New York City inspires Silver Lake College art student Jessica Martínez; Senior Art Exhibit opens on Aug. 17

Posted On August 10, 2015

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MANITOWOC — On the heels of a summer internship in New York City, where she worked with an international award-winning fashion photographer, Silver Lake College student Jessica Martínez is getting ready to install her Senior Art Exhibit.

The exhibit will feature nearly 40 photographs, metal works and mixed media pieces.

Her artworks will be shown Aug. 17-Sept. 18 in the Donald P. Taylor Gallery on campus, 2406 S. Alverno Road. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

An artist’s reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 10. The public is welcome.

Visitors will get a glimpse of New York City through Martínez’s camera lens as they view everything from a portrait of an older woman with purple hair wearing large, round tortoise-shell sunglasses to a black-and-white close-up of weathered hands putting a shine on a pair of shoes.

“There’s a lot of diversity in New York. It’s a good place to take pictures of people,” said Jessica, who returned Saturday from her six-week visit.

Jessica interned with photographer Jill Wachter, who has photographed celebrities including Jessica Simpson, Kevin Bacon, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and supermodel Niki Taylor. Wachter also does editorial fashion, beauty and celebrity portraits for advertising, entertainment and magazines.

“The highlight of my internship was when I went to assist Jill at photo shoots. I got to see how she worked. I learned how to work with other people in that realm and how communication was very important to facilitate what needed to get done,” Jessica said.

Jill also helped her improve her editing and retouching skills in Photoshop CS6, she said.

“I’ve always been meticulous when it comes to detail, but now I have a better eye, especially since I learned how to use Photoshop more effectively,” Jessica said. “I also learned how to work quicker, which is important to business.”

Jessica took time out after her four-week internship to pursue her photography in New York City. She has gradually been building up her body of works to exhibit at the show, with metal being is a focus of her mixed media pieces.

“Even when I took Fiber Arts, I was incorporating metal into my works,” she said.

“Jessica is an active and engaged student,” said Erin LaBonte, Silver Lake College Assistant Art Professor and Art Department Co-chair.

“She has participated in collaborative mural projects, service activities, as well as internships. In her time at Silver Lake College she has explored a lot of mediums, including metals, printmaking and fibers,” Erin said.  

“Her photography is especially engaging. She has a great technical skill set and the ability to compose portraits that really capture her subject. I’m excited to see what Jessica does after graduation. She has a definite sense of exploration and adventure. She actively seeks out new opportunities and chances to grow.”

Jessica, a Bronx, N.Y. native, is majoring in studio art and plans to be an art teacher. She is recipient of the Henry Schuette Memorial Endowed Scholarship, the Zebrowski Endowment Scholarship, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Scholarship, and a college-funded Community Service Grant.

On completion of her Silver Lake College degree in December, she plans to obtain her teaching licensure in New York and pursue a Master’s of Fine Arts in Photography.