Senior art majors display work in show, discuss expression through art, preferred mediums, post-graduation plans, growth as artists

Emily Drinks April 29, 2015 0

May 3 to 30, seniors majoring in fine art at Elizabethtown College will be holding a senior art show to display their work. The art will be displayed for faculty, students and members of the community to view.

Senior Taylor Curtin’s pieces mostly feature photography. Curtin said that she prefers to work with drawing, painting and photography, but her main medium is photography. “I felt that because it is my senior show, I should choose what I am the most passionate about,” Curtin said. Her photography pieces for the show will focus on the use of texture.

The students critiqued each other’s work every two weeks during the semester in preparation for the show. The pieces that Curtin received the best feedback for were a little more abstract and mysterious than her other pieces. “I decided that even though that is not usually the composition that I portray, it would be fun to try something new and experiment a little. The textures came from close-up or cropped versions of the original photos that I had taken. Some are more mysterious and abstracted than others,” Curtin said.

One of the most fulfilling aspects of her fine arts major has been getting to express herself in many different aspects and forms of art. She said that fabric sculptures were more challenging to work with; however, she found the concept to be fascinating. “[Working with different art mediums] forces you to step out of your comfort zone and put things on display for other people that you might not typically think about putting out there,” Curtin said.

Senior Danielle Nelson’s pieces will include paintings, drawings, prints and clay sculptures. Nelson said that of those mediums, clay is the medium she prefers working with. Nelson’s clay pieces focus on nests. “I worked off the meanings surrounding the nest, such as mother, nature and safety,” she said.

Nelson, a double major in fine art and psychology, will be pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy and counseling at Drexel University after graduating in May. She has already had the opportunity to blend her two majors together. She worked for two semesters as a volunteer and intern at PinnacleHealth Hospital. “During this time, I would bring a cart with art materials to the patients during their treatment. It was a great experience. In the summer, I will be an art therapy intern at Camp Pegasus, which is a camp for children with autism,” Nelson said.

Senior Ellyn Frisch drew inspiration from her childhood in selecting her pieces for the show. Her pieces focus on the desire to touch unique objects, which began during Frisch’s childhood, and on her observations and memories about life and human behavior. “Then, I pushed these ideas through the concepts of things being perceived as more or less beautiful than they are. As humans, we tend to expect or perceive life to be better or worse than it is. I personally like art to be aesthetically pleasing and be something one would choose to live with. I make my art prettier than the situation, because to me, each piece of art is a story just like each person and interaction,” Frisch said.

Frisch said the most important lesson she learned from her major was that experience affects content. She also learned to take life in strides and always appreciate the good aspects of her work. “My happy place is the first floor of Steinman,” she said.

Senior Melissa Stewart first discovered her love for drawing by watching cartoons, such as “Looney Tunes” and “Peanuts,” growing up. She said the characters having their own style appealed to her and helped her realize that there is no singular style of art.

For the show, she will display pieces she has done throughout her time at the College. “Though some would argue it’s better to only show ‘the best of the best,’ I think it’s important to acknowledge the past to show how far one has come in life,” Stewart explained.

Stewart’s preferred art medium to work with is illustration, and during her time at Etown, she has grown fond of computer art and photography.

Stewart often makes stories with her art that challenge societal norms or are satirical toward society. However, she also leaves inventing stories up to the audience as well. “I prefer to keep them open enough for audiences to find their own stories. Basically, I try to make them an open book to endless possibilities, if you will. For me, art is indefinable. It has no restraints and is free spirited. As such, see what you will, for each will find their story,” Stewart said.

Senior Rebecca Nelson’s art uses birdcages and the human skeletal system as a concentration in her work. She made her first birdcage for an assignment in her ceramics class. “Although the original thought was about the aesthetic appeal of birdcages, I appreciate the emotion that they can trigger,” Nelson said.

In her pieces depicting birdcages, Nelson most often sculpts a single bird within the cage. “This conveys feelings of being trapped or imprisoned. It is interesting to me is the way emotions are dictated by perspective, making the feeling of imprisonment self-inflicted,” Nelson said.

In her focus on the human skeleton, Nelson has studied the human skull in detail. At the show, she will be displaying mostly sculpture pieces, some of which will focus on the beauty of the human body.

She uses it in her art to represent the struggle with pride and vanity. “Many people find themselves entrapped by their own desire for perfection and the efforts they are willing to go through for it. Despite our endeavors, however, underneath the surface, everyone is just as beautiful and perfect as everyone else because we are all created with the same foundational structure,” she said.

 

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