The BFA in Art Senior Exhibition is now open, symbolizing a semester of hard work coming to a close for three soon-to-be graduating seniors. Students work towards this exhibition as the capstone project that celebrates the years spent honing creative processes and finding an artistic voice. The exhibition is on view in the Brick City Gallery November 22 & 23 and November 29–December 10 and will be open for First Friday Art Walk on December 3.
The process to get to the final exhibition takes time; students often start brainstorming in advance and work on the projects throughout the majority of their final semester. Painting and Drawing professor Sarah Williams led this group of students through the senior exhibition class, ART 499, and describes the hard work that has gone into the pieces featured in the show, “It’s been a long road of trial and error, trying various things out to see if it’s a good fit or not. But that’s where the magic happens—when a student is willing to try anything with a good possibility of failure. Though there were probably plenty of failures and learning moments, it only takes seeing a few sparks from all those tests to get it going. I’m proud of these students for sticking with it and working through it to get to where they are.”
Three students will be featured in this semester’s exhibition: Cherokee Knight, Joni Neal, and Amanda Steimel. The works showcased include painting, charcoal drawing, and sculptural installation. While the approaches between the artists’ projects are different, a common thread between them is the passion that went into the finished works. “It’s inspiring to see them so engaged in their practice […]. I see this in the confidence in which they are making imagery and communicating the things they all care so deeply about in such dynamic visual ways. It’s wonderful to see them realize they can make work like this and just run with it,” shares Sarah.
Read on for additional details describing the inspiration and development behind the pieces in this exhibition from a couple of the featured artists.
Double Major: Painting and Art Education, minor in Art History
“For this body of work, Empathic Perspectives, I did mostly oil and acrylic painting on large canvas. However, there are also small pieces that accompany the work, from charcoal drawings to small paintings on paper. Figuring out my artistic process for this body of work was certainly a learning curve. I began by interviewing my companions about their mental health and proceeded to have them model for me. Using the information I learned from the interviews helped me inform my paintings, but I had no experience with doing that before this project. The relationships I had with the individuals, their demeanor when opening about their mental health, and my own feelings of empathy during the interactions all worked to inspire my creative process for this series.”
Drawing and Painting, minors in Art History and Museum Studies
“Whether drawing or painting, I enjoy playing with layers of content in space, giving a sense of process or change over time and an awareness of relationships between elements. That’s important to me because growth and change has been a big part of my life, and it’s what has enabled me to have my beautiful family, so personal progression tied with eternal relationships has really become a basic underlying theme of all of my work. I also feel like my work helps me understand what God is trying to teach me, and this semester I’ve been doing a lot of learning!”
The exhibition is on view November 22 & 23 and November 29 – December 10, with First Friday Art Walk on Friday, December 3. Slow Viewing for BFA in Art Senior Exhibition is Wednesday, December 1 at 4:30pm.