“Talking to the first year students here, a lot of people refer to the school as ‘Claradise,'” says Cesar Tesen, a freshman at Santa Clara University. “So I took a picture of the church because it’s an iconic part of the campus.”
Tesen’s photograph “Claradise” shows the university’s Mission Santa Clara de AsÃs during a dreamy pastel sunset. Tesen was one of 13 artists from Santa Clara University’s School of Engineering to display their work at the Engineering Art Show. The exhibit was up at the school’s Learning Commons from mid-February to March 11.
“The impetus for the Engineering Art Show was to dispel stereotypes about engineers being one-dimensional or wholly focused on just one aspect of life,” writes Heidi Williams, the School of Engineering’s director of communication, in an email. “We [invited] faculty, staff, and students to submit their artwork.”
Not all of the featured art in the exhibit were mounted on the wall. An art book set on a small table belongs to senior Renee Prescilla. Her book, “Ghost and Dog,” shows the daily speedpaints of the two companions.
“Speedpaints are the drawing warm ups I do before drawing other things,” Prescilla says. “Each picture in this book took about 30 minutes to one or two hours to make. I used Photoshop to make the drawings.”
Yuan Wang, professor, contributed several paintings to the exhibit. His acrylic painting, “Girl Portrait” channels Mona Lisa. His female subject’s hair and clothing are dark while her eye contact and faint smile is engaging. “Still Life,” another one of Wang’s acrylic paintings, portrays miscellaneous items, including a mask, animal figurines and a pear.
“I find still life pretty interesting,” Wang says. “Even though the objects are not human and not moving, they still seem alive. It feels like the objects have life, like they’re thinking about something.”
The artist behind “La Virgen Muerta” is Nicole Morales, director of digital media technologies. In her painting, a skull wears a colorful head scarf with an attached flower made from tissue paper. Glitter on the baby blue background lights up the skull in this painting, much like how art of the Virgin Mary sometimes bear an illuminated effect.
“Typically when you see Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altars, you might see the Virgin Mary or the crucifix in them; to bring my Mexican heritage into this, I wanted to show something we don’t normally see,” Morales says. “The tissue flower is supposed to represent the marigold, which is the traditional flower of Dia de los Muertos. But instead of making a gold flower, I made a red flower to fit with the color of the painting.”