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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Activities & Organizations

Photography students to explore identity in senior exhibition

Photography and digital media seniors will be putting on their last show of the semester and their undergraduate careers from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday at the Rudolph Blume Fine Art Artscan Gallery.

Assuming Identity will feature each of the seventeen artists’ interpretations of their identity in the form of art.

“I’m excited. We’ve been working on our projects since our second semester of junior year,” photography and digital media senior Orlando Flores said.

The works showcase characteristics of each artist’s life for audience members to create their own narratives. Alice Pappas, Assistant Curator of Photography for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, was recruited as curator for the event and said she hopes the show will enable everyone to leave with their own perception of the different works of art, as well as the artists that created them.

“The show is about identity,” Pappas said. “Each student is making work that is very unique, but they all in some way or another come back to an exploration of identity.”

For the past year and a half, the artists haven’t just been working on their pieces to put on display – they have been working behind the scenes for the exhibit as well.

The students created the art to be featured in the show, contacted curators to assist them with all aspects of the show, developed the theme that suited everyone and, throughout the past few weeks, have been installing and designing the platforms where their art will be displayed.

“This is my first show where we’ve worked and built from the ground up,” Flores said.

Some of the artists employed photography to explore their personal relationships with social constructions such as race and gender, testing isolated imagery against normative cultural expectations.

Each used photography to expose the relationships between the artists, their art and the viewer. This creates a dialogue between individuality and social constructions, Pappas said.

The artists each used their art to reveal to everyone who they are, who they wish they were or who they are striving to be.

“My art relates to me,” photography and digital media senior Taylor Cox said. “When I was growing up looking at people in these positions of power and they have all this attention, they’re really good looking, and you can’t help but ask, ‘Why can’t I have that or be like that?’ So I think it’s partially a wanting to be like them, being in that important position.”

The artists have been working and building up to this moment for a large portion of their undergraduate careers. Photography and digital media senior Victoria Gonzalez said audience members should come ready to be inspired.

“People are exploring how they view themselves in the world, but they also are (doing this) using the medium of photography,” Gonzalez said. “There’s going to be food, wine and a DJ, so basically at the opening expect a big party.”

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