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Nystrom’s exhibit meshes contemporary styles with ancient influences

April 24, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Art

Senior art major A.M. Nystrom will present her senior exhibit, "Gurus, Guardians and Goddesses," from April 24-29, in the Stephens Gallery.

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Senior art major A.M. Nystrom will present her senior exhibit, "Gurus, Guardians, and Goddesses," from April 24-29, in the Stephens Gallery.

There will be a reception to meet the artist at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, in the gallery, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.

Nystrom said her exhibit features fantasy art, which has the ability to transport the viewer into a new time and place that is simultaneously relatable and foreign.

"I have depicted female religious figures from around the world in various art styles to generate renewed curiosity towards these stories," Nystrom said. "I achieve this by using contemporary fantasy elements to relate to my audience; drawing inspiration from video games, street art, fashion, and graphic novels while also retaining classical influences from the source material. Fusing both classical and contemporary styles allowed me to create new bold interpretations of these stories, which still retain important values for life today."

Religious studies play an important role in her artwork.

"It is something I always found incredibly fascinating because worldwide, cultures from all walks of life, created distinctive expressions of their spirituality," she said. "One of my biggest influences would be the literary works of Neil Gaiman, who taught me that telling the stories of the gods was one of the best ways to tell the story of humanity. My work is mixed media, which I have found to work the best in creating the fantastical environments and ethereal moods. The size of my work reflects the monumental accounts of these women, while my choice of bold color works to create a sense of otherworldly wonder. One example of this is the Joan of Arc triptych, which uses a large scale and extreme color palette to create a sense of Joan’s spiritual and emotional journey, while also being reminiscent of graffiti and street art."

Nystrom said that by "meshing contemporary art styles with ancient influences, my work presents the figures that I’ve chosen in a more accessible format to young people. I’ve done this by using different styles of art to emphasize certain heroic and admirable traits that speak to me, so that now my work will speak to the audience. The fantasy elements found throughout the works create characters that both seem relatable, but also stands as shinning heroines that can serve as role models even to this day."

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Work by A.M. Nystrom.