The First Art Show of the Semester

by Quynh Anh Nguyen Tran '11

The walls of the Administration Building are always lined with artistic creations, both from students and professional individuals. This January, Menlo College welcomes the contribution from two local artists, Barbara Gunther and Thai Bui.

If you have walked through this hallway just last December, you would have remembered the realistic depiction of the campus, from the “Images of Menlo” collection. The show this time, though, couldn't be more different, as it features a combination of abstract, contrasting sculptures and oil paintings.

Barbara Gunther, the creator of the softly blended, multi-shade oil paintings, is a white-haired lady who has been painting for approximately 40 years. She enthusiastically walks back and forth along the corridor, pointing to the series of Cypress depictions (which happens to be my favourite) and explaining her painting process. Pay a little attention and you will see that the pieces gradually morph from a realistic approach to a more abstract visual.

The pieces on the opposite wall, by Thai Bui, a man of few words, are much bolder. The most intriguing installation, to me, is stationed at the very end of the walkway. Check it out—I bet you wouldn't have known that the piece was made from bicycle tire tubes! Mr. Bui has cut up the tire tubes into long strips, weave them into tight knots then spray a thick coat of copper on. He explains, “Essentially, I like to show the contradictions between industrialization and nature, and attempt to create a balance between them.”

Finally, the aesthetically appealing art show will not be complete without its delicacy counterpart. Yum, this chocolate and strawberry mousse is exquisite!

The art shows are organized by the Art Committee, comprising many staff and faculty members of Menlo College. The next show, on March 23rd (Wednesday), will be dedicated to showcasing students' work.

See Photos from the Show