Student photography to be featured at Rockwell Gallery

Ever since receiving a video camera for her birthday five years ago, Wilton High School senior Luiza Goncalves’ interest in and love of art has flourished.

“From then on, I got more and more into video and photography,” said Luiza, whose work will be featured in a student photography show at Wilton’s Rockwell Art and Framing, 378 Danbury Road, on Thursday, Oct. 9 through Tuesday, Nov. 4.

“Most of the pieces that will be shown at the gallery are things I worked on for my AP Art 2D portfolio last year,” said Luiza.

“My focus was twins, which I used almost as a metaphor for the dualities of life.”

Luiza said she enjoys photographing people.

“I find it very interesting — just the way humans interact or when we see another human — their face, lips, eyes — they just draw you in,” she said. “It’s also fun to work with people when you’re photographing them.”

Luiza said she is also into images that conjure feelings and emotions.

“I like images that are raw and powerful and speak on their own,” she said. “I like images that make you question things — photographs that evoke certain feelings or emotions.”

Luiza said around 12 of her photographs will be featured in the Rockwell Art Gallery.

“I have been Luiza’s photography teacher for the advanced photography class at Wilton High School,” said art teacher Susanne Brandt.

“I worked with Luiza this summer on the Kit Smith Award as the adviser for the project. I have been assisting Luiza in matting and framing all her pieces for the show.”

The Christopher “Kit” Smith Award is a grant the Wilton Education Foundation gives each year to one student who pursues independent study, enrichment, research, or another project during his or her junior year that benefits the mission of the foundation and complements the missions of Wilton High School and Wilton Public Schools. It is named for a former president of the foundation.

“I nominated Luiza for this award and she will have on display some infrared photographs, as well as double-exposure images, which is the work she completed for her pursuit of an independent study this summer,” said Ms. Brandt.

As the recipient of the Kit Smith Award, Ms. Brandt said, part of Luiza’s award is to have her work displayed for the public to view.

Ms. Brandt said Wilton High School junior Grace Deluca and former Wilton High School student Kate Bell will also have their works featured in the student photography show.

“Grace is currently in my advanced photography class and will have two photographs framed and will have more photographs from Acoustic Wilton in a slide show,” said Ms. Brandt.

“Kate graduated last year and I will include some of her photographs in the slide show and will frame one to hang on the wall.”

Ms. Brandt said she decided to include the photographs from Acoustic Wilton because she wanted to showcase some of the “incredible” photographs the girls took there.

Luiza said although she is looking forward to receiving feedback about her work at the student photography show, she is also a little nervous.

“My mom and dad invited a bunch of people I don’t really know that well, like my dad invited my sister’s soccer and basketball teams,” said Luiza.

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking because I don’t know what they’re going to think or if they’re going to like it.”

When it comes to her art, Luiza said, it’s important for her “to just get it out there and get people to look at it and hopefully enjoy it.”

Ms. Brandt said Luiza s a “very talented” photography student with whom she has enjoyed working over the past three years.

“I believe Luiza has the talent and ability to have a career one day working in the photography and/or video field,” said Ms. Brandt.

“The name of her show is ‘Beginning,’ and to me, this show is the ‘beginning’ of her art career.”

There will be a two-hour opening reception for the student photography show at Rockwell Art and Framing on Thursday, Oct. 9, beginning at 4 p.m.

There will be music by the Acoustic Wilton musicians, and refreshments will be served.

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10-5:30; Saturday, 10-5.