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By Gracelda Neri
The BCC Art Gallery has gone online, featuring art influenced by complex events of this year.
This fall semester, the Bergen Gallery debuted 20Big20, a collection of works documenting responses to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Wanting to reflect on the actions of this year through the gallery, gallery curator Timothy Blunk put out a call to the Bergen campus community for their art.
“We just wanted to take out a measure of the BCC communities.” Blunk says. “Lots of people have gone into their art bag to just respond to being home alone with lots of time to think and digest what is going on.”
His thought process was largely to create a time capsule of 2020. One that, due to the lack of physical space, needed to be conceived so as to make an impact on the screen.
“Mainstream art today is largely accessed through electronic devices. It’s on a screen that is at most like three inches by five inches,” he says. “And, it translates so very little about the experience of seeing paintings or sculpture [in person].” To combat the small size of our screens, he found himself selecting art for his gallery that is presented on a much larger scale.
Despite the art’s presentation in a digital form, Blunk believes that the online medium does not invalidate its ability to be art. “There’s a tendency to think that, you know, the more technology that was involved, the less art it is,” he says. “I think that’s almost an underlying assumption in the art world. It’s just a lie!” In his eyes, every artist in history has used the best technology available for their time, and modern-day devices are no exception.
As the sole curator of the gallery, Blunk feels extremely passionate for the pieces that he hosts.
The events of this year and the artwork it has produced have personally affected his outlook on art, reflecting in his work. “I feel a lot more emboldened to be more forthright about who I am, and I think that is very much coming out in my art now,” he says.
Blunk is still accepting submissions for 20Big20, and wishes to showcase the experiences of Bergen students and faculty from this tumultuous year.
Pieces from 20Big20:
June Second – Paula Hidalgo
Indian Wedding- Nitin Shukla