Teal, navy, cobalt or peacock — they’re all shades of blue and the inspiration behind Emory’s first themed student art gallery.

The Emory Media, Literature and Arts Outreach (MLAO) House hosted the “Peacock Gallery” on Friday, Oct. 16. Thirty-five students submitted their original work, all of which followed the theme of blue — whether the color or the emotion it represents — inspiring the name of the gallery and event.

“We picked that name because peacock is actually a shade of blue … peacocks, the actual animal, have so many different colors on them, but also have blue bodies. It shows kind of thematically you can either have the centerpiece [of the submission] be blue, or the background, or it can be expressed through the piece,” College junior Juliana Bonovich explained. Bonovich is the gallery organizer as well as RA and Co-Lead of the MLAO House.

The Pulse, Emory Arts Club and the MLAO House collaborated for the event’s launch, hoping to create a place where the diverse works of student artists could be unified under a common theme. MLAO’s first student-led art show, the Peacock Gallery, brought together these student artists with the larger Emory community of students, faculty and art enthusiasts.

College junior Bethany Studnicky reflected upon the inspiration behind the art gallery.

“I love the idea of a themed art show because it creates a cohesive and exciting experience, while still showcasing the individuality of each artist through their different interpretations of the theme,” Studnicky remarked.

Studnicky submitted multiple works to the Peacock Gallery, including a piece called “The Jellyfish,” an almost-psychedelic design of blended, bright colors behind an illustration of two jellyfish.

Student-artist and College sophomore Angela He echoed the importance of emphasizing the role of art for both Emory students and the Emory community.

“I think the Peacock Gallery is a wonderful opportunity to unite the diverse art of Emory under a single, [but] loose, theme. The load of schoolwork and extracurriculars can cause people to put aside making art, but the opportunity to showcase work is a good way to keep everyone creating,” she said.

She submitted one of her pieces, a denim embroidery of cats and dogs on skateboards. Her inspiration for the work was the whimsy and joy of everyday life.

Student work ranged from playful pieces such as He’s animals-on-skateboards to darker works such as College sophomore Adarsh Bindal’s dreamlike photography of lone trees in front a gloomy background.

“I tried to find interesting or weird-looking trees and try different shooting techniques like long exposures and experimenting with different focal lengths to isolate my subject,” Bindal explained. “Due to most of these shots being taken in the dark of night, I ended up with very surreal, abstract pictures. One of the pictures is simply an isolation bare tree turned upside down with the temperature of the image lowered to make it blue.”

In addition to the student art, The Pulse hosted “Black Dog” at the Peacock Gallery, the first student reading series of the semester, which included original pieces from ten freshmen.

When asked if there would be more themed student art galleries in the future, Bonovich was optimistic.

“Oh, yeah! Definitely. For this year … we can be sure that there will be probably one more, at least,” Bonovich said.

Bindal echoed Bonovich’s enthusiasm.

“I would love to see and participate in more themed events if they happen,” Bindal stated.

With support from both students and student organizations, the Emory community will definitely be able to visit another themed, student art show in the future, highlighting its many talents.

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