This Thursday in Art 110, I found myself in the same gallery I visited last week, except this time artist Makaila Palmer’s interesting artwork decorated the walls of the Max L. Gatov West Gallery. Makaila grew up in Laguna Beach, California, a very artistic city, and as a consequence, Makaila fell in love with the arts at the early age of five. I was intrigued by Makaila’s tale of her thinking color was magic as a young girl, asking her mother how was it that the brown soil created a yellow-petaled flower? One can almost feel Makaila’s love and admiration for art. Makaila considers herself an abstract painter yet she will consider realistic art for the future, which I am sure that she will have no problem with since she has painted people before; she loves meshing different types of art styles together and she favors surrealist ideas for her art. I found Makaila’s art to be colorful, interesting, and profound yet she stated that some of her art professors can be harsh on critiquing students’ work but despite this, she will paint what she loves.
The title of Makaila’s art exhibition is named “Odyssey”, and upon observing and learning about her art one would have to agree that it is appropriately named. Makaila’s art stars lovely scenery of the countries she has visited and explored on the upper half of the canvas and adventures she has had in such countries on the lower half, being accompanied by illustrations inspired by European currency. Upon asking her why she decided to apply European currency art to her artwork, she let her admiration for the currency known, telling me that she finds it aesthetically pleasing and that because the Euro represents many countries, it depicts many cultures, unlike the American dollar. Makaila has done research on the currency and she connects the natural scenery of her painting to the euro-inspired portion with a bridge, which is present on some European currency. The picture on the right is Makaila’s favorite; this painting illustrates Makaila’s adventures in Dublin, Ireland, where she got to observe the nature side of the country and visit a cemetery. The title of her exhibition is indeed fitting for her artwork displayed since she has wondered through places such as Venice, Italy, Tuscany, and Caprice.
I have to agree with Makaila that European currency is indeed much more pleasant to look at than American currency and I find it interesting that she decided to include it in her art. To be candid, when I first read the synopsis of the exhibition, the word “currency” made me uninterested because I thought to myself, “The art will only portray currency… great,” but I have discovered that such is not the case, that the artwork done by Makaila depicts odyssey, adventure, and exploration, all illustrated in a unique way with the blending of natural scenery and European currency. What I love most about her work is not the European currency being the star of the art, but the explosion of color that constitutes Makaila’s art. I just love how the color pops out. I am intrigued that Makaila decided to turn her adventures and traveling not just into memories, but into art. I am envious that she has traveled to many places around the world; she is very fortunate and I hope that she continues to travel and turn her experiences into profound art, such as the ones that hung on the walls of the art gallery. As a mathematics major, it is always interesting to observe art and admire its beauty and significance; art such as Makaila’s never fails to capture interest and appreciation. It was a pleasure to speak with Makaila and to learn about the meaning behind her art. May her art continue to capture the curiosity of many more people who lay their eyes upon it.