Nervous laughter, big smiles, and wide eyes filled the room Tuesday evening, as the other Cornell in Rome artists and myself set up for our first gallery opening at the Upstairs Gallery at the Gallery of Art Temple University Rome. With the coordination of Michele Schiano, and the much valued guidance of Shara Wasserman, Cornell in Rome and Temple University Rome presented Frontlines, “collective perspectives from young american artists”.
At the opening, all six artists from the Cornell in Rome program were presented: Briana Coleman, Kylie Corwin, Max Haughey, Ariella Lindenfeld, Madeleine Popkin, and Lauryn Smith. It is clear from the opening that our work illustrates our own independent perspectives as artists. In part this can be attributed to the objective guidance of Stan Taft, the studio professor working with us this semester. Beyond that it was heartwarming to see the amount of support not only from the Cornell faculty but also our peers from the architecture program. It was a proud night for the art students, as it gave us a unique opportunity to celebrate with our colleagues the exhibition our work in Rome.
After the show I had the opportunity to talk with my peers about the experience. I asked Briana Coleman how she felt, and she said “I was so excited to be a part of Frontlines, which is my first show. It was wonderful to be able to experience the process of creating work for a show, and then collaborating with other artists to put it on. I couldn’t have been happier.” Lauryn Smith described this as “a wonderful opportunity for us to have here in Rome, not only to show our work, but also to do so with students from a different university, and in conjunction with the show in Temple gallery. The exhibition was incredibly valuable to my practice as well as my experience abroad.” Thus, we can conclude that this was a great night not only because it was a fruitful experience for our art students at Cornell but it was an opportunity to celebrate their incredible work throughout their semester in Rome.