Donation Brings New Perspective to Annual Exhibition

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Golden Gate Xpress -- The first display upon entering the 29th Annual Stillwell Student Exhibition is of a set of letters and drawings exchanged by San Francisco artist Leo Stillwell and his closest friend Russell Hartley. The letters share Stillwell’s experiences of being a young homosexual man in the ‘40s. After Stillwell died in 1948 at 22, his mother donated his work and a monetary donation to SF State. Since then, the Fine Arts Gallery honors the artist by displaying his work in the student exhibition. This marks the first year that the gallery is able to display these letters. Several visually interesting pieces made by students are displayed in the Fine Arts Gallery: a model of the Golden Gate Bridge made of human figures that alludes to the high suicide numbers the bridge is known for, a painting of a saintly woman with the face of a sloth and digital photographs of plants and flowers.