‘Young Bloods’ at the VAC


To be young is to be on a quest to figure yourself out. To make mistakes and bounce back. To be idealistic and pursue ideas someone more jaded might scoff at. These are the themes artists expressed in the student-curated exhibition Young Bloods, presented by the Center Space Project. The student organization plans exhibitions in the VAC’s Center Space Gallery, visits to local galleries and museums, travel to arts locations around Texas, and publishes INMATERIAL, a web-based project and platform. Young Bloods features paintings, mixed-media works, and photography based on what youth means to the artists, and will be running in the FAB gallery from March 24-April 28.

Haley Parsa, a third-year studio art major, is one of the curators and also displayed a piece of her own. Her work, “You Are My Liver,” is a lithograph of intersecting swirls made up of thousands of repeated letters from the Farsi alphabet. Parsa’s father is a first-generation Iranian immigrant, and although she doesn’t speak or write Farsi, she feels a strong connection to her roots. Her grandmother, who doesn’t speak English, would often say things like, “you are my liver,” or “you are my eyes,” meaning that Haley is crucial to her life.


Parsa with her piece “You Are My Liver.”

“I feel a really strong connection to my family and to my grandmother, despite not ever having a conversation with her, which is a really weird thing to think about,” Parsa says. The piece was inspired by her a Persian-American identity, and her struggle to find her place in the world.

“People make you feel like you have to be one or the other,” Parsa says.

Studio art and marketing junior Connor Walden is another curator of the exhibit. He says the artists captured both the energy and the struggles of youth.

“Young people are very idealistic, and part of that comes from having a pretty nice safety net in college,” Walden says. “Society is really cool with you being young and making mistakes.”

Eight of the works in the exhibit were created specifically for the show.

“I think we’re giving young artists an opportunity to propose what they really want and that ties into the idea of young artists in general—they are very excited and want to try new things,” Walden says.

Featured artists for the exhibit include Chandler Allen, Kelsey Boylan, Julia Caswell, Angie Heverly, Ryan Hicks, Brooke Johnson, Seth Murchison, Nicholas Osella, Haley Parsa, Tessa Rappa, Juan Pablo Rivera, Celia Shaheen, Jessilee Shipman, Dana Suleymanova, and Devin Wilkins.

Photos by Jessilee Shipman.


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