Last Updated: September 17, 2021, 1:30 pm

Senior art exhibit: Colors show emotion


Art is displayed in the exhibit "Color-Coded Emotions" which is located in the North Plaza Gallery on campus and runs from Sept. 10 through Oct. 1. The exhibit aims is to evoke certain emotions through the use of different colors. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

A senior art exhibition on campus is revolutionizing the way people experience art.

The art exhibition, Color-Coded Emotions, invites visitors to interact with each painting in the exhibit. The exhibit is located in the North Plaza Gallery on campus, and runs from Sept. 10 through Oct. 1. An artist reception will be held on Sept. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the gallery.

Zaida Machado, a senior studio art major from Sonora, Mexico, is the artist behind this exhibit. Machado said she was inspired to create this exhibit because she wanted to explore how color can be used to express certain emotions.

“My interest in painting portraits comes from my wanting to convey the emotions and sensations they reflect,” Machado said.

Machado’s exhibit begins with each visitor grabbing a sticker sheet labeled with different emotions. Underneath each painting is a piece of paper where visitors can place a sticker that matches the emotion they believe the painting is expressing.

The exhibit, which features 30 paintings, took Machado roughly six months to complete. As for why the exhibit is interactive, Machado said she wanted people to get involved in her artwork.

“I wanted people to have a way to be part of my show,” Machado said. “To have a more in-depth experience and enjoy the art.”

Art Department Chair Alex Chamberlain said it is important for art students to share their work because it gives students experience with the business side of art. Each senior art student is responsible for presenting a senior show.

“This is a form of active learning that is essential for someone to succeed in either evaluating or publishing art,” Chamberlain said.

The exhibit also features a music element. Next to each painting is a QR code visitors can scan that will show them a song which corresponds with the emotion shown in the painting. Visitors can play each song while admiring the painting to give them both a visual and auditory experience of each piece. There is an additional QR code visitors can scan which will show them a playlist featuring all the songs included in the exhibit.

Allie McGlothlen, a junior art education major from Spokane, Washington, who visited the exhibit, said the interactive element of the exhibit makes it enjoyable for both art majors and non-art majors alike.

“The exhibit makes people think about what art is and what it resembles,” McGlothlen said.

Once visitors have finished exploring the exhibit, they can reflect on how they’re feeling. A canvas sign hangs at the end of the exhibit where visitors are invited to express their feelings by writing on the sign. Visitors are also welcome to leave their feedback about the exhibit in a notebook next to the canvas sign.

“I hope people can feel part of it [the exhibit] and connect with the different emotions being displayed,” Machado said. “I have positive to negative emotions, that in the end we all experience.”

Color-Coded Emotions allows faculty, students and the public to engage with art in a way that they never have before. The exhibit invites people to acknowledge and express their emotions through a unique artistic medium.