A group of ten California State University, Northridge graduate and undergraduate art students explore the theme of human compassion through their art in a free art exhibition on display now at the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center.
This art exhibit will host thoughtful works centered on the concept of “The Golden Rule,” with media including oil and acrylic painting, comics, photography, and sculpture. Exhibit creator and CSUN graduate student Holly Stuczynski ’18 (Fine Art), notes that though the concept of “The Golden Rule” has pre-existing definitions, her peers explore their own interpretations in their artwork. For Stuczynski, the Golden Rule is “the principle of treating others as you would like to be treated.”
The notion of applying the principle of this rule to an art show came together organically for Stuczynski via the combination of a dinner table conversation she had with her husband one night discussing karma, and a subsequent chat she had with her classmates soon after about the desire to share their work outside of just the classroom sphere, she said.
“I wanted us to stand up for each other in today’s world and to see each other’s work in a space beyond the classroom,” Stuczynski said.
The group of students featured in the exhibit are enrolled in a class taught by professor Samantha Fields, Art 429, which focuses on teaching art students how to market themselves. The students learn how to build up their resume and website, network, and stay organized.
“Sam Fields is such a wonderful teacher and person. I just feel so privileged to be part of CSUN — it really is the best art department around,” Stuczynski said.
The theme of human compassion is the common thread throughout the exhibition.
“I think of the Golden Rule in terms of human interdependency in a civil society,” said Teresa Morrison, whose photograph appears in the exhibition. “Under even the most mundane circumstances, we continually make decisions to live, and most of these choices seem as automatic as breathing. Yet every gesture benefits the net order or net chaos of the world.”
Another student, Iris Peretz interpreted the rule by combining Stuczynski’s and Morrison’s views. Peretz’s art incorporates the concept of tikkun olam (repair of the world), a Jewish precept she defined as “offering acts of kindness in order to repair the world.” Her work in the show “[speaks] to the current events of today and invites viewers to contemplate and collaborate with the work,” she said.
The student artists hope the themes will resonate with and inspire people to continue to pass on the baton of kindness to the next person they meet, Stuczynski said. In addition, she said, she hopes community members will continue to support local artists by offering platforms for their work.
“Art should be free. Art should be available to everybody, and we need to support our local artists and their ideas,” Stuczynski said. “Everyone goes to museums, but what is going on with the artists that are right here, right now? We need to support artists who have not [yet] ‘made it.’”
An opening reception will include a discussion with the artists, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center located at 7222 Rummet Avenue in Canoga Park.
The exhibit will be featured until Jan. 25 and will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event is free, but donations are encouraged, as the funds will benefit CSUN’s Sculpture Club.