Life of an art major: senior show prep

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Senior art major Angela Giallombardo's senior show will be available for students to enjoy this coming April. Photo by Paulina Martin.

As the fall semester gets further under way, students are settling into the rhythm of campus life once again. For most students, evenings are set aside for writing papers, reading Aristotle or hanging out in the Cap Bar. But for senior art major Angela Giallombardo, many evenings are spent in the secluded nest of the Art Village, where she works on current projects for class and looks ahead toward her senior show in the spring. Giallombardo is an art major focusing on printmaking. She hails from Massachusetts and made her way to the University of Dallas in pursuit of a liberal arts education, small classes and the Rome program.

“I went to a liberal arts high school,” Giallombardo said. “It’s always been a part of the education experience for me.”

Like many of her peers, she had older siblings who attended UD, which brought it to her attention.

Now, as a senior, self-motivation is the key to successfully completing her education.

“[In the Senior Printmaking class] you have more control over what process you’re doing and when you’re doing it,” Giallombardo said.

She explained that printmaking professor Steven Foutch is guiding her through her work; however, she is in charge of her own schedule, and her endeavors are geared toward becoming more professional as an artist and finding her voice.

Of the four focuses — sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and painting — Giallombardo chose printmaking because of her love of line work, cartoons and graphics.

She settled on her area of focus when she returned from Rome her sophomore year.

“Seeing the beauty of Europe and Rome in particular I was like, yeah I’m an art major, I can’t be anything else,” Giallombardo said.

“Printmaking has actually been around for a lot longer than some people may think,” Giallombardo said. “It always involves ink being pressed onto something. It doesn’t even have to involve paper, it could be cloth, it could be like a stone, it could be anything … Basically, you form a plate where you’ll put either like a drawing or a design or sometimes textures that form a composition and then you ink it up and you press it.”

Having completed the rest of the art Core classes, Giallombardo’s big challenge now is working toward her senior show, set for April. While that seems far off, Giallombardo has been developing the idea for her show since the end of the fall semester of her junior year.

“That doesn’t always happen for everyone, it just worked that way for me,” Giallombardo said.

Using screen printing and relief together, she will be creating her show around her life through prints of clothing, some still and others filled with motion.

“It’s [going to] be a look into what made me me, kind of through clothing and through clothing of my relatives or people that have influenced me … [it will be] very iconographic Americana but also very illustrative at the same time,” Giallombardo said.

On the wall by her workstation hang several pieces heading in that direction, all of disembodied clothing. On the table sits a printing on paper of two blue jackets playing double jump rope with two pairs of yellow floral print pants. The piece is nostalgic in a joyful way, which suits the bubbly, enthusiastic artist.

Other pieces feature solitary pieces of clothing, such as a print of a purple pajama shirt dotted with pink and white snowflakes and a print of white, pink and yellow sneakers evoking the energy of childhood.

While creating a senior show is an individual undertaking, especially for students in different focuses, Giallombardo said the art major is a communal project.

“Community is very stressed in the art department,” Giallombardo said. “We all take Arts Foundation classes together as part of our art Core and that really solidifies a bond … we’re suffering through this together but we’re also creating and finding where we’re going together.”

The rest of the UD student body often overlooks that community, however.

Giallombardo lamented that most students take their Art and Architecture credit in Rome and do not take advantage of the talented professors.

“I’ve known English majors who take an art class just for fun and they really get a lot out of it and I think a lot of people could … they just don’t think to,” Giallombardo said.

For Giallombardo, an education without all of the liberal arts is incomplete. While her focus is a visual art form, philosophy, literature, music and poetry are each unique liberal arts forms, which have always influenced artists.

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