It was an evening of art at the Ground Floor Gallery in Miller Hall where Ethan Bermudez, junior photography major, and Natalie Medrano, senior photography major shared their exhibition called “Impairment” during the gallery reception Wednesday. The exhibition consisted of different photographs representing themes of mental health and social well-being.
Students, alumni, friends, and family joined the students to celebrate the grand opening of their exhibition.
While Bermudez and Medrano worked together on this project, and their styles were similar, the message they wanted the audience to feel was different.
“Mine was completely different from how I deal with my mental health,” Medrano said. “My experience is very much in my head; both of my photos talk about how it is very claustrophobic and the other one is talking about how it is ready to explode.”
The photographs were created by using 4×5 color film and included creative aspects such as Medrano’s face wrapped in a rubber band or plastic wrap. Another photograph included both Bermudez and Medrano sitting on a table surrounded by water. There was a sense of hopelessness and the feeling of being trapped.
“Our mental health and the way we feel and the way we shoot it naturally is very contrasted,” Bermudez said. “I can feel separated from reality or I can feel very out of the situation because, where, my mind is somewhere else.”
The photographs of Bermudez involved him standing in a field of flowers and sitting down with a cigarette in his hand. It portrays a dazed, almost dreamy experience.
Art and photography are left for the interpretation by the viewer. However, both Bermudez and Medrano agreed to incorporate lots of nature in their pieces. They photographed at Mt. Baldy and Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, seeking places that matched the atmosphere of their photos.
“One of my favorite pictures is the one of them sitting on the bench. They are just stuck there and they are sad to be stuck there, the whole grunge and green background looks like they are trying to figure out what to do,” Frances Jones, junior business marketing major, said.
Bermudez and Medrano took each other’s photos but decided to include a collaboration piece where they could merge their two ideas together. While each photo has a different meaning, this piece showed the similarities in their style and ideas.
“I think the artwork is really great, and they have a deep meaning; I think they’re awesome,” Victoria Tavera, La Verne alumna, said.
The exhibition will be available through May 19 at the Ground Floor Gallery of Photography in Miller Hall alongside the “State of Mind” senior thesis exhibition.
Jasmine Soria can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.