The annual Senior Art Show features aesthetic visions of some of Brandeis University's brightest art students. This year, the show transcends traditional mediums of the canvas and sculpture and explores other ones as well. However, this week's Campus Celebrity, Genevieve Armstrong '12 has found her niche in a variety of mediums which she uses to depict the female nude figure. Her work exemplifies the true creative essence of the Brandeis Arts scene, so be sure to check out her work in the Dreitzer Art Gallery in Spingold Theater. Read more about her artistic inspiration and advice on making the most of your Brandeis experience.
Fine Art/ Sculpture
Born: Gallup, NM, grew up: Dallas, TX. I wouldn't refer to Dallas as my hometown as much as I would Boston.
HC: I hear you're featured in the Senior Art Show. Congratulations on being done and on the show! GA: What other students and works are featured in the show?
There are about 20 painters, and about 10 sculptors that were all featured in the show, each showing several of their works (if you would like a full list, which is an extensive one, I could get you a program from senior show).
HC: What sort of work do you specialize in?
GA: I'm not just a sculptor. The piece I put in the show included a collage of about 15 drawings on the wall, ranging from female and male nudes to images of draping fabric. There was also a fragmented photo collage of 3 different nude women pinned to the floor, and a couple sheets of fabric to tie them together. My main interest is attempting to create tension and energy in images of female nudes. I'm still experimenting to find the best medium for it; I have tried working with media from paper castes of nudes models, to watercolor nudes on white paper. In other words, I am fascinated by female nakedness.
HC: How did you first realize you want to do art?
GA: When I was accepted to Brandeis, I had every intention of becoming a biologist. I had been working in a lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center since I was sixteen, and after the summer before sophomore year I realized that I had completely lost interest. It's not that I didn't love science anymore, I just realized after taking "Intro to 3D Design", and "Intro to Life Drawing" that art became was more engaging and challenging for me and was something I new that I couldn't lose passion for. There was something about creating beautiful work from my hands that captivated me.
HC: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
GA: After taking Jo Wardwell's life drawing class I learned that the female nude was my favorite thing to draw. After that, almost all of the inspiration came from over sexualized women from Alberto Vargas' nude pin up girls, and a book I was bequeathed called 50 Years of Playboy. I find my inspiration from the 1930-70 nude models because the images have a more natural aesthetic experience and the women actually look healthy.
HC: How do you plan to incorporate art into your life and job after graduation?
GA: My plan, as of now, is to continue my job as a framer while I apply to companies, such as Pixar, to be a story artist.
HC: As a graduating senior, what advice can you give to art majors and undergraduates about your experiences with the Art department and at Brandeis University?
GA: If you are stuck, always ask for help. If you are confused, always ask for help. If a professor is saying confusing things (as they do), always ask what they mean. Ask tons of questions. Be honest, and never feel obligated to change what you are doing because of someone else's suggestions. However, you should take what they say, and use it to find out why you don't want to take their advice (if you have decided not to), and use it to direct yourself where you want to go.
HC: What is one quirky fact that most people don't know about you?
GA: I listen to really bad pop music, which has caused several people to ban me from picking songs on a playlist. "Tik tok" by Ke$ha still happens to be my favorite song.
HC: And now for a goofy question, describe your ideal jelly bean flavor.
GA: Hands down, Dr. Pepper