By: Samantha Smith
There is a common saying, “a picture tells a thousand words.” Every photo has a story behind it, and it is up to the viewer to decide how they will interpret that story.
Face It! Portraits and Caricatures of ENMU Student and Staff is a collection of portraits featuring the work of Eduardo Alvarez, Dalton Banister, Heather Hancock, Anastasia Lutnesky and Vanessa Miranda. Each portrait tells a story, not only of the person being drawn, but also the artist behind the masterpiece. Each portrait has unique features and allows for interpretation.
One of my favorite portraits was one of a young woman, who I assume was a student. The artist drew her in an almost cartoon technique, drawing focus to her eyes. Placed on the top row of all of the photos, close to the center, this portrait was black and white, drawn in pencil, with close attention to detail. Her hair was drawn with thick, dark pencil strokes. Eyes were wide open and had a sparkle within them without the use of any extras.
Kendall Romero and Steven Strong are just two faces featured among many in the theatre lobby. Unlike others portraits, Romero and Strong were drawn on the same page, making their canvas stand out among the faces. “I really liked our portrait. I sat with Heather, she drew us, and I was the only one there. I really wanted us both to be drawn and she said she could draw him from a picture. I really like that she incorporated him. She got my hair, she got my eyebrows, it was a really cool experience,” said Romero. Heather Hancock was the mastermind behind their piece, originally drawing Romero alone and adding Strong to the frame as mentioned above. Strong, who wasn’t present for the drawing said, “I think she did really good. I didn’t see it until it was up in [the exhibit] and I liked it a lot.” After speaking with Romero and Strong, it was obvious their personalities were captured and portrayed accurately in the portrait.
David Salas also gave insight on the exhibit and shared his thoughts about the portraits. Salas has viewed the exhibit several times and believes it is, “a nice way to kind of unwind and take a look at things and get an idea of how different people express themselves.” According to Salas, the meaning varies behind each piece. He believes some pieces are more abstract while others are very realistic, but it’s all about each person expressing themselves in their own, unique ways.
Portraits and caricatures of ENMU students and staff are currently on show in the main lobby of the university theatre center. The exhibition opened Feb. 2, is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will close March 3. Open to the general public, admission is free, and the art department invites everyone to view the exhibit.