Kean Puts Its Best Face Forward with Selfie Exhibit

By Roman Gerus

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The walls of the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery come to life as the collage of selfies dances along the walls in a twisting, turning wave of emotions and stories of students and faculty at Kean University. A single “selfie” can be a portal into the life of a student; each snapshot says a thousand words. The walls of the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery are lined with the selfies of over 500 Kean students and faculty, and the number is continuously growing.

The Kean “Selfie” Exhibit, which officially launched on Aug. 25, has been receiving selfies from students as fast as the grinning person in each photo can say “cheese.” The artist, Ricardo Fonseca, is the graphic designer and photographer for the Office of University Relations.

He is currently in a group exhibition of 35 artists called the “We Are YOU” Project International, which is taking place at the Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He has done other exhibits at Kean, such as the “Faces of Kean” photo mural in the Starbucks café and the “Faces of America” photo collage in Hutchinson Hall. His latest project, however, is his first in a Kean gallery and, perhaps, his most ambitious thus far.

“The reason why I created the Kean Selfie Exhibition was to have an art exhibition that would foster campus-wide participation from students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors of Kean,” said Fonseca.

The exhibit features a wide variety of pictures, each with its own unique look into Kean University life. Guys and girls, students and teachers, young and old share these walls in an attempt to bring a critical view into all of us. Each picture is a humbling reflection of ourselves in a vivacious display of our inner spirit, creativity and aspirations to be recognized and appreciated.

Another big theme among the pictures is the Kean Cougar. The pictures project a display of support and flare for Kean and they add a human element to the day-to-day life in the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery and Kean University as a whole.

To date, Fonseca has received more than 500 selfies and believes he can get 800-1,000 more selfies in the next three weeks. The exhibit will have a closing ceremony on Oct. 30 from 4-6 p.m. with the artist, but the exhibit itself will still be available for viewing until Nov. 3.

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