“A Creative Stream” showcases alumni artwork

STAR // Joseph Magilll

It’s always a delight to shake off the first week blues and escape reality through the lens of someone else’s eye, especially when sparkling wine and light refreshments are involved.

On Wednesday evening, guests gathered in the second floor of the library to view the work of alumnus Aryan Chappell. 

“A Creative Stream: 30 Years of Photography” encompassed a part of his collected life experiences and impressions of beauty in the world around him. Chappell was born into a family with an eye for creativity, giving him a unique way of perceiving the natural allurement that nature has to offer. 

Chappell started his academic pursuits at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1984 under the study of the late John Le Baron. Chappell continued to study art and transferred to Sonoma State University, where he would finish his studies under the instruction of Marcia Adams. Chappell graduated with a Bachelors in Art in 1992 and has been taking photographs ever since. 

The prints in this collection range from dates from 1985 to 2012. This exhibit showcases the majestic Northern Californian lifestyle that is easily recognized by viewersentering the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center. Upon entering the exhibit was Karen Schneider, the dean of Sonoma State University’s Library, waiting to greet the guests with a warm and inviting smile. The tables were covered with a decadent arrangement of cheeses and other light refreshments. 

The lighting in the gallery was dim, giving the room a relaxing atmosphere, where people could essentially drift away from reality for a couple hours. As the reception began, visitors of the exhibit gathered around Schneider in the middle of the room where she introduced Chappell and gave a brief biography on the artist’s work. 

The turnout for this specific gallery attracted many students, faculty members and people of the community. After a the brief introduction of Chappell and his work, Schneider congratulated Chappell for his outstanding achievements and visitors were then free to roam and admire the collected works of Chappell.

All of the photographs in this collection are shot in black and white, giving the viewers a “simplistic but complex feeling,” according to Chappell. The photos around the room each tell a story in Chappell’s life, with a deep connection to, as he states, “the majestic west and his home in Northern California.”

“It’s interesting to see a combination of organic and inorganic materials that the artist has managed to bring to life,” said Lynn Cominsky, chair of the Physics Department about the piece titled “A Potato in a Sack.”

 “Humans are essentially trying to contain nature, by fencing in the simplistic beauty the world has to offer,” said Michael Acquista, third year philosophy major about the piece titled “Split Rail Snow.” 

This photograph made people feel a sense of liberation towards the natural world, giving off a compelling sense of escape from reality. 

“These images before you, reflect the outer world we share, yet speak about inner landscape, the beauty of which I constantly strive to understand,” Chappell said about his collected works that will be on display from Jan. 17 to March 10 in the University Library Gallery. 

If students find themselves on campus needing to escape some of the first week blues, they could stop by to show some love and support to the compelling emotional depths Chappell has managed to create reflecting the life in Northern California.