thrilling display of color and contrasting styles.

Bridget Lynch, the director of the Trustman Gallery, has been looking to do an installation of colorist paintings for some time.

“It’s the conversation [between the two styles] that excites me,” said Lynch.

Though both artists have a striking use of color, the difference in their approaches is immediately apparent.
Fish’s collection, which serves as a commentary on today’s social media–driven society, takes a look at human form and expression in various environments. His use of bold strokes and deep colors can be simultaneously calming and stimulating.

Hayes’ pieces, which are more abstracted, are inspired by organisms and natural forms. Her use of patterns and color are meant to give life and movement to her pieces. When viewing Hayes’ pieces, it may take you several minutes just to take in all of the intricate detailing that goes into them.

Hayes started her artistic career as a sculptor. While working with three-dimensional ceramics, she developed a desire to try something completely new and work with colors. In fact, she was “starving for color,” said Hayes.

It seems that Hayes’ passion for color and Lynch’s desire to feature colorists at Simmons have meshed well. “Retina Riot” is an extremely stimulating exhibit, and one that requires viewers to really take their time with the art.

“It’s wonderful to have [these pieces] in a learning environment,” said Hayes.

Everyone attending the reception appeared to agree. The Trustman Gallery does a great service to the school by showcasing these regional artists. It gives faculty and students the opportunity to interact with art in a very intimate and intellectual way.

Additionally, the Gallery provides a more direct education to the Arts Administration students, by giving them the chance to actually help install the chosen art.

Whether you are an art lover or just a little art-curious, it is well worth your while to head up to the fourth floor of the Main College Building and check out “Retina Riot.” The exhibit will be open until Thursday, October 2.

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