Student Art CelebrationGAMBIER, Ohio (March 16, 2011)
The work is panoramic, life-size, and geometric. The subjects are memory, self image, and the environment. And that's far from all that can be observed when Kenyon art majors unveil their senior exercises at the Olin Art Gallery.
A sequence of four exhibitions, starting Monday and continuing through April 15, will showcase the work of sixteen student artists.
The exercises "are both a celebration and a culmination of their focus in the visual arts," Professor of Art Claudia Esslinger said. Not just a summary, the senior exercise demands work that embodies learning and captures a personal vision for an exhibition. The senior exercise, then, is for students "their first public, professional-style show." Students coordinate the exhibitions and each puts up their own work in the gallery. An oral exam before each member of the six-strong studio art faculty follows.
The shows are among the best-attended at the gallery each year. "These are a core component of our philosophy of education and of their experience," Esslinger said. "Our desire and our intent is that they have a very professional show in the most professional space we have. It's an honor."
Opening receptions at the gallery for each show will be held at 7:00 p.m. on the Mondays of each exhibition week. The gallery has special hours during the senior exercises, including on Mondays only during the opening receptions and on Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The gallery will be closed during oral exams. The shows are free and the public is encouraged to visit. These are the artists and descriptions of their work:
Jonathan Fasano of Aurora, Colorado. Multi-media sculptures are inspired by the "ingenuity of the human race and how we cater to our continuously advancing lifestyles."
Ellie Jabbour of Hastings on Hudson, New York. An interactive installation art piece brings focus to the "eccentricity of everyday objects, gestures, and cycles" and how those things mark the human presence.
Grant Johnson of Solon, Ohio. Abstract paintings seek meaning through "formal improvisation and a sense of play marked by an interest in color, texture, and visual immediacy."
Daniel Vargas of San Antonio, Texas. Sculptures juxtapose geometric steel and organic wood forms "to create alternative visual realities."
March 28-April 1
Sarah Dowling of Chatham, New Jersey. Drawings and paintings presented in an installation format in which life-size charcoal portraits of gallery "visitors" socialize and view art work in a mock gallery.
Gillian Lambert of Bangor, Maine. Graphite self portraits examine the relationship between self image and the unconscious, "finding beauty in the grotesque."
David Masnato of Chicago. An interactive animation installation explores creativity and imagination in children, with content linked with interviews with children.
Matthew Qi of Shanghai, China. A stop-motion installation engages two-dimensional art forms with found objects in order to examine "disorientation and otherness through a distortion of space."
Danya French of Ellicott City, Maryland. A sculptural, video and sound installation uses expressive house structures and birdhouses to help understand the "relationship and interactions between humans and their natural environment."
Joseph Hutton of Decatur, Georgia. Panoramic paintings focus on modern landscapes, investigating the influence of contemporary architecture and industry on the environment.
Nicholas Kessler of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A study in portraiture uses paint and collage. Subjects are seen in the "traditional face as well as the dark and animalistic."
Dain Williams of Tempe, Arizona. Wall-height charcoal drawings frame themes "relating to the humanly familiar versus the purely wild animal."
Jen Baker of Orefield, Pennsylvania. Cartoon-style characters are in storyboard on walls in a "soft-figured cloth exhibition" that encompasses body dysmorphic disorder.
Fraser Reach of Worthington, Ohio. Mixed-media installation examines the tactile and emotional properties of memory, "drawing parallels between international freight and emotional baggage."
Andrew Scott of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Sculptures inspired by the representation of spring in classical antiquity.
Kathleen Williams of Pickerington, Ohio. Narrative-based, multi-media sculptures embrace the emotional journey that cancer patients undertake during treatment, inspired by the artist's mother's experience in dealing with terminal cancer.