Undergraduates illustrate 'youth' at new art exhibition

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Young Bloods, a student-curated art exhibition showcasing the work of 15 undergraduate artists, opened Tuesday at the E. William Doty Fine Arts Building’s Gallery. 

The art show is organized by the Center Space Program, a student-led organization that, in addition to serving as a social venue for student artists, seeks to showcase the work of undergraduate artists through exhibitions such as Young Bloods. 

CSP gleaned inspiration for the theme from a mixtape they created, titled “Young Bloods,” which featured songs reminiscent of youth, CSP officer Connor Walden said. Through the art show, CSP hopes to further explore the concept of youth as it resonates with different people.

“We just wanted to explore what youth looks like today, especially as college students trying to hold onto this idea of youth,” said Walden, a marketing and art junior.

After conceiving the idea for the exhibit, CSP began accepting both completed works and proposals for artwork to be created. The officers selected pieces and proposals based on their connection to the theme, the quality of their execution and their feasibility in regards to the space.

The exhibition features installations in a variety of media including paintings, sculptures, videos and live performance. Visual arts junior Julia Caswell, an artist whose work is featured in the show, said she hoped to capture the humor and entrepreneurial spirit of her childhood through a performance in which she portrayes a persona of her younger self imagining running a restaurant.

Jessilee Shipman, a CSP officer and studio art junior whose work is also being featured, said she hopes that the event will serve as a platform where young artists would not be dismissed for being too inexperienced or not nostalgic enough.

“I think everyone’s frustrations with these systems [is because they make us feel like] our feelings are illegitimate,” Shipman said. “It covers a wide scope of censored feelings that young artists in the world today haven’t been able to express because older generations don’t agree, or because they don’t feel what we feel.” 

The exhibition is free to the public and will remain open through the end of April. Art history junior Stephanie Gardea, a CSP officer, said anyone can connect to the theme of the show and encourages attendance.

“We’ve all been children, and we all know what that’s like, so I think there is something for everyone to grasp onto,” Gardea said.