GVSU Artist in Residence creates exhibition

Kate Branum

Headline: GVSU Artist in Residence creates exhibition

By: Kate Branum 

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As technology advances and media outlets continue to expand, people in all corners of the world are bombarded daily with new information, creating a large community bound by rapid-fire consumption.

Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Grand Valley State University’s Stuart and Barbara Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, has recently created “Comfortably Numb,” an exhibition located in the GVSU Art Gallery in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus. The exhibition explores the relationship between perceptual engagement and the incessant media overload many individuals seem to seek and experience.

Comfortably Numb will be open to the public until Friday, March 31.

Collazo-Llorens worked on this project for five years, steadily building an arsenal of magazine clippings and other print samples. Comfortably Numb contains over 2,000 framed images, all representing samples of visual information.

“(Comfortably Numb) invites the viewer to reflect on the complexities of the mind and the fragmented manner in which we perceive our complex world in an age that is as much about data overload and hyperconnectivity as it is about distancing and dissociation,” Collazo-Llorens said.

Through her disciplinary practice, Collazo-Llorens aims to examine the way in which individuals perceive and process information–often dealing with navigation, hyperconnectivity, memory, language and noise.

Collazo-Llorens was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She knew right away she wanted to become an artist and decided to pursue an art degree after she graduated high school. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, followed by a masters of fine arts degree at New York University. Throughout the years, her work has been reviewed by several well-known publications, including The New York Times, Artnet, Art Nexus, Art News, BOMBlog and Newcity.

Collazo-Llorens has been GVSU’s Distinguished Artist-in-Residence for the past three academic years. She has taught both intermediate and advanced drawing at GVSU and participated in student reviews, critiques and mentoring. Comfortably Numb serves as the third and final culminating event of her residency.

“Another aspect of the residency is engaging in projects and research that involve the GVSU community, beyond the art department” Collazo-Llorens said. “I have been visiting or meeting with classes in (different departments, including) art and design, geology, music, photography, sociology and many others.”

Now in her last semester, Collazo-Llorens reflected back on her time at GVSU.

“It’s been an enriching experience,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure to work and collaborate with the (GVSU) staff, faculty and students.”

Currently, Collazo-Llorens is working with Grand Rapids theater department on the upcoming March production of Helen by producing a series a video projections for the performance.

She is also working on several mapping projects. One of them will be part of the exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, set to launch at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California later this year.