On November 2, students taking the Museum Studies class taught by Visual Arts Dean Jen Cross hosted an opening reception for their new exhibit, “Face Off: Contemporary Portraits,” at the Ross Gallery. Student curators Juliana Fava, Rebecca Hamilton, Jeheli Odidi, Hongjie Zhu, and Zhehai Sun sought to explore the concept of portraiture through varying interpretations.
The exhibition features five distinguished artists from the East End community—Sydney Albertini, Jack Ceglic, John Hardy, Christa Maiwald, and Christina Schlesinger. Earlier this year, the students visited Mr. Ceglic’s studio to learn more about his work.
Each artist approaches painting portraits using a different perspective or technique. Mr. Ceglic creates portraits from direct observation, inviting people from various walks of life to sit for him. Christa Maiwald works from photographs to embroider portraits of the famous and the infamous, artists and celebrities. Christina Schlesinger, a former Ross teacher and painter who began her career as a muralist, is displaying a series of self-portrait collages from her Tomboy Series. John Hardy, a widely exhibited figurative painter, is showcasing a selection of his portraits of former students, fellow artists, and friends. And Sydney Albertini, an artist who considers all her works to be self-portraits of a kind, is presenting an example from her "personages" series—a life-sized crocheted bodysuit she actually wears and is photographed in, posed in domestic settings.
The show includes portraits of public personalities Donald Trump and Martha Stewart as well as artists Vincent Van Gogh, Lola Schnabel, Connie Fox, Bill King, Robert Harms, and poet Phillip Schultz. Also on view are portraits created by members of the Ross community, including art teachers, current students, and recent graduates. “Face Off: Contemporary Portraits” will be on view through December 15.
Read an interview with Jen Cross and Juliana Fava about the exhibit in the Sag Harbor Express.