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‘Genesis’ senior show connects music, nature to the human experience

Photo credit: Gabby Kaplan
Senior Gemma Larbalestier shows world language teacher Juan Carlos Moraga Vidal her artwork, which combines the human experience with music. Larbalestier and Olivia Miro’s senior show, “Genesis,” took place May 1 in the Eastern Star Gallery.

The walkway near the Eastern Star Gallery was bustling with people coming to see Gemma Larbalestier and Olivia Miro’s senior show “Genesis” on Wednesday, May 1, at lunch. The gallery displayed sketches and pottery that connected the human experience to the natural world and represented the birth of being and belonging.

Larbalestier said her passion for music inspired her art; she incorporated the movement of dance and music into her drawings. Miro focused more on where the natural world, specifically the animal world, intersects with aspects of human society. In doing so, she was able to link her ceramic pieces to her devotion to animal rights activism.

Miro said that her and Larbalestier’s art connect in the sense that music and nature both play a prominent role in the human experience.

“We explored these two different relationships with humans and how that can be shown through art,” Miro said. “And I think that’s what nature and music, as well as other mediums, bring to the human experience. They bring a richness to our lives.”

Ceramics teacher Olivia Moon said Miro’s work combines organic form — sculptures that do not conform to artificial rules — with manipulated animal parts. Moon said Miro’s art is not easily understandable at first glance, and it gives viewers the space to form their own interpretations of its meaning.

“It really evokes both beauty [and] also chaos — depends on how you look at it,” Moon said. “There’s whimsiness to it, but it’s actually work that is not easy to read when you first see it. It can really make you think.”

Labalestier stressed the importance of incorporating your passions into your artwork as she did with her sketches. She said she hopes students observing her art understand that artists do not always have to be comfortable with the art they are creating but should continue doing it anyway.

“Being able to mix different passions of yours is so important,” Larbalestier said. “A lot of cases in my show are ones that I wasn’t comfortable doing. And then I tried it out, and I ended up loving it.”

Labalestier said setting up the senior show and collaborating with Miro was an enjoyable learning experience. She said the two of them worked together in every aspect of the gallery’s preparation to create an exhibition that would carry out the message of their art.

“Between making the title, curating the pieces and collaborating with another person, you learn so much,” Larbalestier said. “I think we just had a fun time working together and connecting our pieces together.”

Miro said, even though some of her artwork was strange and bold, she still ended up loving it.

“I created a mushroom with duck feet and leopard print, and I never thought that I would be able to show that anywhere. It just seems like a weird design to come up with,” Miro said. “Just go for stuff like that. It ended up being one of my favorite pieces.”

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About the Contributor
Gabby Kaplan
Gabby Kaplan, Staff Reporter
Gabby Kaplan joined the Oracle as a Staff Reporter in 2023. She enjoys horseback riding, spending time with her friends, and cooking.

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