For the next six months, you can expect to stumble upon an interesting array of artwork in the mini-galleries at the Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center. The type of artwork you might find could range from acrylic paintings to copper etching, but they all have one thing in common: they are the winning designs for the “Art +” grant, funded by the art department through the Porter Endowment Fund.

The grant offered five Porter art students $500 each for a chance to create their own works in conjunction with themes of “water” and “body.” The recipients were chosen because of their work in either category.

Award recipient Alexandra Goncharova focused on the theme of “body” for her painting of her boyfriend Michael’s pitbull, named Early. Goncharova said her art was inspired by her love of pitbulls and her distaste for the stigma that the animals are inherently dangerous.

“People think pitbulls are such a vicious type of dog,” Goncharova said, who plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts after graduating from UC Santa Cruz. “Even when you walk him on the trail, people get hesitant. [In the portrait] you can see how tranquil he is, and how beautiful he looks in the water.”

The third-year transfer student is a double major in both biology and art and enjoys blurring the lines between the two subjects.

“I feel as though all of the disciplines are interrelated in some way, but people try to segregate themselves,” Goncharova said. “If you’re well rounded, you can make art out of things you see in the microscope. There are so many ways to be inspired by different fields.”

Fourth-year Katrina Reeves hasn’t finished her project quite yet, but plans to have an exhibit premiere in May.

Reeves’ project involves the use of a storefront window adorned with items one might find at a store or indoor swap meet, fashioned out of papier-mâché, styrofoam and cardboard. She said she’s excited to be given the opportunity to have her project funded by the art department through the Porter Endowment Fund, and works on her project a little bit every day.

“Some days I’ll sew and paint for hours, and on other days I’ll brainstorm as I walk to class,” Reeves said.

Reeves, an art and cognitive science double major, plans to focus her project on consumerism.

“I’m interested in the relationship people have with the objects they purchase and consume or adorn themselves with,” Reeves said.

The grant honored artists who specialize in a variety of mediums, including some you may not have heard of. For example, Kristian Talley, a fourth-year art major, received his grant for his talent in the art of copper etching.

Talley heard about the opportunity for the grant through an email from the art department, and expressed excitement at the opportunity to be funded for his artistic pursuits.

“The price of copper rises every month, and becomes more and more expensive,” Talley said. “[Copper etching] is different, but it’s changed from being purely commercial to being something that can portray a unique idea that nothing else really can.”

Talley has been doing copper etching since fall quarter. While his art also falls under the theme of “body,” it is more abstract compared to his peers’ work.

“The project revolves around how an image, over time, can parallel how we change,” Talley said. “In shorthand, how an image develops and deteriorates can parallel how people develop and deteriorate.”


Each artist can sign up for a period of one week, during which their artwork will be displayed in the glass cases next to the courtyard at the Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center. The art will be displayed until June 6.