By: Jessie Napkora
If you’ve ever seen the album “Peter Frampton Comes Alive” or Television’s “Marquee Moon”, what comes to mind is probably far from zombies or a moon constructed out of Christmas tree lights but that’s not the case when it comes to the artists who have work displayed in the Moose Exchange’s Cover of a Cover Exhibit. The show displays local artist’s reimagining of an existing album cover.
The exhibit includes work done by BU students, most of who are in Sue O’Donnell’s Advanced Digital Arts class.
“The concept of re-interpreting an album cover allows the students a lot of latitude to use their imagination, not only in their response to the original cover art, but also to the music,” said O’Donnell.
Alyssa Bobber, a senior Art Studio major with a concentration in Digital Art and student in O’Donnell’s class submitted her interpretation of a Monkees album.
“I chose this album because I thought it would be a fun opportunity to play around with color and texture. I use a lot of color in my art work, and wanted to explore different uses of texture to bring out the fun and free sense of the Monkees,” said Bobber.
Bobber’s entire piece was created and printed digitally even though that was not a requirement set by O’Donnell.
“I think it's important for students to consider themselves artists first - no matter what medium they choose to use,” said O’Donnell.
To begin the recreation process, Bobber looked back to some of her old works and even did some researched other images from when the Monkees were popular.
She then proceeded to completely transform an album cover that was once a plain photograph of the band and a list of song titles.
“I decided to make cartoon versions of each band member, and let the appearance of their instruments be the representation of who they were, without mentioning song titles or the famous band name,” said Bobber.
“I chose this design because the effects and colors reminded me of the 1960's the time which the Monkees were a big hit. I thought that it gave some character and personality to each band member, rather than placing them together and not giving recognition to that fact they are each their own person, with their own set of talents,” she added.
The Cover of a Cover exhibit is the first time Bobber has had her work on display for the public.
“I thought that it was going to be a more intimidating experience than it turned out to be,” said Bobber.
Amanda Higgins, a BU senior Digital Art major and another student of O’Donnell’s decided to recreate Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” album. Upon finding out about the project, she had her mother send some album’s from home but favored “Over the Rainbow” for its opportunity to work with bright colors.
“I stuck to the same interpretation, but made it more graphic rather than a painting. I changed the design a little, but kept the main focus on the woman's head and colors,” said Higgins who’s resulting piece was a digital creation with added 3D elements.
“I liked the original cover design already, so I wanted to see what other ways I could show the cover without changing it too much,” said Higgins.
Participating in the exhibit not only gave students the chance to display their artwork in the public eye, but also provided individual learning experiences.
“The most important thing I took away from this project is the power of simplicity. Most of the time we think: the more information, the better. I have always struggled with "clutter", and this project helped me step back, and see that less can also be more. As long as it is powerful enough to catch the viewers attention, and get them to see what you are trying to say, maybe without saying anything at all, and just showing them,” said Bobber.
Higgins had a similar experience while creating her piece. “I didn't really have a plan for my cover. I just started playing around in Photoshop and enjoyed the outcome. So, I would say, sometimes it's important to just have fun with projects and not over think them,” she said.
Many more of O’Donnell’s students and local artists work appears in the exhibit which is open in the Moose Exchanges stairwell gallery through November 16.