Finishing touches. Fine Arts graduating student show opens May 6

This year’s Fine Arts thesis exhibit, “Not Gonna Hold Your Hand,” includes the work of the 17 BFA graduating seniors. The “defiant and exultant” title,  says Prof. Joel Werring, was chosen by the students. It suggests “This is my life. I’m ready, and I’m going to shape it.”

This backstage look shows the contemplative and often very physical involvement of students with their work in the days prior to the exhibit.

Nicole Christensen working on an acrylic collage
Nicole Christensen working on an acrylic collage

“Over the past two years students have explored their ideas, content, and imagery through experimentation and a range of approaches and methods,”says Werring who serves as Assistant Fine Arts Chair.

Some finishing touches required a long reach. Gravity-defying Fine Arts senior AJ Springer, in action below.

AJ Springer working on her mixed media piece "Submerged"
AJ Springer working on her mixed media piece “Submerged”

The student work captures “visceral and personal experiences with place, home, identity, ethnicity, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality,” says Werring.

Jeanette Wagner working on “Fingers and Fan Blades”

Werring worked with senior thesis students in painting. “The show both toys with and requires the active participation of its audience. “The theme speaks to the difficulty of attaining consonance between an artist’s intent and the viewer’s understanding of the work.

 Maggie Koenig working on her mixed media piece " In Vein"
Maggie Koenig working on her mixed media piece, “In Vein”

“It dares the viewers to cultivate their own understanding of each piece without being told its meaning by the artist. Similarly, it is an intimation to the artists themselves that the world will be expecting the same rigor and presence of each of them once they step out.”

Jyniese Valmont working on her piece, ” Feminine Energy”
Stephanie Castillio finish touches on her work " It's a Match"
Stephanie Castillio adds finishing touches to “It’s a Match”

“While preparing for this exhibition in the midst of multiple social and cultural influences and in close proximity to Chelsea’s art galleries, students developed a greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities ahead,” says Werring.

Eddy Valerio working on his piece “Cargo Flores Pesadas”

The students are poised to contribute to the world “as creators, divergent thinkers, and problem solvers,” says Werring.

Jeanette Wagner adding finishing touches to 8'x8' diptych
Jeanette Wagner adding finishing touches to 8’x8′ diptych

The Fine Arts department’s senior exhibit, “Not Gonna Hold Your Hand,” is part of the 2015 Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibit being held from May 6 – 21, 2015.  Viewing in is located in the John E. Reeves Great Hall, is from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Opening reception is Tuesday, May 5, 6-9 pm

Click here for more information on the 2015 Graduating Student Exhibition 


Photos: Joel Werring


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