Thirteen Bridgewater College art majors and an art minor will exhibit their works in a senior art thesis exhibition, “Frames of Mind,” on campus April 16 – May 3.
The art majors are Brittany N. Brownley from Stuarts Draft, Va., Brandon L. Christian from Bridgewater, Va., Francisco R. Escalera from Stafford, Va., Rebecca L. Hamilton from Sutherland, Va., Courtney M. Hawkins from Collinsville, Va., Nicholas L. Koger from Timonium, Md., Kyle E. Jones from Herndon, Va., Samantha C. Lawson from Harrisonburg, Va., Shayla N. Martin from Patrick Springs, Va., Tye L. Meador from Salem, Va., Michala R. Messick from Townsend, Del., Melanie A. Tutin from Westminster, Md., and Jonah O. ValeCruz from Springfield, Va. The art minor is Ariel D. Smith from Suffolk, Va.
A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at each exhibition site. Artists’ talks will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the Boitnott Room. The receptions, exhibitions and talks are free and open to the public.
Brownley and Martin are exhibiting work on the ground floor of the Kline Campus Center. Brownley’s work will be shown near the elevator, and Martin’s pieces will be on display in the area around the information desk.
For her exhibition, Brownley combines hand-built and wheel-thrown elements to create visually stimulating and resonate sculptures.
“My sculptures and modeling processes are motivated on a personal level through impactful relationships with people in my life,” said Brownley. “The mixing of slab and wheel-thrown techniques serves as a metaphor of these formative relationships.”
Martin is exhibiting 11 photographs that include graphic design components. Taking studio portraits, Martin added words and phrases from magazine ads—removing the brand names.
“Adding the appropriated words and phrases to the studio portraits challenged their original meaning,” said Martin. “These pieces reveal the pressures and beauty standards that ads have on today’s society and how they can affect the viewer.”
Christian and Jones are exhibiting work on the first floor of the McKinney Center for Science and Mathematics.
Christian is showing photographic documentation of plastic waste he has encountered in Bridgewater and Harrisonburg, Va. All of the plastic was photographed as it lay and then was removed by Christian.
“I want to show that everyone has the power to contribute to the repair and preservation of the environment,” said Christian. “I hope that showing waste intertwined and competing with nature helps those who view my work make conscious decisions regarding their plastic consumption.”
Jones is exhibiting edited photographs of light poles taken during daylight hours.
“Having a love for graphic art, pop art and photography fueled my senior thesis,” said Jones. “I repeatedly layered the images on top of each other, changing each layer with colors and offsetting.”
Escalera’s work, life-sized charcoal drawings that express movement through the human form, is located in the Black Box Theater in Cole Hall.
“One of my greatest challenges as an artist has been to redefine what I believed was a perfect drawing,” said Escalera. “From this project, I learned that successfully capturing movement requires one to embrace imperfection.”
Four artists—Hawkins, Koger, Lawson and Tutin—are exhibiting work on the first floor of the Center for Engaged Learning.
Hawkins is exhibiting a six-minute video, United We Stand, showcasing the stories of international and first-generation immigrant students at Bridgewater College in contrast with the current political climate. Complementing the stories will be six digitally manipulated flag prints to represent how immigrant voices and stories can be distorted in the media.
“I grew up in a conservative, Southern community with a largely homogenous population of white Protestant Christians,” said Hawkins. “When I came to Bridgewater College, the diversity here made me want to learn more about different types of people and their stories.”
Koger’s senior thesis includes creating a business website—BronzeSites.com—along with marketing materials to advance his professional career.
“My approach to web creation is to create cohesive designs that are enticing, simple and attention-seeking,” said Koger.
Lawson is showing a set of acrylic paintings along with an in-progress demonstration of a horror video game she created. On opening night, visitors will be able to control the character and explore the game. After opening night, the demo will be replaced with a series of GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format), screenshots and videos of the game and the process behind it.
“As someone who has frequently experienced vivid dreams and nightmares, including storylines, characters and recurring locations and symbols, I have decided to share them with others using art and video games,” said Lawson.
Tutin’s exhibition consists of branding materials—a photoshoot with a hypothetical cast, ads and video interviews with the creator—for a hypothetical sitcom, Pots & Pans, written by another Bridgewater student, Robin M. Gruendl, a senior communication, technology and culture major, from Fairfax, Va. Tutin also developed a website to house everything.
“This body of work spawned due to my interest in how different types of media work together,” said Tutin. “Whether it be print, photography, videography or web design, my focus lays in how media may be used in conjunction with one another to create a cohesive body of work for use in the real world.”
Meador is exhibiting ceramic hanging planters at the entrance to Cole Hall.
“For my work, clay must be removed from the earth, and then guided and manipulated throughout its journey to become a hanging planter and, will eventually, hold the earth it originated from,” said Meador. “This cycle could serve as a metaphor in the way humans live their life. We are born and raised by our parents, we leave the nest and we build our own lives and then, later in life, there is a time where we as children must care for our parents in a cycle of nurturing.”
Hamilton and Messick are exhibiting work in the first floor lounge of Moomaw Hall.
Hamilton is presenting clay sculptures of turtles, tortoises and snails.
“I think it is interesting how they can carry their home with them,” said Hamilton. “I chose to replace their shells with pumpkins, squash and a skull. I chose mostly organic things because I wanted it to still feel like it was a part of them.”
Messick is exhibiting a 12-placement, wheel-thrown dinnerware set with each piece representing a different aspect of nature.
“I have always loved nature and home for me has always been a place of comfort,” said Messick. “The motifs I have used in this work are an examination of the many different aspects of nature that have created a sense of home throughout my life.”
Smith is showing framed digital drawings of goddesses in the Bowman Hall lobby. Focusing her work on lesser-known goddesses rather than the more familiar Greek, Roman and Nordic religious forms, she created images of female figures that were deeply rooted in their origins.
“I felt that my findings and interpretations should be presented in a way that everyone could appreciate—pictures of beautiful women, each unique and powerful,” said Smith. “It became my mission to show the local community these ‘hidden’ gems and encourage people to seek out their stories.”
ValeCruz will be exhibiting large abstract doodles in the hallway of the third floor of Bowman Hall. Using acrylic paint and markers, ValeCruz’s intent was to create uncontrolled lines to start the challenge of transforming the doodles into familiar objects and figures.
“Now I have pieces I can look back on to use for inspiration since they seem to have uncompleted narratives,” said ValeCruz. “I want to express them later as I develop my skills.”