Artist of the week: Julianna Carl

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Sarah Newton

Carl’s solo exhibition “My iPod Nano” is currently on display on the first floor of Adams Center.

Alexa Highsmith, Staff Writer

Highlighted in the art studio on the first floor of the Adams Center is a collection of seven oil-on-canvas paintings by fourth-year studio art and psychology major Julianna Carl. The collection is inspired by influential music in Carl’s life, and she cleverly titles it “My iPod Nano.”

When asked about the inspiration behind her artistic representations of music in painting, Carl notes that she typically turns to music when she’s feeling emotional. She described a time when she was “feeling down last year and I listened to the song ‘Float On’ by Modest Mouse. I drew jellyfish to go along with the song and found focusing on the music and making visual imagery from it to be quite therapeutic. I have so many visual ideas in my head, and I feel so accomplished when I take those ideas and make them into real, tangible, and colorful pieces. The satisfaction and joy from one complete piece of artwork that turns out the way I want it to be makes all the work … worth it.”

Carl’s main goal in creating this project was to “choose a theme that was playful and upbeat,” and to paint something relatable for her audience. “I wanted to paint something that people could relate to and understand easily,” she says, “so my friend Jorell suggested combining music and painting … He helped me come up with a list of other songs that would be visually interesting to see in paint.”

In relation to colors, Carl wanted to incorporate a scheme that portrays the emotions she relates to each song. From this, she came up with a list of songs and began her work.

“Because I chose a random assortment of songs from multiple genres, I intentionally used the same purples and oranges in almost all of the paintings,” she explained. “I wanted the seven pieces to look like a cohesive whole while still being very individually independent and unique.”

The pieces in the collection cover a wide array of genres, including songs such as “NASA” by Ariana Grande, “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys, and “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper. “The first piece I completed for the Art Lab was ‘Radio Ga Ga’ by Queen. I had a clear visual of what I wanted this painting to look like and was extremely happy with the turnout of this piece. I next painted a jellyfish and titled it ‘Float On’ by Modest Mouse.”

Carl’s art began to take a bit of a turn, as she remembers: “Although I have ideas in my mind before creating a piece, during the actual process of making a piece of artwork, sometimes it goes in a completely different direction that what I had first imagined … I have found that a balance between meticulously controlling what a piece will look like and allowing space for mistakes and new ideas is important when making artwork.”