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Senior Artists Showcased in “The Unforeseen”
Location: Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The work of six senior Studio Art majors is showcased in the Kohl Gallery at Washington College through May 19 in a show titled “The Unforeseen.” Presented by the Art and Art History Department, the exhibition is a culmination of each senior’s Capstone Experience. It is running concurrently with the Annual Student Art Exhibition on display in the William Frank Visual Arts Hall, which is adjacent to the Kohl Gallery on the first floor of the Gibson Center for the Arts.
“The Unforeseen” features a diverse variety of media including video, site-specific installations, fiber art, painting, and relational works that rely on participation from the audience. The show’s title refers in part to the unexpected leaps and risks the young artists took as they developed their work into more focused and succinct renditions. “Nothing on view in this exhibition is quite what was planned at the outset, and in some cases is radically different from the artist’s initial vision,” studio art professors Benjamin Bellas and Heather Harvey write in the exhibition catalogue. “From our point of view, nothing could be more exciting or gratifying then to see students find interesting, innovative methods, let go of previous iterations, and make their work ever more complicated and unexpected.”
The transcendental work of Kathryn Bradley aims to explore relationships between her two areas of study, psychology and art. Her pieces, painted on windows and hanging in front of a mirror, reflect and evoke feeling through color, line, and texture. “I have chosen to use windows as my canvas to represent one’s view into his or her own body and mind,” Bradley says, “while the mirror stands to reflect the image that he or she may see.”
A double major in Art and Computer Science, Gary Fenstamaker combines aesthetics and technology to reflect the impermanence of information and identity in the digital age. “As information is usually held as sacred, I purposefully destroy this information,” the artist explains. “When combined with the fact that this information is usually images or videos of people, identities get lost and creates an unsettling situation.”
Gillian Hevey also considers the meaning of data in contemporary society. “I find that often the meaning behind data can be lost because the numbers are so big and there are so many of them that the mind cannot grasp what they actually represent,” she says. Through the tactile representation of statistics—using bullet casings to represent the number of people killed by gunfire in Maryland—Hevey forces consideration not only of the social issues she represents, but also of the nature of data in our age.
The striking beauty of senior Yiwei Hu’s textile pieces invites contemplation of aesthetic balance. “Pattern, to me, is not simply a way to represent a vibrant and inviting background,” says Hu, “but a media to show one’s aesthetic appreciation and perfection.” Created through the merging of traditional art forms and magazine images, her patterns showcase technical finesse and cultural awareness.
Senior Peyton Kirkendall’s “Bruise”is an interactive investigation into the nature of bruises, both physical and emotional. At the center of her project is a large woven blanket depicting a bruise, creating an emotional juxtaposition of comfort and pain. By inviting her audience to share in her project, Kirkendall hopes to bring awareness to and alleviate the pain of bruises, “one of the many common denominators that connect us as humans.”
Through her striking installation piece “Now,”Gabrielle Rojas explores the disintegrating relationship between humans and nature. “Now,” through its destruction of natural and found materials, demands attention for the increasing degradation of the environment and acts as a call to action for human society. “The natural world is suffering and we possess the capabilities to help,” says Rojas. “We possess them “Now.”
The Kohl Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m., and closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu.