Amidst the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, senior fine arts major Halle Luttrell is bringing color back into her community.
With inspiration from author and art collector Gertrude Stein — “The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence” — Luttrell created an open-air gallery that showcased her work and work from several other TCNJ artists in her hometown of Washington Township (Bergen county), New Jersey.
“Anyone can stop at their local farmer’s market or go apple picking, but looking at artwork from New Jersey artists can bring culture to the area,” she says. “It’s important to look at art, even if you don’t understand it, because it reminds you of the beauty of life.”
Luttrell flexed her event-planning muscles in preparation for the show, a skill that she hopes to use in her future career in the art world.
“Art has always been a passion of mine, but I never wanted my creativity to be fueled by business,” she says.
After a few years of researching different paths, an internship at the Morven Museum in Princeton helped her realize that her dream was to be an art curator.
“I’m drawn towards being a curator because I really want to promote other artists who have worked their whole lives to be great, especially those who don’t always get the opportunity,” says Luttrell.
This outdoor art show with a farmer’s market vibe was her first as a curator, and was attended by friends and family members of the artists as well as members of her community.
“I was able to give these 17 artists an opportunity to show their work, even if it was just the hundred people from my town that came, it was great,” she says. “I know I’m on the right path.”
Luttrell is currently a featured artist in TCNJ’s BFA Senior Solo shows, which runs through Nov. 4, 2020.
— Julia Meehan ’22