On Wednesday, Nov. 18, an Art Crawl started at the Lawrence Alloway Gallery in Melville Library and visited many of the major art exhibits on campus.
The Art Crawl was a guided tour of different galleries across the campus. It drew a variety of audience members, some who were familiar with campus art and others who were new to it, including several people who were not even students.
Mikaela Batista, a second-year art history graduate student, led the tour. She was helped by senior Sharanjit Kaur, a health science and business double major.
In addition to leading the tour, Batista also organized and coordinated the entire event, as she had done with previous Art Crawls.
“I want to teach everyone about the different art that rolls through campus,” she said. “They change every semester and it’s important that everyone gets a taste of what is here, what’s offered.”
Kaur, a student assistant at the Craft Center, volunteered to help out, something she had also done before.
“I expect people to really enjoy the art and appreciate what everyone has put out,” Kaur said.
The first exhibit, featured in the Lawrence Alloway Gallery, was by Myda El-Maghrabi. Titled “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” the piece dealt with human existence and its relationship with technology. It featured five human statues bent over with their foreheads partway through a plugged-in screen displaying static.
“They’re just toppled over. They have no identity. They’re not gender-specific,” Batista said.
The artist of the exhibit was unable to come for the crawl, so people had to make their own interpretations.
“I kind of felt like I connected with it because we’re kind of in that time where everybody’s glued to their electronics, and just seeing that was pretty powerful,” Kaur said.
The group offered their opinions on the piece, coming to the consensus that technology takes away from human-to-human interaction.
“I think that’s the direction we’re going and it’s pretty prevalent,” Jocelyn Davidson, a local resident and art enthusiast, said.
The second exhibit was the MAMA Revisited show in the Student Activities Gallery, which was a last-minute bonus addition to the crawl. Standing for Modern Art by Modern Artists, the MAMA show displayed a plethora of different styles, including sculptures, photographs, pastel works, paintings and videos, made by students.The artists were not just limited to art majors.
The pieces were contributed by a variety of students, such as science or philosophy majors.
“Art travels,” Batista said. “It reaches many different areas of life. Art is everywhere.”
She herself had a couple of pieces, titled “Sea Shell Queen” and “Quiet State of Mind,” on display, which she was able to showcase for the group.
“It’s another world,” Batista said. “It brings that sense of community because I don’t feel like I’m talking to random strangers. I feel like I’m talking to art lovers. It’s invigorating.”
The next stop, called “Reality Override,” was in the Zodiac Gallery of the Wang Center.
It displayed the “mixed media artwork” of Ren Zi. The display celebrated the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence.
The final exhibit the group viewed was Isabel Manalo’s “Skin Codes” in the Zuccaire Gallery of the Staller Center.
Here, the artist was able to attend and actually explained some of the thought behind her work.
Manalo’s parents were born in the Philippines, but they came to the United States, where Manalo was born.
She has made sure that her artwork contains that connection to the Philippines.
Manalo described her work as political but not propaganda.
Her work deals with serious issues such as global warming and Syria.
The Art Crawl ended after Manalo’s speech.
Batista said she hopes these art tours build community and create awareness for Stony Brook’s art.
“A lot of people actually don’t know that there are galleries on campus,” Batista said. “So it would be great to have more students come and check out the galleries.”