Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Hampden Gallery hosts art by UMass Alumni

Cynthia Guild illustrates technology through her exhibition “FABRICATIONS and DREAMS”
Lucy Norton

University of Massachusetts alumni Cynthia Guild returned to campus to give an artist talk on April 5. Guild’s two series’, “FABRICATIONS and DREAMS,” are being displayed in the Hampden gallery until May 3.

Sally Curcio, Associate Director of Hampden Gallery, has been following Guild’s work since the 1990s, as Guild was present in the community. This led to Curio bringing in Guild’s art to show off her more recent works.

Curcio said her and Guild were excited to see how the two bodies of work would look together, and the Hampden Gallery was the perfect space to do it.

Guild illustrates the use of technology in the current world from the meaning of her “Fabrications” body of work to the source of her other body of work “Dreams”.

“There’s something going on with [Guild’s] work that none of us understand,” James Wilson, Professor of Innovation at Bay Path University said.

According to Guild, her art is her world, but she is also trying to figure out what it means.

Wilson said that when using technology you have to be critical of it.

“I feel like there is something alive even though they are almost robotic looking too,” Curcio said, referring to the connection between AI and Guild’s pieces.

According to Guild’s exhibition statement, her tower pieces express the emotion that had come with the fear of state surveillance. However, the “Structures” represent mental and mechanical effort, or “the conveyor belt of the human brain at work” as Guild said.

Guild and her husband have a boat that they have taken up and down the East Coast. According to Guild, her industrial body of work illustrates the objects that she saw when passing industrial complexes, with the exception of only one being painted from memory.

Curcio felt as if two series were connected through the use of surveillance, almost as if the more industrial pieces were surveilling the dreamy pieces.

The work uses “a disconnect to suggest that there shouldn’t be a disconnect,” Wilson said.

Guild’s inspiration for her “Dreams” body of work is through video cameras of ski resorts around the world, using the website snoweye. She “can go there and visit them anytime, night and day,” Guild said.

Providing a unique twist on regular landscape art, Guild depicts the features which are shown in the video feeds in her paintings. She shows various items such as dates, boxes representing the information on feed, and errors where the feed might not be working.

Guild likes to demonstrate traces that people are involved, such as through ski lifts, however, she refuses to directly show the people in her pieces, instead “expressing the human condition in a non-verbal visual language,” Guild said.

Guild describes her pieces within her “Dreams” body of work using the phrases “beauty of nature,” and “desire to escape.” According to Guild, she is “reaching for a universality,” illustrating feelings she thinks people can understand.

Mia Blue can be reached at [email protected].

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