Nostraggling artist

Nostraggling artist

by Kristy Raymond

As a young child Justin Nostrala would sit and doodle while other students were studying, and doing school work. “I always knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Nostrala.

From a grade school doodler, to a college professor and recognized artist, Nostrala’s art and peace of mind has evolved greatly.

“My previous work involved a great sense of struggle- struggle with the uncertainty of being an artist, struggle with knowing what to paint, and struggle with human nature, the later work represents acceptance,” wrote Nostrala in his graduate school portfolio.

From the dark, abstract earlier works to his new bright and more representational pieces, the variance of the art is apparent. Upon recognizing that nearly all of his paintings consisted of mostly gray, black, or dark blue, with the occasional red, he made a conscious decision to change his color palette.

“I believe a journey in painting, or in any art form, can be an exploration of humanism and what it means to exist in the world,” said Nostrala. “My personal search for substantial subject matter and substantial form in painting, have always ran parallel to a search for a personal understanding of living,”

After struggling for nearly a decade and a half to find acceptance from society, Nostrala decided to go with what he accepted and had wanted to do for a long time. He held back in fear of his new style “not being good enough.”

“It seems sort of silly, and it’s sort of hard to explain,” said Nostrala. “I always wanted to paint people sitting outside, under a tree, talking. It is sort of a peaceful state that I hope to convey. You can look at religious figures like Buddha, or Jesus Christ, sitting, talking to their people in a very peaceful way. That is sort of what I am trying to show.”

Freshman Krista Davis admires Professor Nostrala’s work.

“His art was really varied in style,” said Davis. “It is beneficial for students to see their instructor’s competency. It was neat to see his work change and progress from his high school works to his current paintings.”

Faculty members had similar sentiments.

“I think his work is wonderful,” said Assistant Professor of Art David Richmond. “I really like his early work, it’s very expressive, and I also very much appreciate the intricacy of his new work. I think he’s a very talented man and artist. I like to see the emotion that he shows in his early work in his newer style that he’s created. That fine intricate painting is amazing. A little bit of emotion would really make his newer work extraordinary.”

The title of Nostrala’s display, “Journey of an Artist” is rightly named. As viewers progress through the exhibit, the struggle and thought that Nostrala put into the pieces is very evident.

Go, let yourself be engrossed, and see one of Simpson’s very own professor’s life on canvas.

The public is invited to view Nostrala’s “Journey of an Artist” display at Farhnam Gallery, in Mary Berry Hall, until Jan. 31.