It was April, and the bright sunshine helped to warm the otherwise chilly atmosphere of the spring semester as I made my way towards the Staller Center at Stony Brook University for the annual URECA art exhibition. I paused in awe of the wondrous creations before me, wrought with great passion to life by the enthusiastic hands of students hellbent upon expressing their hearts through their work, including some of my close friends who had spent hours perfecting their craft for the moment their dedication would be put on display for the Seawolf community to see in full.
The clear elegance of the paintings and sculptures was miles beyond my scope of comprehension—the attention to detail that these incredible artists honed in on was made obvious in every curve, every shade of color that represented a specific hue of emotion, every line that illustrated a lifelike quality few could cultivate. Looking at these incredible pieces, I was reminded of the wonders of human imagination and how creativity can lend itself a conduit to articulation through the foundation of art.
In a school as highly motivated towards scientific accomplishment and research as Stony Brook, the understanding of art is a crucial factor in preserving the tradition of appreciating the ephemeral beauty inherent in sculptures, paintings, and other forms of creation at a time when budget cuts continue to rock the Seawolf campus, threatening the bedrock of once-stable institutions that help to express the wonders that Stony Brook has to offer besides its world-class STEM facilities.
Art is a form of elegance that allows the creator to articulate their feelings towards one subject or another in whatever manner they choose. It is will incarnate—the work takes on a piece of its originator, embodying the very soul of that individual and helping to transpose it clearly for all to see.
Paintings such as "The Creation of Adam" by Michelangelo reflect a religious zeal of the time period for which that masterpiece has set aside an audience (who value Christianity as the cornerstone of their lives), while others such as "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix depict the overthrowing of the elite class during the French Revolution in order to give power back to the common people.
The discipline of art is such that many who practice in its field can have vastly differing opinions and motivations for their point of view, and their ability to formulate that particular belief into their work is what makes art such an incredible field of profession.
We should strive to understand the beauty on display in sculptures, paintings, murals, and other forms of art in order for us to have a deep understanding with what that particular artist chooses to express through their work. Only then can we learn to appreciate the ephemeral.