Senior art majors to end year with double-show

On Sunday, May 8, senior art majors will have their final pieces on display throughout Dittman Center during “Lasting Legacy” and “The Senior Art Show.”

There are more featured artists than ever before this year, with 38 studio art majors and 10 art history majors participating.

“We are breaking out of just the two galleries. We are using this entire corridor and even spilling downstairs so three artists are showing their work on the lower level, too,” said Jane Becker Nelson, director of the Flaten Art Museum.

The Senior Art Show is the capstone project for the studio art major. While some begin their formal preparations in their second semester of senior year, others begin the journey much earlier.

“Most of us have been working towards this since freshman year. It may not show in the quantity of the work, it’s more like the quality,” Aliya Anderson ’16 said. “Specifically my style – I didn’t start drawing the way I do until I came to college. It just feels natural, and I’ve been trying to get better at this specific graphic style. This is showcasing all of that.”

The inspirations for the final collections vary greatly. For Renato Barrazza ’16, his red photobook was the result of prayer.

“One of the ways I feel like God speaks to me is really in paying attention to everyday interactions and moments, and I love paying attention to details. So with photography, it’s like a way that I can take a snapshot of those little details and give that to people and show that to people,” Barrazza said.

After taking photos for a year and perusing an antique store for furniture to rent for his display, Barraza finished his vision with a rug, wooden rocking chair, side table and lamp so that people have a space to sit and reflect on what they take away from his snapshots.

For others, inspiration came from following what artistically felt good.

“I made shadow boxes, like 3D frames, and made these aquatic ink drawings to go in them. They’re like 3D scenes. It uses a lot of pattern and is inspired a lot by adult coloring books and that design… I just put on music and started drawing and ‘Octopus’ Garden’ by the Beatles came on so I just started drawing and just went with it,” Anderson said.

And for some others, the exhibits are a way to start meaningful conversations. Jaynee Purchase ‘16 shot portraits of peer volunteers who opened up about their thoughts and experiences with mental health and mental illness.

Lasting Legacy, for its part, is the art history major counterpart to the Senior Art Show.

“They choose an object from our collection, research it and interpret it and write on it, and that show gets assembled and is on display in the Print Study room at the same time,” Becker Nelson said.

The opening reception for the exhibits will be May 8, noon to 3 pm, and the exhibits will be up until May 29. Normal museum hours apply for visitation and it remains free.