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The Scarlet & Black

Bojana Crnomarkovic ’20 reflects on Smith Gallery show

Bojana Crnomarkovic ’20 decided to put work that might have been discarded into a gallery space at Smith. Photo by Liz Paik.
Bojana Crnomarkovic ’20 decided to put work that might have been discarded into a gallery space at Smith. Photo by Liz Paik.

“All the Things I Haven’t Thrown Away,” a student art show by Bojana Crnomarkovic ’20, opened in the Smith Gallery on Sept. 24, and today is its last day in the gallery. The show is mainly a collection of figure drawings and includes some landscapes and a three-dimensional piece.

Crnomarkovic, a studio art major, initially had a different vision for her Smith Gallery show before realizing that the project wasn’t developing in a natural way.

“I was going to show this completely different piece, and then I realized that that piece was sucking a lot of energy out of me and wasn’t a healthy artistic process, and then I kind of realized that I had all this work because I was just drawing the things that were immediate to me,” said Crnomarkovic.

The completed show thus emerged from pieces that she created without the anxiety of the previously planned project. Instead of forcing Crnomarkovic to pour gratuitous energy into a piece that felt overly labored, she says these pieces developed more organically. The title of the show alludes to this creative process.

“A lot of these works were things I either would’ve kept in my sketchbook or thrown away or just had on the ground or had hanging in my room or something, and I was like ‘What would happen if I put this in a gallery? How would that change the meaning of it for me?’” Crnomarkovic said.

One piece in the gallery that demonstrates this sentiment well is something that may at first seem unusual: a bowl filled with what is essentially garbage and the wilted leaves of a dead plant.

“The bowl of trash became very meaningful to me once I put it in the gallery,” Crnomarkovic said. “When I started thinking of it as something that could be in the gallery, I started thinking ‘How is this random object similar to things that I made with the intention of making art?’ That’s a thing that just emerged, but art also kind of just emerges in that way.”

According to the Crnomarkovic, the piece that she sees as central to the exhibit is a figure drawing of her own body. The pieces in the show intend to follow two mindsets regarding putting a body onto paper. The first is drawing the body on paper while attempting to keep it as scaled to life as possible. The other strategy is more literal: transferring the body onto paper by painting the body.

Despite the challenges that come with installing a show, Crnomarkovic is encouraged by this process. In addition to her own work, she’d like to do a collaborative show with friends and fill the space together.

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