Candice Anvari staff writer
When she saw people express themselves at school, senior Josephine Cosmosse noticed that her peers made fun of those they found different. Over the course of her four years at Beverly, she realized that part of the community she had come to know was judgemental of her and others around her. To escape the judgmental eyes of her peers, Cosmosse decided to start her own art show in CXU Gallery over Labor Day weekend. The majority of the 20 art show attendees did not attend Beverly.
In order to fulfill her goal of starting her own art show, Cosmosse rented out a gallery for the day to showcase her favorite pieces. In preparation for the show, she put up her eight pieces by herself and spread the word via Snapchat.
Cosmosse decided to start her own art show because she wanted to showcase her work far from the judgement of some of her peers.
“In Beverly, if you’re different or if you want to express yourself in a way that’s not in the norm, you get pushed down a lot for it because some of the kids seriously judge the way you express yourself,” Cosmosse said. “I felt like I didn’t have the freedom to do what I wanted to do, so I decided to start my art show outside of school, so I could express my identity without having to deal with as much judgment.”
Before the art show started, Cosmosse was “extremely” stressed because she had to put up her artwork by herself. However, she was “very satisfied” with the outcome of the show.
“After the show I was so relieved that everything went smoothly and that people seemed to like my pieces. It felt so liberating, in a way, to have the opportunity to do something like this. Because of this opportunity, all the work I did feels like it paid off,” Cosmosse said.
Senior Una Stevanovich attended the art show in support of Cosmosse. She was proud to see all of Cosmosse’s pieces displayed in the gallery and she found many of the pieces interesting.
“I think [the pieces] were super thought-provoking and unique,” Stevanovich said. “It seemed as though each piece could have had a different interpretation; yet, when she told you her interpretation it made a lot of sense. Her pieces made me think a lot about really abstract and important concepts, and I found them really insightful to her thoughts.”
In order to incorporate a deeper aspect to her exhibited artwork, Cosmosse mainly focused on connecting her art to psychology and social norms.
“A few of my pieces have to do with how other people think when they’re dealing with mental illness. I try to incorporate that by showing how I feel while dealing with my mental health,” Cosmosse said. “Since psychology is something people can connect to, I think art mirrors emotions people feel inside and gives them comfort by showing that they’re not the only person who has dark thoughts sometimes.”
Stevanovich found that Cosmosse’s artwork elicited a wide range of emotions, such as sadness from those dealing with heavier subjects such as Alzehimer’s and lung failure, and joy from pieces in which Cosmosse incorporated humor.
In the long term, Cosmosse intends on double majoring in art and psychology because she finds that both go “hand in hand.”
“Art has a lot of psychological aspects because when you’re working with a theme you need to dive deeper than the surface,” Cosmosse said. “Psychology helps me think of deeper concepts that many people relate with. It allows me to show a perspective that some people may not be familiar with, but want to know more about.”
In the short term, she plans on arranging more local community projects.
“I’ve done a few community projects where I display my art for the community, so people could drive by and see my art on streets like Wilshire,” Cosmosse said. “Throughout my senior year, I hope to make more community-oriented artwork so people can easily see it and connect with it. It’s important to me to see an impact in the community because I want to spread art during these unpredictable times. If one person just stops to look at my art, they won’t be thinking about the coronavirus or a problem they’re having at that moment. They’ll be thinking about the meaning of the artwork.”