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Artist’s heart shines from in between the lines

For Eliza Iezzi, art is a release, a way to externalize her feelings in order to share them and keep from bottling them up inside. In her Centre Gallery exhibition, Measuring and Mapping Methods of a Directionally Challenged Female, USF student Iezzi uses that release to discover the universality of human emotions while all the while quantifying those shades of feeling.

This past summer, Iezzi had some eye-opening personal experiences and finds it easier to express herself visually. She uses drawing to clarify her emotions and hopes her audience can relate to the feelings she puts into her work.

“Everyone gets angry or lonely,” she said. “I want people to look at this and see that they aren’t alone, that other people feel this way and it’s OK.”

She wants her audience to look at things differently and pay closer attention to things they might be taking for granted.

She admits with a shy smile that when she gets embarrassed her face turns dark red. When one of her friends took a snapshot of her in such a state, the picture became the inspiration for “Heat Index.” The drawing is of her face, with a bashful expression, as if it were being viewed by an infrared (heat

sensing) camera. This picture is one third of a series that portrays Iezzi in various moods.

“I like things to be organized into a series,” she said. “I have notes and a game plan. I’m a lot more regimented than other art students.”

The other drawings in the series are “Topographical Map,” which uses topography as a metaphor for levels of emotion, and “Bermuda Triangle.”

From a technical standpoint, she uses high-quality graphite and colored pencils on toned or watercolor paper. She doesn’t like her drawings to be complicated. Generally there’s only one element with no middle ground or background. She likes the positive and negative space to be complementary, and she likes to blend.

Iezzi sometimes uses pictures as a reference but mostly she draws from memory. She said that when she knows what she wants to draw she works quickly. When an image enters her mind she applies it to paper in an inspired, cathartic process that conveys her emotions to

the page.

Most of the drawings in her exhibition don’t have faces. Elisa says she did that to make them universal so that people could relate the drawings to their own lives more readily.

Iezzi’s immediate family has engineers, math teachers and physicians. Even though they don’t really understand why she wants to be an artist, they are supportive.

“They knew I needed to do what I loved,” she said.

Although she broke with family tradition, that background shines through in some of her drawings. Various works feature molecular structures of DNA, electrocardiographs and other quantifiable measurements. Iezzi said it’s a commentary on identifying people through standardizations.

Iezzi is a senior in Art History and Art Studio. She hasn’t decided yet whether to go for her master’s in interior design or to work for a while and acquire some practical experience.

The exhibit will be in Centre Gallery from Oct. 8 through Oct. 19. A reception will be held tonight from 7 – 9.