Class of 2024 Art Showcase

Kitao annually hosts a first year art show to share the art of incoming students with the campus community. This year we converted the show to the virtual medium, and we hope you enjoy the incredible artwork of some members of the class of 2024.

Olivia Marotte

"My name is Olivia Marotte, and I am a multimedia artist who chooses not to limit my interests in sustainability to my choices of media themselves but instead transfer them, too, to the underlying messages of my work. Art is necessary for fulfillment, life, inspiration; however, the resources we utilize in the process of creating it are too often produced with consequence to the environment, the environment that shapes us as artists and as living beings. In order to break this paradox, I use exclusively recycled and repurposed materials in my pieces: paint from garage sales, canvasses that have been thrown out, fabric from old clothing, etc. Simultaneously, I wish to bring attention to the issues of humans’ exploitation of the earth and the social implications of this universal hubris while stirring within the viewer a compulsion to either turn away out of dismissal or recognize within themselves and all of us a definite complicity in the decaying of our planet. Art is activism. It is a movement towards change, but only if we are willing to truly bask in a moment of raw connection offered by its creator."

Dana Nigrin

Amanda Roessler

"Growing up as an avid artist and female student-athlete, I often find myself struggling to navigate the social expectations for women in fashion. Through my collection of wearable art, I hope to demonstrate the versatility and complexity of women, while also demonstrating the versatility in recycling of common known plastic pollutants in everyday products. To accomplish this, I often utilized found objects or sporting equipment itself and focused on the use of color, line, and geometric shapes and my designs."

Alyssa Zhang

"Portland, OR based artist Alyssa Zhang has been shaping her art skills with traditional and modern media over the last few years. Originally working within graphite, Alyssa has blended her love of monochrome sketching with her interest in illustration to explore the use of color. Alyssa's love for realistic portraiture has also allowed her to explore her Asian American identity through art."

Eva Krueger

"The first three photos I have submitted were part of a dystopian series on water called "Sea Change" meant to allude to the climate crisis and to force the viewer to consider water, which is so often overlooked as an essential resource. The next three were from a series on solitude and the joy that can be found when alone, which I feel is particularly important today, during a pandemic that requires social distancing. The final piece does not fit into either of my series."

Lauren Mermelstein

"Created from old hardware, this painting demonstrates the false, superficial perception of women being brittle. Though outwardly, much of women’s jewelry is fragile and decorative, it has the potential to express one’s individualism and reveal deeper traits, such as strength and versatility. The plywood scraps and rusty shower curtain hooks juxtapose bright, vibrant colors, shifting the focus away from the flashiness of one’s material possessions, and instead, toward one’s true quintessence."

Hardware Girl, oil on plywood
Lauren Mermelstein, Hardware Girl, oil on plywood
Ben Sperber

"My work explores the intersection between consumerism, post-consumer waste, and the complex relationships people have with them, driven by the borderline religious fervor that surrounds capitalism in contemporary society. As a whole, the works all make extensive use of negative space in their compositions in order to contextualize the concept of one’s relationship with waste into tangible form."

Nancy Vu, Solitude

On the flat hardwood table lay a deck of cards, with the aces face up
The game’s just about finished, and it seems like I’m going to lose again


I look around me, and I don’t recognize any of the people
Their figures are only blurs of memories I once held to my heart

How did this happen?

I don’t really remember why or how I started this game to begin with
Somehow, I felt that maybe I could be good at it
If I wasn’t physically strong, then maybe I’d be good at strategy, right?
Or at least good enough to put up a face of certainty in my choices


Nancy Vu, Grief Bleeds

We hung the family portraits on the wall, hammering it on like it would stay forever
Breaking through the concrete and twisting the crooked boards that held our home together
Trying to find some opening we could escape through
Falling down the sweet rabbit hole of a better tomorrow
Where time only passed when we felt that magic in the pictures,
“The Happiest Place On Earth”

But even as we hammered on the walls as hard as we could
With a quiet determination to flip the switch on the trolley heading straight for us


Anna Fruman

"Through my art, I aim to explore, express, and celebrate the factors that have shaped both my worldview as an artist and that of our generation as a whole. Themes that inspire me include youth (and what it means today), the journey towards individual happiness, and the impact of artistic creation in personal and collective contexts."

