Art exhibit inspires deep thinking

DVC library art exhibit: ‘Do You Think You Can Tell If It’s Heaven Or Hell?’


Melanie Calimlim

Anna Zusman’s exhibit, “Do You Think You Can Tell if It’s Heaven or Hell?” is at the DVC Library.

Melanie Calimlim, Staff member

Anna Zusman’s art exhibit “Do you Think You Can Tell it it’s Heaven or Hell” had a good first day turnout at the Diablo Valley College library. Zusman stayed busy during the opening ceremony, answering questions and receiving commendations from spectators.

DVC librarian Ruth Sison says she’d never seen so many students stop and stare.

“It’s engaging and they gravitated to it,” she says. “It isn’t your traditional day to day art. It’s modernized and they can relate to it.”

Upon asking Anna’s father, Anatoly Zusman when she first began drawing he said she’s been doing it since she was born. “She was not pushed into it. This was her passion, not ours.”

“I don’t remember a time I didn’t do [drawing],” Zusman says. “The first time I was really conscious of doing it, I was probably five years old. I never really stopped. It was a natural part of my life.”

Whether it be drawing plants in rows or observing and drawing people she loved the organization of things. In addition to her gallery at DVC, Zusman has her art being showcased in several places such as New Jersey and New York.

Admirers on Saturday brought different lives to her pieces and had many guesses as to what they could possibly mean.

Jose Delos Reyes, a colleague and friend of Zusman, says, “She seems to have a social consciousness in her work, combined with intricate rendering.”

However, there is no right or wrong explanation according to the artist.

“People have different interpretations of my work,” she says. “I think that once I’m done with my work it’s not mine in a way anymore, so whatever people think, whatever it gives them is fine by me.”

People were especially drawn to Zusman’s book of drawings called “Mermaid Heritage.” The book consisted of mermaids trying to conform to the daily lives of humans.

Zusman was really touched by the reception of “Mermaid Heritage.” An acquaintance of hers, Twiga, an owner of an African art gallery says, “All of us are mermaids.” Meaning that everyone can feel like an outsider.

It was impossible for Zusman to choose a favorite of her pieces. “I would say that my favorites are always ones I’m currently working on, and those are the most exciting to me,” she says.

She is currently working on pieces called the “Seven Deadly Sins,” two of which, “Sloth” and “Pride” are finished.

“Do you think you can tell if its Heaven or Hell” will be on display in the DVC library through March 7.