See the Music, Hear the Art
By Zach Harris, The Carnegie Pulse, April 7, 2004
Paul Pinto, a senior music composition major, and Elizabeth Kupin, a bachelor of science and arts sophomore concentrating on visual art and math, have collaborated on a gallery show in the University Center called "See the Music, Hear the Art." The purpose of the exhibit, as Kupin explains it, is to "start a dialogue between different mediums of art."
Each artist took a work of the other and responded to it with a work in his or her own medium. Kupin's painting "Untitled," depicting a girl with thick overlapping circles obscuring her face, inspired Pinto's piano work "Lines Superimposed Over a Girl." In turn, Pinto's piano piece "Passacaglia" inspired Kupin's painting, "Untitled (after Paul Pinto's 'Passacaglia')." For the purpose of the exhibit, Pinto's works were recorded by Ashley Leigh, a junior piano performance major.
Kupin and Pinto were originally part of a larger exhibition with more participants. "See the Music, Hear the Art" was the name given to an interdisciplinary show that was supposed to be a part of the "Making a Living, Living Your Dream" event, a seminar hosted by CFA in early February. The gallery was double-booked, so the exhibition was cancelled. Kupin and Pinto knew each other prior to their involvement with this project - he was her RA last year and directed a choir she was in - so they continued to work together and adopted the name of the original project for their smaller, but no less meaningful, show.
Although the work on display - which includes two paintings, a stereo, and accompanying texts - is highly polished and seemingly effortless, both participants ran into difficulties. Kupin's main struggle concerned her lack of musical training.
"I wanted to translate the ideas Paul put into his music, but I wasn't entirely sure I had a good handle on them," Kupin said.
She also found that attempting to translate the painting had noticeable restrictions:
"I didn't have the kind of freedom to change my ideas and explore things the way I would have if it were my own painting."
Pinto found the most trouble working between the abstract and the concrete, between image and storyline. He originally wrote "Passacaglia" thinking solely about form - in other words, without a plot. He wasn't sure what to focus on with Kupin's painting.
"When I was translating the picture into the piano language, I had to pick and choose what it was about the painting that I wanted to keep," said Pinto.
He ultimately chose to express his reaction instead of creating a story line.
The exhibit also features two works, "The Living Screen" and the "So What" jazz club, by sophomore architecture student Andrew Caruso.
"See the Music, Hear the Art" runs in the University Center gallery until Saturday, April 10, and is a powerful reminder of the ways in which various artistic disciplines can work together to produce a fresh response in the viewer.