Although many Rangers fanatics were glued to television sets, and others gussied up for Revenge Your Roommate, the Senior Symposium drew a large crowd last Friday night. It was a delight to see students, professors, prospective students and alumni gathered together to celebrate the work done thus far by six art majors and four art history majors. Providing responses and reviews, this was the exhibit to gauge where each senior stood.
Walking into the Art History Auditorium, I was greeted (more like mystified) by Carrie Baker’s “Decompose,” a piece comprised of several hanging screen prints covered with elaborate spray paint.
Circling it a couple of times, I could have kept my focus on her work alone all evening by examining every angle and detail. However, after several minutes, I tore myself away to look at the other artwork extending across the room.
It was utterly impressive to witness how much work these seniors have completed during the semester; it was just as impressive to watch them confidently explain their particular visions – whether it be a paper proposal or clay sculptures – to their viewers. One of the collections that struck me belonged to Jordan Flores. Intimate and meticulous, her artwork was literally hands-on: Pairs of gloves rested by the three books that Jordan recovered and constructed. Viewers were encouraged to open the books and see the small personal objects that were placed inside. Flores’ art acts as her journal, and she shared with me her ideas and the procedure.
MC: What direction are you taking with your senior project?
JF: Right now, what I am doing is building a collection of memories – photographs, keepsakes, knick-knacks – from childhood and placing them inside these books. I cut out pieces of the books’ pages and recovered these books to reflect what was inside of them. Even the words on the pages add to the story. Everything in the second box is something from my childhood. These are my treasures.
MC: How many do you think you will create by the end of the year?
JF: About 10-15 books.
MC: Amongst other things, senior art majors have to pick out a location for their show. Do you have a spot in mind?
JF: I just selected my spot quite recently. My gallery will be set up on the first floor of the library, which will be really cool.
MC: How long have you been working on these three books?
JF: I worked on all of these since the beginning of the semester until about two weeks ago, so about two to four hours every day.
MC: Why do you think that the arts are crucial for a student’s education?
JF: For me, art is a way to blow off steam. I plan to go into Art Therapy, and I want to bring the same happy feelings to others that art brings to me. Also, just look at the influence that art makes in all sorts of subjects, especially history.
MC: Your artwork definitely contains personal history within it.
JF: It’s important that a part of the artist is a part of the art itself. I can definitely tell when a person does or doesn’t put [himself/herself] into the work.
Along with Flores’ books, I also enjoyed leafing through the art history majors’ papers. Senior Annie Mosimann explained what is required of these four art history majors: “Right now, we’re providing a summary of our senior theses, and we will have to triple the length to about 30 pages and give a 20-minute presentation during the spring semester.”
As the crowd began to disperse, I took a quick walk through the Painting and Printmaking Building to see the other works done by UD students taking the Foundations and Digital Media classes. I quickly scanned the works, though they deserved much more than a glance or two. Each drawing managed to capture and copy something mundane from life and transform it into something extraordinary. Each one somehow provided a new look to a single subject at hand.
While there I caught sight of one of the artists walk past me towards the Art History building with power tools in hand: The Senior Synopsis had to come down that night. The exhibit lasted only a week, which was such a shame to me because the works were incredible. However, several of the art majors reminded me that this exhibit was merely a teaser for something greater to come along: their final studios. From such a display of fine art shown early on in the semester, we can definitely look forward to the spring semester and celebrate how these students successfully bring art to life.