Senior art students finish education with final exhibit

by Heather Kennison

“Daedal” — “ingenious and complex in design or function, intricate” — labels the entrance of the Bryan Oliver Art Gallery. Senior art majors opened their senior exhibit on April 17 to display the  finale of their four years in the art program.

The exhibit features works of 12 Whitworth seniors specializing in various forms of art, from graphic design to ceramics and photography.

“This is a culmination of their entire education here,” said Stephen Rue, professor of art and director of the Bryan Oliver Art Gallery. “It’s representative of their growth and success in the department.”

Senior art major Jake Allen’s piece, “Age of Type,” is one such example. Using letterpress, intaglio and digital print techniques, the piece features layers of type overlapping one another. Allen created the piece over Jan Term during an independent study.

“The art department just got a letter press,” Allen said. “I then worked with it in Photoshop to blend the layers.”

The piece was one of four pieces Allen submitted to the show, but was the only one accepted.

One can not help but be drawn in by senior Meghan Eremeyeff’s “Seven Seas Wine” or “Duds Chocolate Bars.” While the food is not real, the wine labels show hand-drawn, twisting waves and product information on the back. Eremeyeff had done both wine and chocolate bar designs for her Imaging II and Typography I classes, based on made-up companies, she said.

“Part of doing graphic design is putting your style out into the world,” Eremeyeff said. “Product design is fun because what you’re doing has to stand out on the shelf.”

Eremeyeff said she appreciated the opportunity to use sans serif and handwritten fonts. The wine bottle labels were designed by hand, she said. The project also included research on government regulations regarding nutrition labels.

Each student in the exhibit is in the Senior Exhibition Project class, a class which is required for art majors, Rue said.

Students submitted artwork, which was then reviewed by a juror for acceptance into the exhibit. Jurors are usually local artists. Each student is guaranteed to have one piece in the exhibit, but most is left up to juror discretion. This year’s juror was Jan Erickson, a painter from Coeur d’Alene.

“The juror has authority to pick pieces he or she deems quality work,” Rue said.

Seniors had complete control over the naming and design of the exhibit displaying their works, Rue said.

“They really put a lot of thought into it,” he said. “I’m impressed; they did a great job doing it this year.”

From plants in glazed clay pots to sculptures and cloth and string, there is much to be explored at the exhibit, which will be up until May 12.

“I like the diversity there is,” said senior English major Alexa Foster, who attended the opening reception. “I wasn’t expecting the different types of art — a mixture of abstracts and real images.”

Contact Heather Kennison at hkennison12@my.whitworth.edu

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