Learn more about the artists and works featured in this issue.
iv (cover) & i
I got into drawing a lot during the pandemic. It’s been a great way to conceptualize and process what’s going on, and with the absurdity of everything it’s easier to keep a visual, ephemeral log rather than a structured written one. Much less pressure. Easier to revisit. I’ve been mailing lots of drawings to my friends as well; that way at least pieces of us are together. I like sitting on their walls.
Making art in 2020 has been a practice in isolation. This photo was shot on a tide stand that you can only access at low tide in coastal Alaska. My friend and I spent this summer working on a remote island there, which left us both feeling a little stranded.
I am a sophomore that loves to wander around and draw in my free time. I am Japanese, and I have a lot of artists in my family (my grandmother was a pianist and my great uncles are potters and painters). I love drawing with pen and ink, and I spent a lot of time working on time- consuming pieces (like “L’ennui”) during quarantine to amuse myself.
As a Latinx, first-gen student interested in the arts, photography is incredibly important to me. I love being able to showcase my heritage through raw images, conveying my deep sadness for a lost country. This piece is in response to Che Guevara’s iconic war image, but reinvented with a Cuban woman, my friend, as the subject instead. It is meant to convey that the revolution is not done and Cuba will continue to change into a better place one day.
I was really drawn to self portraiture over quarantine because I often felt alone with myself and became deeply bored with my own body and personality, and one way I coped with this was trying to stare at my face for hours on end until I started to look like someone else. Through this, I created a lot of very detailed self-portraits which I think are kind of disconcerting to look at as I re-enter society and become more of a person in relation to other people again. This self- portrait reminds me of being alone.
This piece was made in Adobe Photoshop with pictures I took on my iPhone and is a reflection on quarantine hobbies. Many of my friends and I have found sanctuary in the nightly ritual of skating. It brings friendship and and connection in a time when those things can be hard to find. The unreality of the image is meant to heighten these thoughts.
This piece was made in Adobe Photoshop with film photos that were scanned and distorted. This piece represents a reflection on my hometown friendships and our changing perspectives. The photos were taken at the beginning of the year (New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day) before I knew what was to come. Perhaps they reflect somewhat of a calmness before the eventual storm.
Winter in Greece
The title of this image is a reference to the chorus of “Persephone” by Sidney Gish, which includes the lines “Six pomegranate seeds, winter in Greece / Please don’t visit me, Persephone.” This photograph was taken in the middle of a sun-soaked, California summer, a context which is reflected in the vibrant colors and warm tones in the image. Yet, the half-eaten pomegranates in the foreground hint that, despite our protestations, Persephone has already doomed us to the coming winter. While somewhat tragic, the fact of winter also makes the summer months sweeter: something to cherish even as the sunlight fades and the last drops of pomegranate juice drip down our chins.
“Spencer” is a copy of the statue “David” by Michelangelo, but reimagined as a Harvard frat bro. My best friend had her heart broken by a Spencer who went to Harvard, so I drew this piece to make her feel better and laugh.
Mom & Dad After We Loaded the Car (March 14, 2020)
I made this photograph on black and white 35mm film right before getting in my parents’ car to leave Wellesley. I continue to feel so lucky that my mom and dad were able to come help me that day, and I appreciate having this image to remember the particular strangeness of the time. From my last days on campus in March to now, making images, especially of my family around me, has been an important part of how I process the pandemic and the varying degrees of isolation that it creates.
Blinds on Irving Street 3 & 1
Shadows on My Roof at Night
I am a senior MAS major from San Francisco, interested in photography and graphic design. For me, art is a way to create imaginary worlds and express everything that I find hard to express in words. My “Blinds on Irving Street” series came about as I was driving through the streets of my hometown with my mom this past summer, and I noticed some broken blinds on a house above me. The form of the blinds really intrigued me, because it felt like the blinds were embodying an emotion I could relate to but couldn’t necessarily find a word for. I took a photo of them and played around with different compositions in Illustrator.
I am part of the Class of 2023 here at Wellesley. I’ve always loved photography, but I recently got into digital editing and art. I wanted this piece to show a part of Wellesley we all recognize, but have an element that clearly looks and feels out of place, much like this semester does for many of us.
This collage piece captures the feeling I had while going through an old journal of mine, wherein I chronicled the first time I fell in love when I was 17. Reading this journal made me feel the emotions of a confused and turbulent queer teenager all over, and I felt a sense of nurturing towards my younger self in the times she hurt as well as an admiration for her willingness to be so enraptured by the joys of having a crush.
This collage combines vintage stock images and contemporary fashion photography. I’m interested in exploring the intersection of points in time through an image like this—the archetypical woman represented by the 1950s stock drawing continues to perform the motions of womanhood, and this ambiguous vision of a man could be her original 1950s partner or a more contemporary figure of power that is leading the dance, while expecting her performance of womanhood to remain the same.
Untitled Self-Portrait (p. 23)
This acrylic painting on canvas is an untitled self-portrait I worked on the day my senior year of high school officially ended. I wanted to capture the mixed emotions of that moment by focusing on contrasting vivid color theory with a more morose facial expression. While I typically enjoy creating more detailed backgrounds, I wanted to leave space for my facial expression to be the main subject of the work. Writing and painting has become therapeutic for me, now more than ever, so I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my work with you.
Photography has been one of my hobbies since I was a child. As I’ve grown it has continued to be an important creative outlet, as well as a source of solace and joy during challenging times. Because of limited options in terms of activities during this crazy time, I’ve turned to photography even more. Reflecting on the theme of 2020, I revisited photos I took in February, before the chaos of March. Looking back, it seems like another lifetime. “Interior Lives” was taken in Scotland on a trip that I took at the end of February—the point in time I now look back on as the last moment of “normalcy.”
As a student from a home with an incarcerated parent, I wanted to highlight my personal experience with mental health issues in addition to familial substance abuse, which both worsened over the course of this year. I hope that my experience sheds light on and resonates with others who share a similarly difficult home life in the midst of this uncertainty.
That Happy Feeling Comes and Goes
“That Happy Feeling Comes and Goes” is a clay portrait sculpture demonstrating the mutability of happiness; the joyful smile-worn face of the sculpture is juxtaposed against the cracks in his veneer. These were created by letting new clay crack over the old and brushing the cracked portions with tinges of watercolor. Under the shadow of 2020, the COVID pandemic, and a tumultuous political landscape, it’s easy to lose ourselves maintaining falsely constructed public images of positivity. As a person who has spent her life battling with mental health and faking happiness to friends and family, I wanted to give a face to the voice saying, “Take a breath. It’s okay to stop smiling.”
I am an international student who was left on campus last spring, and this is a photo I took when most students had left.