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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Fine Arts

Gallery exhibits mediums of student crafts


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Creative students from the School of Art are preparing for the annual exhibition opening reception at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Blaffer Art Museum. The gallery will exhibit paintings, sculptures, photography and more from projects that students have been working on all semester.  |  Courtesy of Iwan Baan

While most students will spend their final weeks of the semester studying for exams or writing papers, students at the School of Art are preparing their final submissions for the annual School of Art Exhibition.

Eager to show off their creative work, graduates and undergraduates from all of the School of Art’s concentrations — painting, sculpture, photo/digital media, graphic communications and interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms — are represented in the show at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Blaffer Art Museum.

Works featured in the show were chosen by School of Art faculty, with more than 100 students selected to exhibit.

The student works include sculpture graduate student Margaret McMillan’s installation made out of hot glue. Curious about the material and wanting to find a way to combine text into her art, McMillan spent hours writing her thoughts down in hot glue to create a 3-D scroll.

“It’s essentially just stream-of-consciousness writing, focusing on the idea of making the ridiculous things we think of, on a day-to-day basis, permanent,” McMillan said.

“The amount of time I’m putting into essentially meaningless thoughts. It’s all a stream of consciousness. What I’m thinking about during the day, what I’m thinking about during work, what TV shows I’m watching, everything I’m doing is going into this piece.”

Photography and digital media senior Crystal Martinez, who is showcasing work reflecting her views on social and political issues, will also be featured in the exhibition.

“(My work) will explore society’s views on human appearance in comparison to mannequins. It shows how women judge themselves according to others’ standards and society’s version of the ‘perfect’ woman,” Martinez said.

Painting senior Ryan Baptiste, who is inspired by social issues, will exhibit works inspired by his fascination with forces. Baptiste was inspired by every facet of action in creating his work, including forces in nature, defying gravity, armed forces, controlled forces and people being forced out of their homes.

“I was driving around in the Third Ward, and I started seeing people on their porches. And that brought me to this place, an abandoned porch,” Baptiste said. “I thought about how maybe someone was forced to move away from this, couldn’t afford to live here and taken out by force, you never know. This was inspired by people. Force affects us all.”

Additionally, some students in the exhibition will feature work that explores their skills outside their preferred medium. Painting senior Mary Wemple will showcase a piece featuring postcards that she has recreated and sculpted to make something new.

“I’m contributing postcards that have been cut out and sculpted in order that they are no longer two-dimensional; they are three-dimensional,” Wemple said. “We’re allowed to do all kinds of mediums in the painting program. We don’t have to just stick with painted canvas. We can try out all different kinds of things.”

Featuring a variety of work, art students said they are excited to show their pieces and view work from their peers as well.

“It’s always interesting how everyone has a different take on things because they have a different concentration,” Wemple said. “It’s interesting to see how they use their different skills in different ways.”

Baptiste said everyone feeds off each other in finding inspiration.

“I love everybody (in the show). I love everyone who is doing art and expressing themselves. It’s just amazing to be around this much talent. If somebody is going one direction, we kind of feel that and take that too. We embrace each other,” Baptiste said. “Whatever somebody is going through, we take it, we use it, we are all just one unit. That’s the way I feel.”

The School of Art exhibition will run through May 10.

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