Donna Akbari, News Reporter
The work of photographer Moses Leal showcases the depth, beauty, and ultimately the darkness of human emotion.
“What I love about each and every one of my models is their courage,” he said. “There are very few people who have the courage to express themselves.”
“My main inspiration for my work is my fascination with what is unseen in human expression than what is,” Leal said during his first solo art exhibition. “Each person has a spirit embedded within themselves and I seek to bring them out through my work.
The photos in Leal’s one-day event involved everything “from the costumes to the cosmetics – it took people,” he said.
Leal’s show at the Art Gallery at the University of Guelph-Humber on Nov. 8 was the culmination of long-term planning by business students at UGH.
Gursharanjit Padla, a fourth-year Business Event Management, said her first time planning an event for her first real-life client was as chaotic as “a Mad Hatter’s tea party.”
“There were many things that didn’t go according to plan,” she said. “In all honesty, we didn’t know if we would be able to make it, however, by the day of the event everything worked out.”
Only one thing remained consistent throughout the planning process, teamwork, she said.
“We couldn’t have done without one another,” Padla said.
She said that there were many different events that come and go here at the Art Gallery of the University of Guelph-Humber, however, this event, in particular, didn’t need much for it to be entertaining and whimsical.
“I really enjoyed seeing how everything turned out,” she said. “It was like a Mad Hatter’s tea party — we were all dressed up and there were several people wearing costumes of their own creation.”
“In the Event Management one, students have to put on an event in the classroom,” said Aida Memisevic, an instructor of Guelph-Hum- ber’s Business program. “In Event Management Two they take it up a notch and the group is assigned the Art Gallery venue and an artist, it could be a photographer, sculptor and that’s the real-life client — it’s not a student.”
“Students are given a budget by the school for $1,500 each group and they get to spend it how they see fit,” Memisevic said.
“They decide on what type of food to serve, and the types of props that will be showcased and if they go over budget than it comes from their own pocket so they have to manage it properly,” she said.
Memisevic said students usually stage three openings every semester, each with a gala opening like this while most exhibits show for about two weeks.
“It’s an amazing and experiential, very hands-on course that’s very unique — event management one is one of the most popular electives in the business program,” Memisevic said.
While the event was too gory and goth for some, there were many who appreciated Leal’s work.
“It’s different,” said Andy Marte Castillo, a fourth-year Business Administration student at the University of Guelph-Humber.
“The pictures themselves contrast with the elegance of the location,” he said. “For example, the frames are solid black with white background while the photographs are edgy and gothic.”
The event attracted Humber students from different campuses and garnered rave reviews.
“I loved this event,” said Natalie
Comella, a fourth-year Kinesiology student. “The art of raw human emotion keeps you still. It was like I couldn’t keep my eyes off the photos – I hope Humber collaborates more with these types of artists; it makes it so much more enjoyable.”