CSU Channel Islands (CI) Art graduate Whisper Bentley would never have created the “you belong” art series were it not for a defining moment on Jan. 22, 2016.
“I was in a car accident, totaled my car, but came out of it with only a few burns and bruises. I thank God every day that I am alive, said Bentley, 21. “If it weren’t for this incident, this series would not exist. It really put life into perspective for me. It made me appreciate myself, and value all the emotions that I have.”
The “you belong” show is appearing on the Grad Wall at Napa Hall through Sept. 22. The show is running concurrently with the “Tying Loose Ends” show by UC Santa Barbara graduate students Vanesa Gingold and George Sanders.
The Apple Valley native said the “you belong” series began with self-portraits and journal entries to find an escape from the trauma she experienced from the accident, then evolved into something else.
“There are so many people that have made an incredible impact on my life, but it has not been an easy journey for any of them. I want to know about their struggles and insecurities,” Bentley said. “It has grown into something that connects everyone, showing us that we really to belong.”
This body of work consists of large portraits done with oil on canvas, and handmade paper assembled into books.
“The portraits use bright color and facial expression to really portray different emotions they have felt,” she said. “While I am working on each piece I keep in mind the stories they have told me about their lives and what I have gathered from personal relationships with them.”
Bentley says she uses lower case letters to title her shows because, like her name, it’s not a shout, but a whisper.
Napa Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Napa Hall is located on Ventura Street on the CI campus.
About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.