Dec 1, 2011


Part of Mollie Ryan's Collection

WOW... is all I have to say about the student show in the gallery. The artwork in this show was spread out in an inviting way. It was not over whelming like I found some of the past shows to be. It had a good amount of artwork and their was a certain ease about how everything flowed together. 

The Way It Sounds When You Put Your Ear To The Desk, By:Mollie Ryan
First walking in your eye is drawn towards everything to the left side because of the quantity of artwork to the left,but for some reason I couldn’t help stopping when I saw the first collection of art to my right. All my attention quickly focused on what happened to be one of my favorite collections throughout the show. Mollie Ryan’s artwork caught my eye right off the bat, yes her art work is the first thing you see when you come into the show but that has nothing to do with how amazing her work is. If this collection was placed in the middle or even at the end I would have spent the same amount of time observing her creative self portraits. They were intriguing, thought-out, and very well done. 

“As a child we have the innate ability to imagine. As we grow we lose this uninhibited,facetious, and sometimes macabre sense of humor that seems to manifest in all children when they create.” -Mollie Ryan

 In Ryan’s collection of self portraits she brings back childhood memories, feelings, ideas, creativity, that we all lose site of as we become adults. 
“In this series of self portraits, I have taken inspiration from long forgotten day dreams and drawings that I mused as a child.” -Mollie Ryan 

  She captures the childlike person still inside her which makes her work seem effortless, just as children are. My favorite out of her collection is the piece titled The Way It Sounds When You Put Your Ear to the Desk. Ryan’s work reminds us not to lose sight of the inner child inside of us, of our childlike expressions, and way of thinking. Ryan’s technique in creating her series of self portraits makes it difficult for the viewer not  to want to make a connection with Ryan and also a connection with their own childhood lives. 
As you make your way through the gallery you observe many breath taking pieces that draw you near. The thing I found interesting about all of the art was that I found myself always asking questions ... How did they do that?, Why? and What was their purpose? This exhibit kept me on my toes, wanting to see more and excited to read the artists descriptions after viewing the work. You could not get through this show without viewing Brandi Ottesen’s work. Right in the middle of everything, the transition between galleries, was a dark tunnel with loud, obnoxious, noise surrounding you as you walked through this tunnel with a foundation, I couldn't help thinking would support me. Not knowing whats in front of you and not understanding whats happening or what that sound is, puts you in the same boat as the person in the the passage from You Remind Me of Me- Dan Chaon. After reading the passage and realizing something similar has happened to me on the highway being in between two eighteen wheelers and feeling as if they are closing in on you. Feeling cramped and like they are going to run over you, not being able to hear anything over the loud, rushing, roar of the huge trucks, is the same feeling that is simulated in this interactive piece by Ottesen
After you make your way through Ottesen’s dark, loud tunnel you enter gallery two and its a whole new vibe and you get excited once again about what your going to see. In gallery two I really loved Serena Rangel’s movie. First of all she creates a scene that makes you feel like your actually sitting in the forest and you actually see this girl being chased. Even though the shot video was confusing the first couple of times I watched, it started to make sense after a while. In the begging I thought the girl that supposedly is trying to communicate was underwater drowning. Then you notice its not the same girl its two people one trying to communicate and one being chased but we never figure out who is chasing her and what the other is trying to say, which left me puzzled and intrigued. The way the video was put together was creative, it was kinda choppy but that's what I liked that she put it together in that way with different effects. It was different and because of that it was easy to sit and watch without being annoyed or disturbed sitting on the bench in the forest room. 


Lastly I would like to talk about Amanda Cordes awesomeness. Her collection was gorgeous, yet disturbing at the same time. After reading her description, her artwork became more clear. I found myself looking back to high school. Remembering when I would feel like I put on a mask everyday, hiding my feelings inside. Each of her paintings seemed to have a person with a mask, but each was revealing at the same time. In high school I would be the happy person, I made everyone laugh and I was always smiling. No one would ever know of my family problems or that I was dieing inside and was truly unhappy. I really connected with Cordes work, I probably found myself standing in front of her collection for a good half an hour. 
Cordes says:
 “Through painting, I feel that I can highlight some of the idiosyncrasies of the human psyche, which are so often hidden in day-to-day interactions. With everyone wearing their well-rehearsed masks, it seems almost impossible to truly know the people who are closest to you.” -Amanda Cordes

Amanda: By: Amanda Cordes 
All and  all I can say I completely enjoyed the Student Show and if you haven’t seen it for yourself I highly recommend seeing it before its over. You will not be disappointed, be sure to take your time and truly think about what the artist was trying to convey. My pictures and videos don’t do the show much justice, they are a foretaste, of the awesomeness. 
-Anastacia Sandoval


  1. I agree, I was really impressed with the gallery's current exhibit. Especially the portraits by Amanda Cordes, those really stood out for me.

    -Brenden Freedman

  2. As a fellow art student I have a tremendous amount of respect for both the artists and the work featured in the current student exhibition at Texas State. I understand the amount of time and devotion needed to organize the two galleries. However, I must respectfully disagree with your opening statement. I do not think the artwork was “spread out in an inviting way” at all. Compared to previous student shows presented in these galleries I found the exhibition to be disorganized and vague. Although individual pieces were interesting, the overall composition of works did not complement each other well. Entering the 2nd gallery from the twisted, make-shift hallway was more annoyingly disorienting than anything and only added to the overall disorganization and confusion in the room. Also, having pieces featured in two separate enclosed spaces on either side of the gallery created an awkward sense of space and movement in the room. The artwork in a gallery space should create a natural flow from one work to the next. Perhaps the exhibition was purposely organized in a discombobulated way and that was the point? It was hard for me to tell.

    -Laura Knight

  3. * I do understand that the hallway was part of the featured work. I'm not discrediting this student's piece, just questioning how well it worked with the gallery space.

    -Laura Knight

  4. I agree the show was very interesting, but i do not think that you highlighted some of the strongest pieces in the show. There were many pieces that really pushed the boundaries of art. For instance there were many conceptual pieces that were packed with meaning as well as being pleasing to the eye. For the people who are unable to see the show themselves they may not get the best impression based on the limited photos that you chose to share.
    -Taylor Williams

  5. Yes much respect to the artist but I'm going to agree with the contributors. I was a bit thrown off by the hallway and really did not understand it. In all honesty it hurt my ears. I tried having an open mind toward some of the pieces, but I straight up did not understand them. Maybe I wasn't being so open minded after who knows.

    -Brittany Rutledge

  6. Personally, I loved Brandi Ottesen's hallway. Entering, I felt a sense of unease, even fear. I tried walking in a straight line, but the shifted floor made me walk into the walls. And Laura, I disagree with describing the hallway as makeshift. The outside of the hallway looked just like any other gallery wall. I thought the velvet curtains were elegant, contrastingly different from the inside of the work. With the exterior looking as it does, I felt as though I was being set up for an entirely different experience than I imagined the inside of the hallway to be. From the outside, I got the impression that the hallway should make me feel secure, but I only felt insecure walking through it.

    -Krista Quiroga