Tuesday December 2, 2014

The Departure: Senior Exhibition

By Kiersten Remster '17 

Fitz Hall’s Gallery 249 currently features the masterpieces created by graduating seniors of the Department of Art and Design. Showcasing the talents of the senior artists here at U.D. provides underclassmen with a visual picture of where our four-year journey on campus will take us.

Looking around the gallery at the treasures created by these artists, I felt slightly intimidated. It was amazing to see my peers’ works captured into one exhibition, but at the same time, I felt like a small fish in a big sea. Although I am not a studio art major, I wondered when I am a senior, how I will be able to display my writing as an art history major in comparison to these artistic works. The larger images seemed to capture the eyes of onlookers immediately, while other pieces loomed nearby in their spotlights.

Sarah Kane’s Untitled piece captured my attention immediately in its natural, unique form. Made of plaster, masking tape, chicken wire and egg cartons, this work took on a peculiar visual essence as the plaster molded to organic, physical forms. Nearing the corner where the ceiling and wall met, Kane attached a formation of various shapes created from the plaster, tape and chicken wire. Inspired by organic images of beehives, weaverbird nests and fungi, the forms provoke a whimsical, yet intriguing appearance. Out of these configurations spill dozens of egg cartons, cut into flower-like shapes falling to the floor as they are hung vertically like beads. Kane said, “ultimately, though, what drove me to assemble the piece was the excitement of making something new. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I knew it would be healthy for me to stop doing what I’ve been doing, relax and make for the sake of making.”

Brigid Campbell’s OFWGKTA collection of graphic designs was inspired by the graphic pop artist duo Craig & Karl. Using their bold, energetic style that has been seen in numerous periodicals, fashion magazines, etc. Campbell sought out to create a series of nine illustrations that pay tribute to a few of the key members of the band Odd Future. Using a similar style like Craig & Karl’s, Campbell created these illustration portraits of the band members. The center illustration includes the band’s logo, OF, in donut shaped letters. The energy of these pieces is very vivid; Campbell manipulates a contemporary twist that appears to have stemmed possibly from Roy Lichtenstein’s artistic explorations. The illustrations are witty in their modern pop commentary. Unlike Craig & Karl’s Campbell’s use of a thick black outline of the facial features, Campbell’s exclusion of this allows for the portraits to appear more life-like and human. To Campbell, these illustrations are “not only representations of headshots of these people but they are also an exploration of color and pattern.” The various colors used provide a unified color palette that emulates the street style the members of Odd Future have.

In addition to the works described above, one senior, Tess Bender, created a massive painting using gouache and colored pencil. Titled, Rex Lives a Predatory Lifestyle, Bender depicted a large owl in a bright red, highly concentrated gouache paint. The use of the gouache provides the owl with a sense of opaqueness and matte-like finish. The overall piece, though, did not particularly strike me as moving as Kane and Campbell’s pieces. The concept for the work was there, but the red owl did not seem as dramatically executed as the artist was most likely intending for.

The exhibition symbolizes a great send-off for the departing seniors from campus. The students’ works reflect high levels of creativity, craft and conceptual understanding. The Senior Exhibition will be closing on December 4th and is located in Fitz Hall in Gallery 249.

Kiersten Remster is a sophomore Art History and German student at University of Dayton. She is the new student arts writer at ArtStreet and is very excited to be a part of the ArtStreet family. Kiersten has been a competitive swimmer her whole life and is continuing her swimming career through the Dayton Master's program. She is also serving on the Academic Affairs Committee this year as vice president and is looking forward to working with faculty in order to improve Dayton's academic curriculum.

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