Cross-campus collaboration:

For a long time, John Kim, a senior in art, had been excited and anxious to present his collection of artwork to the college campus and the art-appreciating community. His moment to shine began at 7 pm last Friday. Kim presented several of the paintings, which span the latter three years of his college life, at The Frame, which is located at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Margaret Morrison Street in Oakland.

While The Frame usually hosts exhibits primarily for CMU students, Kim took the unique opportunity to collaborate with Gina Lee, a close friend who is a studio arts major and a senior at University of Pittsburgh. Both Kim and Lee knew each other through Agap? Life Church and had planned out this event for about a month.

Kim had several goals in mind with his artwork. ?The issues I talked about initially were commercialism, celebrity, and mass production,? said Kim, ?... but now with my most recent paintings, I tried to work with bright colors and different types of paint.?

Lee has had a passion for painting ever since she was four years old.

?I have an interest in capturing the moment in a painting, like the artist Renoir,? said Lee. Lee has been working on her paintings throughout her senior year. Lee studied figures from digital photographs and magazines in order to reproduce them on canvas with paint.

Together, both artists produced about 25 paintings. Both artists used acrylic and oil paint to make their paintings.The majority of the paintings were portraits, including a couple of portraits of celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon.

Kim also used a small room to design a satirical ?shrine? to Christina Aguilera. The shrine consisted of two paintings, candles, a block of wood with transparent incisions that resemble a face, and a small photograph frame with a collage of the famous pop star.

?I was poking fun at how people [worship] celebrities and idols,? said Kim. ?It is a fake shrine. It?s not supposed to be taken seriously.?

Until 10 pm Friday, it was estimated that at least 25 people were viewing the gallery at any one time and as many as 60 different people, mostly college students, visited the exhibit before the night ended. Furthermore, on opening day, the guests were accompanied by light rock music, played by guitarists Dan Ra, a senior at Pitt, and Grant Stanley, a sophomore at Pitt.

Several students were impressed with the images of people in various poses.

?I love the play on colors,? said Allison Oguh, a first-year in chemical engineering.

Three of the paintings were near exact replicas of each other, except the colors used were different. Both painters showed how changing only the color can lead to different interpretations of art and can arouse different emotions from viewers.

Though various ideas seemed to inspire the different portraits, the main themes that tied a majority of the paintings together were realism, the desire to contribute to commentary on pop culture and the obsession with physical beauty.

The artwork at this gallery will be on display each day until Tuesday from noon until 5 pm. To contact John Kim, e-mail to fashionpolice@cmu.edu.