It’s time again for the BFA in Art Senior Exhibition to return for the Spring 2022 graduating class. BFA in Art students dedicate months of time, attention, and artistic practice to develop a concept and bring a project to fruition as they jumpstart the rest of their professional careers. The exhibition is on view April 27–May 13 in both wings of the Brick City Gallery and will be open for First Friday Art Walk on May 6 from 6-9 PM.
The exhibition always brings together a unique variety of work, and this semester is no exception. Director of Exhibitions Jodi McCoy, who taught a section of the ART 499 senior exhibition class for the first time this semester, shares what gallery visitors can expect, “This semester we have a talented group of animators and digital artists, photographers, painters, and 3D studies majors. Each of the twenty artists in the BFA in Art Senior Exhibition has a story and perspective to share through their chosen mediums.”
ART 499 was split into two sections this semester, one taught by Jodi and the other taught by Associate Professor Sarah Williams. “It’s a unique position to teach a section of ART 499 while also being Director of Exhibitions. Being part of the development process throughout the semester has been a new and very enjoyable experience for me. But there is something exceptionally special when the entire show comes together after meeting with the other section taught by Sarah Williams,” Jodi adds. The following students are featured in this semester’s senior exhibition:
Spenser Bartholomew, Liz Bertz, Ashton Chowning, Derek Dailey, Sinjin Delmore, Jaylen Early, Whitney Gatewood, Alexis Griner, Jeannette Hegger, Devin Jaco, Jalen Lee, Jessica Love, Kimberly McDowell, Jo Nielson, Anna Noel, Robert Rekas, Jordan Roney, Zach Schuh, Chris Steimel, and Ashley Young.
“This exhibition will be an excellent example of what can come from pursuing personal artistic goals through hard work and dedication in the studio . . . The common thread in the exhibition is the confidence in which these seniors use the visual language they spent their time here at MSU learning and refining in order to express the things that are significant and meaningful to each of them,” adds Sarah Williams.
A few students from the graduating class share more about their creative approach and reflect on their time at Missouri State:
Spenser Bartholomew, emphasis in Animation
A love for narrative storytelling, and a critter walking across her grandmother’s driveway, acted as the inspiration behind Spenser’s animated piece, “Seymoure Sees More.” Spenser describes how her time at Missouri State has encouraged her to go beyond her creative comfort zone, “The most valuable thing I’ve learned at MSU is to keep evolving. As an artist, it is sometimes encouraged to pigeonhole yourself into your singular expertise . . . My professors have always encouraged me to be creative no matter what I’m doing or what form of art I’m creating, and that my evolution as an artist is more important and more fulfilling than becoming a comfortably stagnant creator.”
Jessica Love, emphasis in Animation
“The most important thing I have learned as a MSU student is that you can and will improve with techniques you learn in class but having confidence to put that work out there helps you feel prepared to take the next step after college. I learned to take criticism and improve to the point where I feel much more confident showing my art to others,” shares Jessica. After graduation, Jessica plans to show her animation project at short-film festivals and has a goal to eventually work as a character animator for Disney.
Sinjin Delmore, emphasis in Photography
Sinjin’s two-part project explores his experiences of growing up in a military family and how his upbringing continues to impact his life today. For future BFA graduates trying to source their own ideas, Sinjin shares the following advice: “Take things slow and find your voice but don’t be afraid to be influenced by others in your medium. We are all a culmination of our experiences, influences, inspirations, and those around us. So, allow yourself to be influenced by those.”
Jaylen Early, emphasis in Photography
“I would tell future BFA students to not be afraid to experiment and to always follow their artistic impulses. This is a time to not be afraid to put yourself out there. Try new things, meet new people, collaborate with others, and experiment with new ideas and new mediums,” shares Jaylen. This advice is evident in Jaylen’s senior project, as videography and an original composition made in conjunction with musician Karl the Stuntman will be the mediums of choice.
Jalen Lee, emphasis in Photography
Jalen hopes to encourage a message of peace and spread awareness through his photo project portraying stories of violence in the St. Louis area. When reflecting on his time at Missouri State, Jalen notes the impact the Art + Design Department has had on him as a student, “The one thing that stands out to me is to be able to have multiple teachers and faculty members who care about not only your grades but also you as a person and give another helping hand to help you achieve your goals as much as possible. Brick City has always helped me out through the darkest times, and I am glad that I can call this another home for me.”
Anna Noel, emphasis in Painting
Experimentation is the main word of advice offered by Anna, “The biggest advice I have for anyone coming into the BFA program is do more work. You will hit roadblocks and mental blocks all along the way but you will never get past any of that if you don’t just try something. It can be anything. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I didn’t film myself smashing watermelon with my feet.” Shortly after graduation, Anna plans to move to Atlanta to work in local galleries while finishing her Museum Studies certificate online through Missouri State and then pursue her MFA.
Brick City Gallery is located at 215 W. Mill Street, Springfield, MO 65806. The gallery can be visited Monday–Friday 11 AM–6 PM and Saturday 12 PM–4 PM. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.