By Oliver Price, news staff

From bright colors of abstract digital prints to the smooth grain of wood sculptures, the XYZ exhibition hosted by Northeastern University’s (NU) student-run contemporary art gallery spark featured both two- and three-dimensional pieces.

The exhibition, which opened on March 30 and will showcase student work through Sept. 10, looks at the way technology – the Internet, 3-D printing, digital design and animation – affects art. As part of Media, spark’s exploratory series, XYZ creates a dialogue between traditional mediums and 21st century-inventions.

“[XYZ is a] little exploration into what is media,” Kristina Hagman, sophomore studio art major and a co-founder of spark, said.

Since spark was organized by NU students in 2015, the gallery has served as a channel between university community and contemporary art as a whole.

Adrienne Elyse Meyers, a first-year post-baccalaureate student at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts featured in spark, said that although XYZ is a small exhibition, it presented a diverse view of what 3-D art can be.

“Seeing work that ranges from textured paint to plexiglass to fully rounded sculpture opens ideas of how art can interact with the space of the viewer,” Meyers said.

Meyers’ artwork used a framing of three-dimensional somber black and dark grays, through which the visitors see a combination of body parts and nature.

“I wanted to give [my art] a sense of depth, the idea of flesh being peeled back to reveal these landscapes,” she said.

She said her art is influenced by science, medicine and mental health.

“The works of mine in XYZ are from a series of mixed media works I did that was titled ‘Interior Landscapes,’” she said. “For these, I created digital collages from photographs I took along with scanned images from medical textbooks. […] The idea was to visualize states of mind, creating a sort of landscape of the psyche.”

Hannah Groudas, a NU behavioral neuroscience graduate who will start pursuing her NU master’s degree in fine art in the fall, was another featured artist. She applied inkblots of warm colors to a black background in her piece “Rorschach 2.” Groudas said she used techniques inspired by Rorschach inkblots she found in psychological tests.

“I asked the viewers what they saw, [and] everyone saw something different,” Groudas said.  

Groudas said the gallery not only contributed to build the art community at NU, but also helped her self-confidence grow. She emphasized the student-run nature of spark, which allowed her to help set up the exhibition from start to finish – an experience she deemed rewarding.

“[spark is] really focusing on approaching art in a new way, […] making people think and keeping people on their toes,” she said. “spark will continue to grow and only get better.”

Photo by Alesia Garret