On Tuesday night I went up to Gallery 100, (ASU’s B.F.A. Gallery space reserved for a required art school class, Senior Exhibitions), for the opening reception of Salad Days. Everybody in the class gets placed into groups and are allowed one week for exhibition time. (Mine is March 22-26, please come!!!) This week’s show, “Salad Days” is one of theother all photography exhibition, and even though I am completely bias, this show is a must-see, strongly featuring the diversity and talent that is within the Photography program.
First, I must note that these nine individuals are extremely impressive, considering they had a little over two weeks to pull this off. Second, they pulled it off exceptionally. There were so many elements about this exhibition that for me, made it stand out. From the actual work shown, (April Ramirez photographs of decaying underwater and wildlife organisms are beautifully disgusting and Dayna Bartoli’s large color portraits of her friends are honest, relatable, and completely captures the turmoil of growing up), to the color card-coded comment box, available resumes of the artists, abundance of carrot cake, and the artist’s ability to have a crowded and excited turnout of faculty, family, friends, and artists. Just the buzz of the atmosphere alone, is enough to get you excited about the art on the walls. The diversity of the work is also really strong. These are nine students who are all making very different work using various different photographic processes, but somehow it doesn’t seem random or misplaced.
The term “Salad days” refers to a time of youth and innocence. It’s that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm that only accompanies the innocence and naivety of being young. It’s the days when you look back, and you wish you didn’t know how hard things were going to get and you wish life wasn’t so real, so tough. As college students, our dreams have yet to be stomped, we haven’t been turned down, and told that we can’t yet. These photographs, capture the optimism and excitement of these artists, but for me, there is nothing naive about their work. This time in our lives may be our “Salad Days” but I have hope and a feeling, for these artists at least, that their work will forever stay raw in imagery, fresh in concept, and always possess the possibilities and excitement that we associate with a time of innocence and youth.
Please go see “Salad Days” and all the exhibitions at Gallery 100 this semester! :)
“Life was starting to be real. It was kind of that moment when you were small, but you know someday there will be more, and maybe that more will be harder, but your gut says keeping pushing, grow faster, we’ll see when we get there,you know something like that. It was kind of in this instant that our consciousness was born. Self preservation, Privacy, the kind of insulations that we seek after we start collecting memories. And we start collecting years. But for me, at that moment, my years were still few. Those ideas while they were still very much alive, they were kind of just seeds in search for the water. I was still innocent but I think, you know, I knew that somewhere along the lines that that would change.” -Andrew McMahon, from Choke, California. quote that made me think of the feelings associated with Salad Days.