April 24th, 2019
Hello again back to my blog and you might know the term ‘Sunday Scaries’; well in my boat currently it’s Senior Scaries!! If you are unfamiliar with these terms; they basically mean that the upcoming week is going to be rough/you have a lot on your plate/you get hit with a tidal wave of your never ending to-do list. If you’re nearing graduation, like I am, it’s similar to senior slide or senior slacking and you’re absolutely terrified to enter your new adult life. In case you missed my hint: That’s right pals, I am about to graduate from college in less than a month. *insert screeching noises and sounds of shock*
Upon finishing my graphic design art major at St. Norbert College, I had to enroll and participate in the senior art capstone. This entailed meeting in person with the curator of the galleries at SNC and various senior art majors that were anticipating graduation, like myself. We were asked to write an artist statement and to pick various pieces of our artwork that were possibilities to show in the exhibition.
Upon writing my artist statement, I was majorly struggling with what to write about and what pieces I wanted to feature in the show. I had a general idea that I wanted to show some photography but my most recent (and strongest), in my opinion, had recently been shown at various galleries. I didn’t feel that some of my work was strong or compelling enough to show for my senior art exhibition. So I put the task upon myself to create new artwork for my capstone.
Besides working with new art for the show, I worked side by side with a fellow graduating senior, Katie Hopkins, to be the art directors to promote the senior art exhibition. We worked together to come up with various themes, ideas, and aesthetics to convey a fun and hip message for the show. For inspiration, we played along with the opening credits to the beloved ‘90s sitcom, FRIENDS. We instructed various volunteers to do the photography and graphics for the posters that were created for the show. During the photoshoot, several students carried outside in freezing temperatures a couch that has been in the art building for years. As directors, Katie and myself told students were to stand/sit for the pictures and what to wear. Various serious and goofy images were taken by our photographer, Joe Donohue, and then Carla and Kayla did multiple edits of poster designs. This was a great experience to be able to direct and give out ideas to fellow artists of how the posters should be shown on campus and how they should look.
The posters that were created by my fellow classmates to promote the senior art exhibition.
In continuation with working on the artwork for my senior capstone, a photographer named Marilyn Minter was recommended to me by my advisor and favorite professor on campus, Father James Neilson. We are always communicating about various artists and art history and what we can learn from the past and present. In a previous meeting at the beginning of the semester, I had mentioned that I felt bored and wanted to do a new photography project. Father Neilson than showed me some of Minter’s work since he said I would appreciate and be inspired by her style. I never realized that looking at some of her work would spark some ideas.
Originally, I was just going to show some previous works that are featured on my website and call it a day. But as an artist that enjoys compelling and deep thought, I pushed myself and my boundaries in order to think of something new and original. Rather than just rushing to get work done and prepared for the show, I did countless hours for research to convey a certain message within my work and artist statement.
After looking at Minter’s photography and going through a traumatic experience with a former significant other, I decided to use this chance as an opportunity to heal through my artwork. I had consulted with loved ones and a therapist for a while during and after the end of my relationship but I found the most closure to be with this photography series that I released for the exhibition. I tried to be vague with what I had experienced and left confidential information (such as the name of my former partner) out of my statement. I played around with various props, lighting, editing, and applications in order to get a certain look and aesthetic for the photographs.
Various photographs that I find compelling and interesting by Marilyn Minter.
I spent around maybe thirty or forty dollars at my local Hobby Lobby and maybe around twenty dollars for some makeup at Ulta. One thing that Minter incorporates into her photography is a lot of glitter and various props in order to start a conversation. Similar to Minter, I used the same tactic to show the emotional and traumatic experience that had occurred to me during and after the end of the relationship.
Within my various research, I included various symbols into my and explained what they meant in my artist statement. For example: The glitter in the photographs references the phrase, “All that glitters is not gold.” Not everything that looks precious and wonderful turns out to be so. Although many friends gushed about the looks of my perfect relationship, there was little knowledge of what was hidden behind fake smiles.
In conclusion of finishing my pieces, writing my artist statement, having my photos printed, and then put together into frames; it was time to install my work! There are multiple galleries of the Bush Art Center of the St. Norbert College campus and my work was featured in the Baer Gallery. I made my way to the galleries and help from Shan (the instructor for my capstone and the curator of the St. Norbert galleries) and various workers of the galleries. We measured and made marks on the wall for nails to be put into the wall for the frames. The workers and myself made sure that everything was squared, leveled, and in proportion with my frames and the space that was given for my work to hang. After my frames were set up, I put some museum wax under every bottom left corner to make sure the frames wouldn’t swing or fall during the time they would hang. After the show time has ended, I will be going back to pick up my work.
The exhibition began on April 8th and continues to the first week of May. On April 12th, there was an opening reception with light appetizers and beverages (like wine!) and graduating seniors were invited to bring friends and family to see their work and to meet various faculty. If you haven’t gone to see the work, you should! If you are near the eastern side of the state of Wisconsin, please go check it out!
The opening reception was a great experience and I was able to talk to many friends, some of my favorite professors, and various faces that I knew from campus. I even was able to talk to Carol Bruess (who is a SNC art alum and is married to the president of the college) about various job opportunities from Minneapolis and even Colorado! Carol is a lovely human being and a great connection - if you haven’t chatted with her, I would HIGHLY recommend it! As the reception came to a close, it made me sad to see that my time at St. Norbert was coming to an end. But it also made me think of my classmates’ talent and where it would take them in their lives as artists. For myself, I am still unsure of my future but I am excited to watch my classmates’ success to continue and to keep an eye out for future SNC art graduates.
In the various images that have been shared feature the photographs I created for the show and how they were displayed in the space that was given to me for the show. Once again, I would highly recommend seeing the works that myself and my classmates had created during their four years at St. Norbert. They are truly amazing works and each and everyone one of the graduating art seniors have their own strengths that they use to create breathtaking and unique works.
Thanks again checking out my blog and my website. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates for new artwork, blog posts, and more!
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https://digitalcommons.snc.edu/artportfolios/ -> click this if you want to see my PUBLISHED art portfolio that was featured in the senior art exhibit! This is posted via the Digital Commons of St. Norbert College and is easily accessible.