"Degrees of Separation" showcases wide range of senior artwork
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As this year comes to an end, the senior art majors are also bringing their time at Westmont to a close, as they display their artwork in the annual Senior Art Exhibition which opened in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum on April 5. This year’s theme is “Degrees of Separation,” a title that plays on the fact that all the student artists are getting degrees in the field, but there is very little degree of separation between the students that makes them different from one another. Fourteen students have participated in this year’s exhibition, each using their own unique medium.
Upon entering the museum, three students start off in the front room. Frannie Richardson draws the viewer’s attention with her interesting portrayal of crocheted yarn on grocery items. As part of her piece, Richardson has a shopping cart covered from top to bottom in colorful yarn with several grocery foods wrapped in yarn such as cereal boxes and canned food. Behind the cart is photography of more food covered in yarn in their natural settings. For example, one of the photos depicts a milk gallon covered in yarn beside non-covered gallons sitting on a shelf in the fridge section of the grocery store.
On the wall opposite to Frannie, Janna Jensen displays her oil paintings of people with developmental disabilities. Jensen uses flat, medium-sized strokes to create the faces of these beautiful people, highlighting every little feature about them. Beside Richardson’s work is Mikayla Fish. Fish’s art is of serigraphy flowers. She uses bright colors to display features and patterns within the flowers.
Moving further into the exhibit, there is a large-scale charcoal piece created by Daniel Thiel. Thiel has created his interpretation of God’s control over our lives in how He has a say in all that we do. Behind Thiel’s piece is the sculpture piece done by Erika Lee. Lee’s sculpture is entitled “Potty Talk” with four toilets upholstered arranged around a table which held place settings and a bouquet of toilet brushes in the middle of the table.
On the wall beside Lee is Chelsea Roberts with her oil paintings of aquatic animals’ hearts. The hearts are exceptionally painted in detail, shading, size, and appear life-like. Nathan Tarr’s digital print illustrations hang on the wall before the projection room. Tarr’s artwork is minimalist in design as he depicts recent disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts. In the projection room is Rianne Banuelos’ charcoal stop-motion animation. The short film is of a coin falling and taking unexpected turns as it descends.
In the center of the museum is sculptures done by April Harper and Meredith Olson. April Harper put on display a sculpture of welded cutlery in the shape of wings to depict women’s struggles with stereotypes. Behind her are Meredith Olson’s suspended “stained-glass” windows. Olson uses plexiglass as her base for acrylic and spray paint splatters to show her perspective of Christian worship.
The last space of the exhibit holds the work of Isabel Mata, Nicole Nicodemus, Ian Stephenson, and Makayla Monahan. Isabel Mata comments on negative body perceptions through the use of watercolor and pen. Nicole Nicodemus does a mixture of oil paint and acrylic to show the movement of water and how there is weightlessness in water. Ian Stephenson does large-scale drawings of various speakers using charcoal, graphite, and white chalk to show that faces have narratives. These speakers are a Māon craftsman, a Palestinian mother, and a Chumash storyteller. Lastly is Makayla Monahan with her serigraph printed on the wall. Her serigraph is the phrase “again and again” layered in different sizes to express her struggle with her anxiety disorder.
The Senior Art Exhibition “Degrees of Separation” is sponsored by Ken and Francie Jewessen. The exhibit will remain open until commencement Saturday, May 5. Congrats to the seniors on an amazing job well done.