A house of fur and photographs

On Wednesday Dec. 3, a diverse group of UVM students and faculty gathered together with two things in common: fur clothing, and an appreciation for the art of photography. The event, “The Baroque House of Fur,” a fur gala hosted by Professor Tom Brennan, showcased 16 student’s work from his Advanced Photography class. The class consisted of a “cross college” group of undergraduates Brennan said, and each expressed his or her “individual voice.” It was apparent that the artists had developed throughout their study of various mediums. Jesse Abbruzzese had a powerful grouping of bold and curious shots. Abbruzzese described his creative process as, “taking these actions and items and putting in their unnatural environment,” which accented the relationship between light, subject, and each new environment, he said. Abbruzzese’s choice of settings varied from a modern building with two gold towers that showcased the ruination of natural beauty to its end, a seemingly simple shot of a lone male reading on a wooden chair in nature. “The thing about these images is they just don’t work.” Abbruzzese said, “It feels weird putting them on the same wall sometimes.” Abbruzzese made it very clear that he wanted the work to stand alone which explains the relatively rudimentary frames he used. Paul Adam Slobodian’s work was a collection of black and white architectural photos with a focus on high contrast lighting and sharp geometric edges. Slobodian was “experimenting with lines” with intentions to “break a location down it’s parts and elements,” he said. He shot close ups of structural elements outside of Karen Arena on Dorset St. in downtown Burlington. According to Slobodian, he “had to go at night to get good shadows.” With three years of background in photography and sculpture, Slabodian dis?played a firm grasp of employing his mediums as a form of expression. Melissa Clauss’s seemingly narrative horizontal arrangement of photographs enticed us to inquire about her artistic vision. A parchment paper strip underlined the grouping of photos. Her former boyfriend of four years proved to be a muse who drew out a need to release emotions based on her newfound view of beauty after their partnership ended, she said.. Mr. Shopping, a musical pairing of guitarist Luke Hogan and drummer Victor Dimotsis accompanied the event with ambient, reverb-heavy, spacey, guitar and drums in the likes of experimental post-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky and Caspian. What could be more fitting as a cohesive backdrop for such a diverse collection of progressive artwork from a clearly talented group of photographers? The show was most eloquently summed up in the astute words of an anonymous guestbook signer who simply wrote, “Well done, very well done.”