Fine Art Stretches From Pollak Gallery to Ice House Gallery

Graduating seniors presented their fine art pieces last Friday night as part of the Senior Art Exhibit on display at the Rotary Ice House Gallery and Pollak Gallery.

There were numerous paintings, photographs and sculptures by eight different artists, each having their own section to present work highlighting their progress and work at the University.

Both galleries were filled with families, friends, students and professors delighted with the art and offered plenty of kind remarks. Some spectators took pictures of pieces they liked while others enjoyed refreshments and the atmosphere, like Pablo Marin, a graduate of the Art Department.

“I came to see professors, students and, of course, all the great art. I really appreciate how the Art and Design departments are really well knit,” said Marin. “We’ve hung out before class, after class. Just the support they get from the faculty and from fellow students is pretty cool.”

The Rotary Ice House Gallery upstairs’ walls were filled with photography portraits by seniors Brittany Lee Platt and Danielle Kappock. Despite both using photography, their selections hung on opposite walls as their subjects and inspirations varied greatly.

Platt’s had a unifying theme seen in each portrait, her models standing out in front of the black background. Paper and magazine clippings that appeared like tattoos are plastered on the naked skin, with each blemish, scar and freckle bare. The first portrait displayed a quote circling the model’s neck and shoulders that said “Oh the places you’ll go.”

One tattoo looked like a red rose, another with plaster that appeared like a bird. The graduating photographer included a type out on what inspired her work titled, Media Impact, saying, “Today’s culture is over saturated with news and popular media, imagery, and written commentary that in part contributes to the framing of our development as men and women.”

Kappoch’s art showed people and objects in their natural setting that were rich with detail, like the suds at the edge of a sink, hair dye that has stained gloves and or the loose cuticle that hangs on a child’s finger.

One portrait of a birthday cake was simple yet magnificent, with sprinkles and confetti adding minute details. As each candle on top of the cake shines brightly with such a small flame, the edge of the cake was lost in shadows. Kappoch’s inspiration? Death, as the photographer explored the idea of death by exploring life. Kappoch said in written explanation “Working on this series of images has allowed me to be vulnerable, as well as accept the inevitable. It did not simply teach me about death; it has taught me about life and living as well, because without life there is no death.”

Graduating senior Matthew Miranda displayed his art on the lower level of the Ice House Gallery, featuring photos and paintings dedicated to his grandfather Michael Morgantini.

One painting An Undying Hunger, showed an overweight man-baby as ugly and podgy as the problem of obesity is in America. Delectable fruit sits on table and the McDonald’s arches is outside of the window. Some of Miranda’s art seemed to be inspired by his exploration of God and Christianity, like I Once Was Lost, an oil-on-canvas painting showing the back of Jesus Christ standing in the middle of a river, his arms outstretched to the heavens. Above the artist emerges from the sky in awe, coming to understand or finally finding his way.

“This is a great way for [artists] to show their talent and rather than just putting it in their own folder, they deserve to put in on the wall because they put in a lot of time and effort,” said Dana Williams of Lincroft. “The art at the [Ice House] gallery was more of a story, especially the photography ‘cause you might take it one way but the person who is actually doing the art has a whole different perspective on it, so I think that’s nice part about art.”

Pollak Gallery showed various pieces of work by Cynthia Borghetti, a mother and graduating art student, who plans on getting her masters. Her art ranged from colorful sculptures like Starfish Jam which could have been taken off the bottom of the sea, to her set of black and white photographs called Warzonethat created scenes of war using toy soldiers and a front yard.

Some of Borghetti’s art had a theme at first with Batman making an appearance in a few pieces. At first this seems like a playful, artistic approach at using the famous symbol, until closer look at a portrait collage titled Homage to Rickydedicated to her late husband who was a huge fan of Batman.

The collage has Batman memorabilia and pictures lining the walls, and photos of Ricky dressed as Batman on more than one occasion. At the bottom, guests can see a recreation of Ricky’s tombstone with a candle next to it. The tombstone reads “Stay with me, my love. You will always be right by my side, forever I need you.”

“The whole show was inspired by my husband. So with the Batman, being he was such a fan and a collector, that inspired me to do a lot of work with Batman,” said Borghetti. “But my husband had terminal cancer when I started school, so all this work is related to that situation. He was my biggest fan, telling me ‘Go back to school.’ He would encourage this.”

At the Pollak Gallery, guests were greeted with famous faces long gone but still exist in pictures and recordings, like Jim Morrison or John Lennon as well as still-living icons such as Twiggy. Each painting captured great details and spot on replications of these icons like Twiggy with deep blue eyes and a massive braid hanging over her shoulder. Jim Morrison’s hair is perfect (even if the artist doesn’t agree) with strands elegantly defined and a face that stares at onlookers. John Lennon’s eyes have a sense of sadness but tranquility.

Megan Brophy is the artist behind these portraits, as she has always been a fan of Twiggy and the 60’s hippie era. Brophy said she also had a painting of Jimi Hendrix but her uncle bought it because he loved it. Brophy said she realized her talent while taking an art class in high school, after completing a sketch portrait before most of the class had started theirs. Now her art is being adored by many at the event, with more asking the artist if she’s willing to sell some of the art.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to part with them. I think I need to make prints so I can at least keep something,” said Brophy. “It’s awesome, I don’t expect it. I feel like I learned how to paint at Monmouth. The [professors] really teach you how to paint and draw. They have a lot of information and direction to give you.”

Brophy had many friends and family see her exhibit, including her father Ken, an employee at the University, who was just as blown away by her art as other guests. He said he never knew she had such talent until she came to the University.

“It’s unbelievable. Her teachers are great. Her teachers got her do a lot of this stuff and make the progress a lot easier for her. The faces, the characters she gets, the eyes are unbelievable. I tell her to keep doing more but the busy schedule with trying to work and trying to go to school, it’s a lot,” said Ken. “But she’s a good kid, I’m proud as anything ever.”

Brophy also had some art that displays her choice of being a vegetarian with Meat Your Burger showing a cow’s head in between a fast-food burger, or Chicken Nuggets with baby chicks tumbling over each other in a McDonald’s pouch. Brophy’s friend Jackie Novak said she loved her friend’s work. “I respect her opinion on being a vegetarian, but I’m not convinced.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Dan Ste. Marie