By Josie Rerecich
The SAL Gallery had a reception for its latest exhibit showcasing the work of Danielle Savarese, a second year MFA student. “Dive In,” featured artwork by Savarese consisting of themes such as the oceans, sea turtles and ocean pollution.
Most of Savarese’s works were made using acrylic paint with a resin glaze. “I like the resin glaze,” Savarese said. “Not only does it give that shiny, wet look, it also pushes that idea again of the plastic ocean. Using the acrylic paints and the resin isn’t necessarily environmentally safe, but I felt that they were important to use.”
Savarese also utilized objects that would otherwise be thrown away into her art, like plastic bags as paintbrushes. One of her paintings, entitled “Gnarly Dude,” was painted on a recycled surfboard.
Savarese, who teaches elementary school students, included a mural drawn by her students from grades one to three in her exhibition, called “World Oceans Day- June 8, 2018.” Savarese’s students drew on the mural, with each class adding to what the previous class drew. “It was just fun getting involved and learning about different types of sea creatures,” Savarese said. The mixed media mural used sharpies, crayon, and watercolor paint to create a childlike affect.
A science experiment was also included in the exhibit. A piece of a plastic bag and some dental floss were placed in a plastic bottle filled with dyed blue water, to represent a jellyfish. “It’s to demonstrate what the sea turtles see in the water,” Savarese explained. “This jellyfish is obviously not real, but this is what the sea turtles are seeing. There’s garbage floating in the ocean, and unfortunately they confuse the garbage with food.”
Emmitt Collins, a friend of Savarese’s from elementary school attended the event. Collins’ favorite piece at the exhibit was “Crashed,” one of the acrylic and resin paintings. “I like the material, looks kind of like glass,” said Collins.
Other visitors to the gallery were there out of curiosity, like Shayla Harris. “I really like kids, so I really like the mural,” said Harris.
Out of the entire exhibit, Savarese’s favorite piece was “Carapace.” The title refers the top of a turtle shell. The piece was painted on hexagon-sided canvases, making each painting appear to be a turtle’s shell. “Turtles are one of my favorite animals,” said Savarese. “They’re pretty much the whole reason behind this whole show.”