A typewriter nestled among fallen leaves on the ground is the subject of graduate artist Sarah Nesbitt's photograph, "The Possibility of Being Taken Out of Context."
For Nesbitt, the long stream of paper with text crossed out in places represents the misinterpretation and changes that documents experience over time. On Sunday, however, her challenge was to prevent the misinterpretation of her own concept.
As part of the Annual Graduate Research Exhibition, graduate students had the opportunity to explain their work to judges outside of their own field, said Amy Moosman (graduate-art). The students are judged on their clarity and ability to communicate their ideas to people who are unfamiliar with their area of study, she said.
The work of 11 graduate art students is currently housed in the HUB gallery, where it will remain on display through April 25.
The graduate artists must participate once during their two years at Penn State and each will have the chance to explain his or her work for up to four different judges.
For some of the artists, the experience can be very beneficial.
"Having a non-artist perspective on what I am doing really helps my process and gives me a new insight," said Bethany Seib, one of the artists featured in the exhibit.
Seib (graduate-art) said the opportunity to explain her work to both a chiropractor and a philosopher was important because, although her art is for everybody, it is people within the art world who most often see it.
In her piece "Adrenaline Junkie," Seib said she juxtaposes new and old printmaking methods to show the contrast between the "primitive feelings of being hunted" and how people today build structures such as roller coasters to attain the same feeling of adrenaline.
In her print, Seib illustrates a woman climbing to get to the top of a roller coaster. Although the roller coaster itself and the background are mostly green to represent the camouflaging of these structures and our inability to see them in everyday life, Seib said she depicted the woman in red to "show the adrenaline and energy evoked when in a state of urgency."
The pieces include photography, sculpture, video animation and paintings.
"I feel like for an artist, it's very important to talk about their work as much as they can so they would be able to communicate their work more frequently," said Nesbitt (graduate-art).
While speaking with the judges, she said they were interested to hear about the research she had done before creating her pieces.
Because her pieces focus on historical documents and how they have the possibility to be changed or misconstrued over time, Nesbitt said "I read as much as I work," allowing her the opportunity to explain the research that goes into her work.
In the visual art category, Amy Moosman's photography finished in first place, Quintin Owens' sculpture work garnered second place, and Laura MacLean's photography earned third place.