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Andrew Guarino / Gavel Media

Student-Led Studio Art in Carney: Art Index

Abstraction, collaboration, and creativity. When you enter Carney 203, you might be surprised by what you see. Kylie Spangler (she/her, ‘23)  and Emily Torpey (she/her, ‘23) have transformed the bland room into a place of expression through their exhibit, Art Index. 

In their overall statement of purpose, they say, “Spangler and Torpey believe that art has the power to transcend language and cultural boundaries, and they strive to create works that are both visually striking and emotionally resonant. The artists’ goal is to foster an inclusive environment for their viewers to explore the complexities of abstraction and discover something new about themselves in the process.” Talking with Spangler and Torpey, one can see they have made their vision a reality. 

Both Spangler and Torpey, with varying style outcomes, followed a similar path with their craftsmanship throughout their Boston College careers. Looking back, they cite the COVID-19 lockdown to the flourishing of their personal styles. Emily notes, “Before COVID, I was really focused on hyper-realism. The lockdown gave me some time to discover and explore different forms of art.” Kylie describes a similar process while pointing to a painting of a blue feminine silhouette: “I was doing hyper-realism, very intricate graphite pieces my freshman year. My artistic craft changed and now you get much more of what you see on the walls.” She also discussed how different art classes at BC exposed her to diverse styles. “As a studio art minor, there are a limited number of classes in a certain genre you can take. So, I found myself in different classes like architectural design.” Kylie’s structural architectural designs create a sharp balance from the other abstract artworks. 

Throughout the exhibit, there is a wonderful balance of similarities and differences in their work. From Emily’s abstract wall of eyes to Kylie’s architectural work, their styles are different, but their pieces complement each other. There is a back-and-forth between pieces. Emily explained, "We are both very expressionistic, that's how the art world would define our work.” Kylie added, “Abstract too, very abstract.” Collaboration with one another has sparked new ideas. Emily pointed to a painting on the wall, with a heavy pop-corn texture. “Kylie taught me how to do that.” When designing their exhibit, they looked back on the collaborative art-making process. “We mix and interact and challenge each other.”

Emily spoke about the excitement of this exhibit: “I’m so proud to see all of this. So many hours of hard work and creative extraction, all being in one place. It's such a rarity that you place all your artwork in one place at one time.” 

If you find yourself with time in the next month, consider going to Carney 203 to support these two artists. Boston College’s thriving studio art program deserves just as much attention as our sports and performative arts programs which often receive the bulk of our support. 

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