Jorge Padilla, Pulaski at Night - Andrew
00:00 / 04:43
Jorge Padilla
"Hi everyone, my name is Jorge Padilla. I'm from North Philly and I am a prospective ENVS major and music minor. I love singing and making music, so I decided to upload some singing covers I have done, along with one instrumental cover. Hope y'all enjoy! :)"
Jorge Padilla, What Child is This? (inst
00:00 / 01:22
Jorge Padilla, Bridge Over Troubled Wate
00:00 / 04:48
Jorge Padilla, Baby It's Cold Outside (C
00:00 / 02:41
LPark.ArtSubmission - Lauren Park.jpg
Lauren H. Park
"Two summers ago, my family and I spent an afternoon in Old Town San Diego, California. After passing tourists dining outside and cart vendors selling purple guitars and ceramic chili peppers, we came across a secluded garden. My mom loved the view of the painted bench against the sun and moon artwork, and I took a picture on my phone. For my mom’s birthday, I drew the picture. I first sketched it onto drawing paper, and using colored pencils, I filled in my sketch with bright, vivid colors, reminiscent of summer. The drawing, now displayed in my sunroom, always reminds me of walking around Old Town San Diego, both as a little girl living in Southern California and as a teenager visiting from the East Coast."
A Pocket of Old Town San Diego, colored pencil
Yuhua Lu (Lisa)
"Serene", Paper
Yuhua Lu (Lisa), "Serene", Paper
Nancy Vu, Faded

The house down the street from us is meeting its imminent end
Its floorboards creak from every step, and no secrets can be hidden in its noisy whispering
The roofs are built from splinters, torn apart and discolored with age
Nothing lives there anymore, except for a few rats who feed on the waste

We aren’t fading with age
Grandfather, your hold nourishes an eternal flame in my heart,
And your soft, delicate hands wrap me up in a warmth and compassion,
Unexchangeable and ever changing to comfort those around you

You taught me how to love


Nancy Vu, Anxiety

I’m in a spiral and my mind is running two thousand miles ahead of me
I'm dancing with the devil, the skin of my limbs wasting away with the heat
My core is set ablaze, and I’m caught in a cold sweat under my own blankets,
the blankets that had kept me safe from all the fears I had in my childhood years
How come they can’t protect me from the demons in my head now?
What's worse is that acknowledging that they exist only exemplifies the noise
How can I shut off a voice that is so reminiscent of my own?
The world can tell me that it is nothing but the panic speaking, but the regret still haunts me
I pace myself, trying to catch and count every step I make in the hopes that I find any sign of
But even now, through the countless hours I’ve spent with my dealer, I still can’t fathom why I
am ever dealt an ace
The pain simmers a little, and I can settle for a sigh, but it lingers. Why?
Just to set my deck on fire and ask that I try to roll again?


Angie Kwon
Halle McLean
"I became an artist by chance. There was a studio art course requirement at my high school, so I signed up for photography. Because that class was full, they put me in an "Intro to Drawing and Painting" class. Much to my surprise, I fell in love with it; it allowed me to capture the way that I saw the world and show it to others. I stuck with it for all four years. Art has allowed me to turn ugly or painful things in my life into something beautiful. I am so happy to be able to share these expressions of myself with you."
Josh Klusewitz
"Hello!  My work attempts to explore the complexities of human features and expression. Portraits of loved ones are my favorite subject, as my work is very much about capturing identity and personality. However, I am happiest outdoors and am interested in architecture so painting landscapes is another love of mine. I hope you enjoy!"