Graduating art majors present examples of their work in a variety of media at the Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition to fulfill their graduation requirement.
The BFA Exhibitions were held in the Carlsten Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the Noel Fine Arts Center April 24 through May 3 with a closing reception April 30.
Art 491 students have worked tirelessly to work through logistics of writing an artist statement, biography, thesis, designing cards, brochures and grant writing. They have worked with a committee of three volunteer faculty members to plan the exhibition, present their work, receive feedback and make improvements for the show.
Guillermo Peñefiel, professor of photography and instructor for Art 491 mentioned one of the most crucial aspects of the course was grant writing because the cost for each student to participate in the show is an estimated $1500.
Exceptional artwork demands exceptional materials, which students received through the the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point’s Oscar Grants.
Erin Morgan, senior BFA major with 3D emphasis, has worked on painting, drawing, ceramics, glass, kiln work and welding. She reflected on how quick her four years of college went and her development as an artist.
“The thought behind the work is far more significant now than it was as a freshman,” Morgan said.
Morgan created teapots for the gallery. There was a selection process for what would be entered into the show where her first teapots were replaced for the newer, more meaningful teapots. Although not perfect, she mentioned that her teapots are unique, just like people.
“We as people are flawed with sin. A lot of times, those scars are held on the inside, with a glossy facade on the outside,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s artwork was intended to be interactive, where viewers could physically sit down and drink tea from her pots because she has seen deep relationships between people grow over conversations and cups of tea.
“The more you sit down and have a cup, the more you see the flaws, despite it being covered by a glossy exterior,” Morgan said.
Students in the exhibition often keep each other accountable to create coherence for the show.
The uniqueness of this year’s show is that the artwork flows together without detracting from other pieces, when in reality it is five individual student shows.
Angie Hall, senior BFA major with an emphasis in 2D studio art, started out drawing nature landscapes from pictures in magazines. After not seeing her talents being used, she decided to go back to school with the dream of becoming a famous artist.
She knew she wanted to present her work in the show even before she started attending UWSP. Her artwork displayed includes acrylic landscape paintings where she often incorporates texture elements to enhance her paintings.
Hall re-creates landscapes of places she has visited because she wants the viewer to feel the same sense of awe she felt. Some of her artwork includes the White Mountains of California, waterfalls in Yellowstone and a forest fire in Yosemite.
“It feels like I’m on top of the world,” Hall said. “I feel achieved.”
Hall was recently chosen as one winner of the Best of Acrylic competition and will have her piece, Day at the Lake, published in the book, Acrylic Works 4: Captivating Color.
“It’s not the end, but the beginning,” Hall said as she expressed the hope of seeing her dreams come true.
Through the process of the exhibition, senior artists learn to think outside of the box and problem solve through their artwork, equipping them for a future career.
“Intellectual flexibility is a great asset,” Peñefiel said.
Challenges artists face include the short timeline and potential sacrifices. With limited time, students need to be highly focused so that major problems can be avoided. Additionally, students may need to sacrifice job hours or other academics to make artwork.
“A lot of students discover their voice in this last semester,” Peñefiel said.
As soon as they do, they are sent out into the world to create art.
Peñefiel’s advice for observers is to give art a chance because art is something that comes almost naturally for everyone. The purpose of art is to cause the viewer to stand in awe, so he encourages everyone to make the effort to look at art.
Peñefiel said, “Looking at art will never hurt you.”