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Senior art majors tell their stories in “Open | Close” exhibition

Views 17 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 15 - 2019 | By: Phebe Chang


Inside Westmont’s very own Ridley Tree Museum of Art, the senior art majors have displayed their senior projects for the enjoyment of students, faculty, and Montecito community in their exhibition “Open|Close”. The exhibit features projects from Madison Cowan, Madeline Kilpatrick, Lauren Haejin Koo, Marissa Lin, Bianca Moser, David Peterson, Isabel Sheehan and Amanda Zhang; artists with different styles and messages they want to present to their peers and community.
Madison Cowan presented her project which consisted of eight paintings that told the stories of those who are often times looked passed and under appreciated. She wanted to tell their stories through her portrait painting. However, unlike most portraits that depict the face or the whole profile of the model, she focused on images of the models hands, eyes, or smiles. She focused on the parts of their body that, to her, showed what they were feeling while talking about their stories. With this new twist to a classic portrait, each painting showed the viewers what they’ve experienced or maybe looked over when passing by the people she was interviewing.
Madeline Kilpatrick, who some might remember talking about the “Open Close” exhibit during chapel the day before the opening, had her take in a printed set of designs that expressed her relationships with lists, organization, and plans. To her, “lists and list making are intended to create organization and freedom and the ability to be more productive, but actually created a lot of chaotic turmoil… and really were more stressful.” She took different lists and visuals that would usually represent organization and precision and made them chaotic. “As they’re finished and to see them all put up, it’s been really cathartic. I’m making a lot less lists and I have a healthier relationship with lists.”
Another artist that was featured in the museum was Lauren Koo, who is known for her ruse of found objects and sourced materials that are often times tossed aside. She used materials that represented her and her different identities. “I wanted to touch on the headspaces that are a part of my identity and embody my identitiy, and I wanted to represent them in a visual manner,” Headspace is something different that represents the artist which could then in turn represent something of the viewer as well.
Focusing on the theme of emotions, Marissa Lin created collages by taking pictures of models and punching squares out of them. Using the visual effects of having the whole picture broken apart yet still together enough to see what the artist is supposed to convey. She shows happier emotions in colored photos and sadder emotions in black and white.
Another artist shows emotions through fashion rather than an photographic piece like Lin. Isabel Sheehan created five different outfit sculptures that would properly depict a certain emotion. Inspired by a woman she saw wearing a sequined jacket, Sheehan pondered the idea of “the choices we make every single day and [how] what we wear on the outside send a message.”
There are many more senior artists that have displayed their amazing storytelling art. The exhibit will be open until May 4.


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