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Visiting artist creates buzz on campus

Imo Nse Imeh sings to describe some of his art pieces to an audience at the Arnos Maris Gallery during a Master's Class last week
By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

WESTFIELD - "Beyond our prospective gazes towards trivial methods of self preservation and empowerment; beyond the fragmented pages of history that we have so willfully consumed; beyond the intrigue of optical illusions and our inherent hesitance to acknowledge apparent realities; beyond the dreams of old men and the visions that visit our children as they lay in slumber, there is a place where if we choose to we can find residence-where the very core of who we are can be revealed," Imo Nse Imeh said.

Imeh, a graduate student at Yale, is currently displaying his first solo art exhibit, " Anatomy of Beauty: Time, Transformation and Trauma" at Westfield State College (WSC).

"Art is not as important as life," WSC Professor Trevor Hodge, instrumental in securing the exhibit, said to Reminder Publications. "But what a deprived life we deal with without art. This art has really bewitched this campus over the last two weeks. How alive these images are how important it is to us to understand [them]."

The young artist, raised in New York and born of Nigerian descent, expressed excitement over his first exhibit at the Arnos Maris Gallery.

"I didn't choose it. It chose me," he said.

The exhibit will remain at the Gallery until Feb. 10. In the display are pieces titled, "The Guardian" and the "Cleansing of Isaah".

"In this piece [Isaah] is talking about a transformation," Imeh said. "As we get older you can still undergo dramatic phases in your life. Something can touch you so much that it can cause a transformation. This is the Transformation of Isaah."

The painting is to be donated to the Harlem Children's Zone after its showing.

Imeh is currently working on his dissertation which speaks of Nigerian women and the fattening houses they reside in before their marriages. This is reflected in some of his art pieces.

The Arnos Maris Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 2-5 p.m.