“The Burning Wall St.” exhibit will burn at the West Gallery

Julia Vazhenina

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CSUN students can have a chance to see a real firestorm, when the West Gallery’s exhibit “Burning Wall Street” goes up in flames on Oct. 13.

The exhibit, which is a miniature version of Wall Street banks constructed from matches and streets made of fake money, is the creation of nearly 200 non-art major students who took a couple weeks to create the project.

A matchstick-made Wall Street is surrounded by paintings of well-known artist Alex Shafer, whose work inspired this project.

Shafer is known for his paintings of banks engulfed in fire and works in the style “en plain air,” or outdoors in French. He paints on the streets in front of real objects.

“I saw the work of Alex Shafer,” said Edie Pistolesi, art education professor and coordinator of the exhibition. “He imagined Chase Bank burning when he was drawing it, and we decided why not make it real.”

The exhibition is dedicated to the 99% movement, which is a movement against fraudulent banking practices that caused people to lose their homes, jobs, incomes, tuition rises in schools, said Pistolesi.

The exhibit is currently on display at the West Gallery and will end with the actual burning, when the coordinators take it to the back of the West Gallery and set it on fire.

Pistolesi said they will take all needed precautions so nobody gets hurt because the fire is expected to be huge.

“The burning is the reflection to what’s being done to us,” said Pistolesi. “American democratic idea is free or affordable education, but it’s being destroyed. Our future went up in smoke.”