Eye to Eye: The Photographic Showcase of 6 Powerful Women

On Friday March 25, the doors of the Palais des Beaux-Arts gallery opened at 6 p.m. sharp for the senior showcase of the photography majors. Tunes like “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals and “Hella Good” by No Doubt filled the courtyard as students, faculty and families entered the hall.

Guests were greeted with smiles and a table filled with prints, stickers and posters. Upon entering the space, people marveled at the photographs hanging on the wall.

Eye to Eye” is the brainchild and visual storytelling of six women who walked different paths to graduation. Seniors Scarlet Hobbs, Maia Castillo, Sissy Gust, Jordan Joplin, Ariah Alba and Emma Sparks created an experience through various photographic mediums, highlighting individuality and the common threads that connect us to a deeper understanding of each other. others.

“We thought about how we were going to fit a faith-based project into a project about being a stripper,” Hobbs said. “The balance is crazy, and it can be difficult to create a group show with diverse perspectives and personalities. That’s when we had our ‘aha’ moment of being able to see eye to eye. eyes even though we’re all so completely different; that’s where the show’s identity comes from.

Expanding their perspective was an important factor in preparing for the show. Seeing themselves through each other’s lenses, they have spent the past four years perfecting their craft and creating works that embrace the unity of their individuality.

Some of the works featured more interactive elements: viewers could listen to original soundtracks through headphones accompanying stills from Hobbs’ theatrical film where she debuted as the main character in her quirky, whimsical self-portrait.

Sparks’ installation invited viewers into a space lined with shiny red silk curtains, resembling the VIP room inside a gentlemen’s club. People could be found perched on the alligator-covered sofa, flipping through her documentary-style book on the power of women in the sex work industry.

“I approached my vision as a photographer and a dancer,” Sparks said. “It was essential for me to take the audience into this space and have them think about how they view the strip club industry and sex workers as a whole. I hope they take a fresh perspective from the experience and the raw, unedited photos from my book.

Gust had models on ornate pedestals in his haute couture-inspired accessories, belts, and headpieces made entirely of chains and beads. People could walk between the two and admire his handcrafted creations, while behind them hung Gust’s pattern prints that accentuated the duality of the bold and delicate side of his jewelry.

Joplin, Alba and Castillo used their work to open the floor to dialogue. Various topics like the conservation of nature, the relationship between faith and art, as well as the traumas contained in the body through our memories were present in their work.

“There were times when I worried if the body of work would be too heavy or if it would even be mutual,” Castillo said. “In a way, this project was an outlet for me to not be ashamed and to face (the trauma) head on, because I came with the intention that the project was for me and that I put side what audiences would think at first but found they eventually aligned with each other and people could read the artist statement, look at the artwork and take something away from it.

The show was a mark that each of these six beautiful, strong women left in their last semester on top of the hill. For them, this show was the beginning of what is to come of their talents as they move forward into their future in various creative fields with confidence and speed.

For students who missed the exhibition, the different works and more information on the photographers can be found on the exhibitions instagram @eyetoeye.exhibition.

Michael E. Marquez