Meet Elizabeth Hughes

I am fron Methuen, MA, and I double-majored in painting and printmaking with a business minor at Lycoming. My art mostly works with the various forms and incarnations of contrast that I find every day. This could be dealing with living two lives, discrepancies in social standards, contradicting opinions that may occur among people in the same organization, or at its most basic level, in the contrasting elements of a design or composition. I’ve always noticed the multi-faceted quality of humanity and how we as humans are made up of contradictions and incongruous convictions. In one moment we may be judging a person for their “laziness” while we find any excuse we can to procrastinate from our own work. Every day we have hundreds of opposing thoughts and actions and it is all part of our humanity. I don’t see this as a necessarily negative thing, but rather as an integral element of who we are as people.

This interest in opposition has recently found itself expressed in pieces dealing with my struggles of living a religious life in a secular society as well as work exploring the Bosnian war and the brother vs. brother conflict found in the Balkan region in relation to our current political and social situations. This latter subject is one that began to interest me when I traveled to Bosnia on a side trip during my semester abroad and then continued after, when I returned to America and did some informal research into it. This curiosity has grown to such an extent that I will be continuing to discuss and develop this subject in my senior year.

The semester I spent studying in Berlin, was the best choice I ever made. Well, maybe second to deciding to be an art major, but in any case it was a great decision. I grew more in those four months than in the previous two years. It gave me the chance to live on my own, learn about myself, understand global economics and foreign societies from my own experience, and step back for a moment to just observe the world around me. At the end, I was filled with ideas and opinions about things I never knew I cared about! Every step of those months through Berlin, Poland, and Bosnia left me with amazing images. Seeing people living in half bombed houses that are partially reconstructed, seeing abandoned factories that once employed whole villages in what is now an economic black hole, walking through a Stasi prison in mint condition (all personal effects and psychological torture devices still intact), seeing Polish farmers under pressure from the EU start the long destructive path of industrialized farming we’ve been struggling with here in the U.S.; these were things that made me stop and think about what it really meant to be a person in this world, a human on this Earth. It changed me and it helped me come back home motivated to do something. To develop and spread my thoughts and convictions in the best way I know how: through art.