Thu. May 19th, 2022

Rose Sweeney, Contributing Writer


Over the weekend, as the rest of the school raucously enjoyed itself at Spring Formal, unmentionable competitions in Old Mill, brewery tours, etc., the art majors were hard at work frantically finishing their shows and installing them in various locations around campus. Now, all of the shows are up, and the closing receptions are next Friday, May 9. You’re sure to stumble upon a few of these shows in the next two weeks, but I encourage you to attend the receptions and make your way to the isolated art village.

The art majors have worked for many long, strenuous months on these shows, and their receptions are an excellent opportunity not only to see great art, but also to interact with these University of Dallas artists. UD has a top-notch studio art program (ranked highly nationally), producing artists that are well versed in art history, the contemporary art scene and the skills demanded for their crafts. These shows are the culmination of their hard work for the past four years. Having roomed with a painter for these four years, I have witnessed all of the blood, sweat and tears.

“I held your name inside my mouth” by Brigid Vaughn is one of the works on display these next two weeks across campus.  You can see this painting hanging in the Art History Building. -Photo by Brigid Vaughn
“I held your name inside my mouth” by Brigid Vaughn is one of the works on display these next two weeks across campus. You can see this painting hanging in the Art History Building.
-Photo by Brigid Vaughn

It sometimes seems as though the art village is a separate entity, detached from the rest of the school. However, the art department is very much a part of UD and the mission of the university. The study and appreciation of art is an important aspect of a liberal arts education.

UD, in my opinion, is an ideal place to be a studio art major. You get a background in philosophy and art history and the opportunity to witness art in other forms, such as poetry and novels. Being able to participate in the liberal arts conversation is essential for an artist. Ideally, art students should build on the past while contributing to the future. UD produces excellent artists by giving its students an intellectual awareness, allowing them to make a meaningful commentary on the world.

I think a common impression people have of an artist is that of someone who is aloof, and maybe a little pretentious. This is not the case for the art majors. They are UD students who have been guided by the Core and the culture of UD in their search for truth. They are also brilliant. Their art is beautiful, provocative and compelling. The opportunity to discuss the work with the artists themselves, with the common foundation of the Core, is something liberal arts students should take advantage of. Take the time to come and learn more about art and enrich your education.

Here is a list of the studio art majors and their show locations: Abby Bagby — Fishbowl; John Beasley — Science Building; Olivia Cole — Gorman; Kat Dugyon — Braniff; Mary English — Upper Gallery; Judy Gallagher — Art History Building/Thompson Loggia; Brie Underhill — Upper Gallery; Rachel Vaske — Cap Bar; Brigid Vaughn — Art History Building/Thompson Loggia.

Two art history majors, Rachel Hiser and Monica Holman, will be presenting their theses on May 9 as well in the Art History Auditorium.


One thought on “Take time to delve into senior art shows”
  1. Like most members of the University of Dallas undergraduate student body, I frequently walk along the mall area. After seeing the depiction of Che Guevara as part of an art presentation on the mall between the main doors of Haggar and the Science Building, I would like to take this opportunity to inform the University of Dallas community of the history of this popular icon of rebellion and counter-culturalism.
    Che Guevara was a leader of the communist Cuban Revolution in the 1950s which led to the installation of Fidel Castro as the dictator of a single-party communist state. Castro’s regime instituted widespread communist dogma leading to the persecution of the Catholic Church, the exile of Catholic leaders, the murder of political dissidents, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
    Though some find Guevara’s role in these events to be controversial, the facts are clear. Castro and Guevara were close friends before and during the revolution. As a trusted ally, Guevara was given various important roles by Castro during the revolution and Castro’s subsequent communist administration. Guevara is known to have carried out the execution of at least 159 political dissidents, and possibly many more undocumented murders. His brutality at Cabaña, the main prison for those condemned to die, earned Guevara the title of “The Butcher of La Cabaña.” Guevara instituted the first forced labor camp, Guanahacabibes, which led to the systemic confinement of dissidents, homosexuals, Catholics, Afro-Cuban priests, and other such “unfit scum.” Because of these and many other violent actions, Guevara is said to have had a “Robespierre mentality” that resulted in his very own, modern day Reign of Terror.
    At a university so firmly founded in the Catholic tradition like UD, the idolization of a known Communist and murderer, both of which are condemned by the Catholic Church, is hardly to be expected. While independent thought and speech is encouraged, it is the responsibility of the students to be informed of history and current events as well as the Church’s teachings regarding topics about which they wish to offer commentary. As a member of this student body, I encourage my peers to rise to the standards set by our liberal education to shine the light of truth on the symbols that are taken for granted.

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