Art from adversity

Through a tough period in her life, Jessica Luttrull found artistic inspiration. Luttrull, a senior majoring in sculpture at USF, spent the summer piecing together Self-Portrait at 22, an art collection that recaps one of the toughest periods in her life.

Gathering her artwork and projects, Luttrull pieced together an art gallery, which is on display in the Marshall Student Center’s Centre Gallery (MSC 2700).

“Over in the art department, they post ads all over asking students if they want to display their work,” she said about securing the gallery at the MSC.

An emotional year for Luttrull, in which her grandmother died and her father had heart surgery, inspired her artwork. Her exhibit aims to show her connection with her family and how art has helped her overcome personal struggles, she said. Luttrull, who just turned 23, said the exhibition helped bring closure to last year.

The Centre Gallery offers students, alumni, faculty and staff a venue to display artwork – 10 pieces of the artist’s choosing.

“What I have in here I chose because I wanted everything to follow the same theme: my family and reflection,” Luttrull said.

“Untitled,” is a collage of Luttrull’s first photo strips, sewn together. They are images of different people, objects and places intertwined with thread. She said it validates the statement that art comes in various forms.

“I got off work late one day – it was around 1 a.m., and I was going through some personal stuff,” Luttrull said. “I did it out of compulsion. It was a great emotional release, and I ended up working on it all night. Plus, I had these photos lying around, but I really wanted to do something with them.”

She pushes herself creatively and said the exhibit is a reflection of her past.

“Push yourself as far as you can creatively, and when you think you have pushed yourself all the way, push even further from that,” she said.

In the Centre Gallery, the artist has control over the layout of the exhibit, including wires and lighting.

Luttrell hung paper flowers on the wall for her grandmother, because she was in charge of the flowers at her grandmother’s funeral. A life-size fabric giraffe lies on the floor, and “52 hearts” is a drawer containing 52 heart-shaped pieces of cloth from 52 different T-shirts.

Luttrell’s father was 52 when he had heart problems, and the fabric peices are special to her.

“I like fabric the best because it’s so sensual. You have to touch it and it wants to be touched,” she said.

Luttrull’s exhibit is on display in the Centre Gallery until Friday. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.