On Friday, March 18, the Barton Art Students League members installed a new exhibition in Hackney Library’s art gallery area. Titled “Once Upon a Time,” the new installation is inspired by nursery rhymes and fairy tales and features both two- and three-dimensional pieces in various media.
Art Student League faculty sponsor Gerard Lange explains the idea behind the artwork:
For many cultures, nursery rhymes, fairy tales and folklore form the foundation of children’s understanding of social themes that dominate the world. Within these stories is also the basis of mental pictures – preconceived notions of how things are or should be – that channel one’s interpretation of subsequent literary musings, to some extent even influencing their imagination and creativity.
Works in this exhibition both pay homage to the stories from the western tradition of fairy tales as well as take inspiration from them, forming a point of departure. As with many creative works, including modern literature, film, and television, some pieces reference childhood stories but present them in an updated and modern look. Others explore classical tales evoking a sense of wonder and exploration, as seen in such literary works as Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.
Providing a counterpoint to these nostalgic tomes, some works in the exhibition wax and wane between fantasy and reality, reinterpreting imagery, moving it away from its familiar understanding. Whether presenting a black unicorn as opposed to the typical white, by constructing a grotesque creature but cladding it in teddy bear fur, or by exploring the dark side of childhood stories, these artists present the nightmares that haunt one’s dreams.
The following student works are on display in the exhibition:
- “Karst Van de Boszorg” by Teresa Hilton
- “Transcending Dreams” by Leslie Briley
- “Teapot” by Renee Moore
- “Through the Looking Glass” by Brianna Frazier
- “Nightmare” by Daniel O’Neill
- “Misunderstood Creature” by Leslie Briley
- “Seeking the Wolf” by Nicole Achorn
- “Rotten” by Mikayla Anderson (with Leslie Briley)
- “Sleeping Beauty” by Anna Blackwelder
The exhibit will remain up through the remainder of the spring semester. Come by and compare these takes on nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and fantasy to your own!