"All Their Engines," an exhibition of artwork by Wagner College seniors Sirena LaBurn and Robert Geronimo, will be on display through Sunday, April 26 in the Spotlight Gallery at the Horrmann Library.
“All Their Engines” consists of 10 watercolor portraits on paper by LaBurn, nine sheets of comic-book art in pencil by Geronimo, and one oil painting on canvas by each artist.
The exhibition is funded by the Robert Gaffney Memorial Grant, given each year to support student work in the arts at Wagner College. The grant memorializes the late chairman of Wagner’s Art Department.
Sirena LaBurn of Port Neches, Texas, will graduate in May with a degree in arts administration. She came to Wagner College to play volleyball, but she left the team after her sophomore season.
LaBurn took her first art lessons when she was 9 years old. She continued taking art classes at Wagner, and is currently working on an independent study course with fine arts professor Jennifer Toth.
As an arts administration student at Wagner College, LaBurn has completed two internships — one at the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, the other at the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas — and is currently serving a third internship at Heart of Brooklyn, a partnership of the leading cultural institutions located near Grand Army Plaza in central Brooklyn.
LaBurn says that, after graduation, she plans to travel through the U.S. and Central America before enrolling in graduate school, where she will study painting, art history and arts administration.
“I chose watercolor on paper because paper is easily mobile,” LaBurn said of the pieces she selected for “All Their Engines.”
“I like that watercolor shows the history of the painting — you can't erase it once it dries, you can only work over it. I started with the smaller paintings and worked my way up to the bigger ones.”
LaBurn says that she enjoys and is inspired by the work of the German Expressionists and Abstract Expressionists.
Robert Geronimo, a native Staten Islander and a Wagner College senior, will graduate in May with a dual major in fine arts and art history.
“I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been reading comics since I was a child,” Geronimo said. “I was reintroduced to comics in my late teens after coming across the art of Leonardo Manco, Steve Dillon and writer Garth Ennis.
“Being trained classically as an artist, not only at Wagner but at the Art Students League in Manhattan, I want to cultivate a style that’s in the vein of such masters as Caravaggio, Edward Hopper and Egon Schiele.”
For his comic-book art, Geronimo works primarily in pencil and ink. The series on display in “All Their Engines” was inspired by the “Punisher” and “Hellblazer: John Constantine” comics.
“The works in pencil represent the first stage in comic-book production,” Geronimo explained. “After penciling, an artist would ink the drawings and send them to a colorist.”
After graduation, Geronimo plans to pursue a penciling career in the comic-book field, travel, and eventually complete a master’s degree in art history.