College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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Alumni Spotlight: Krystal Leal ’16, showcased ‘Vulnerability Haunted’ at BBC Campus

Recent alumna, Krystal Leal, showcased her thesis photography project called ‘Vulnerability Haunted’ at the Biscayne Bay Campus last week. Last spring, she received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Florida International University’s School of Art & Art History.

Originally a business major, she never would have thought that she would pursue a degree in the arts. Through a series of the trial and error classes, she had a change of heart and put her happiness in the scope of things. The BFA program, mostly mentor driven, lead her to continue her education in art and focus on photography.

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Krystal’s thesis, Vulnerability Haunted, is a collection of melancholic, black and white photographs that uses water lilies to represent the different stages of the human vulnerability. The lilies were found in a lake near her home and immediate fascination with the lilies inspired her to make them the subject of her thesis. Unlike a rose, the lilies do not dry out and crumble; they resemble human flesh which made her closely identify with the aquatic plant.

The thesis propelled by her father’s death, encompasses beauty and grieving in an experimental way. She began by observing and investigating the plant by freezing them, hanging them and putting pins through them. The tests conducted on the lilies, served as a way to test her own physiological limit.

Krystal is now working on the aftermath of Vulnerability Haunted by storing the same plants and experimenting with them in different ways. Her current job as an art teacher for elementary students, she hopes to dedicated her summers to seeking a residency to display her evolving work.

Her word is advice: “Never stop working, practice really makes perfect.”

All work is credited to Krystal Leal / Contact Info: krysly0190@gmail.com

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