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Memoirs: Unveiling Identity

Every semester, Meredith’s art department hosts an exhibition for graduating seniors. This semester's seniors are Camille Duncan, Hannah Cox, Kelly Johnson, and Morgan Thompson.

The exhibition this year has the theme “Memoirs: Unveiling Identity,” and focuses on aspects of these artists' identities as they showcase work they’ve created over the course of their time at Meredith. The Herald reached out to these artists to get their insight on the art education they received at Meredith, and the work they’ve presented in this exhibition.

Kelly Johnson, a studio art major with a focus in fibers stated that her “art education experience has been the best and [she doesn’t] believe [she] would get this kind of education at any other college.” Originally Kelly entered Meredith with a plan to continue painting as she had previously, but after taking Fibers 1 with Professor Emily Howard in her freshman year and "loving it," she was able to explore textiles in a much deeper way. Although she discusses having faced multiple “challenges” throughout her time at Meredith, including taking art classes virtually during COVID and an incident that led to her losing the majorityof her work, Kelly shared that she does not, “know if there's truly anything [she] would change” and that everything that has happened along the ways has made her “the artist [she is] today.” When asked what the work she is displaying in this show she said, “Making this body of work allowed [her] to be vulnerable and allow [herself] to feel a lot of emotions.” Johnson describes how it has allowed her to “cope and heal from traumatic events,” while also providing opportunity for “growing” in her skill set in mediums that she enjoys working with. After graduation Johnson plans to obtain a K-12 teaching licensure through residency at Meredith, and then teach K-5 art.

Hannah Cox is an Art Education major and Studio Art minor whose primary medium is graphite and colored pencils. Cox will also be displaying work at the show. Cox talks about being grateful for the fieldwork opportunities and art courses that challenged her. Cox shares that from the education side of her major, she wishes “the fine arts and performing arts were taken more into consideration.” She believes this especially when “programs are being cut from schools and not given an equal budget.” Cox talks about connecting with Dr. Olson, describing her as “in tune with the fine arts and performing arts by showing her interest through in-depth conversations and coming to [student] events/performances!” Through both departments, Cox believes that she has been prepared to become a teacher and been “given many opportunities” that will allow her to “foster [her] student's creative side.” She also stated that she feels that she has grown tremendously as an artist while at Meredith, and gave special thanks to professors Jones and Johnson, who constantly pushed her to expand her skillset. The work she is presenting in the exhibition is meant to showcase significant milestones in her life. When she completes her student teaching next semester, after graduating she plans “on continuing to make art through teaching in [her] classroom and working with senior citizens in a memory care unit. In the future, [she plans] on studying Art Therapy and continuing to work with kids through this practice.”

The exhibit will be on display in the Frankie G. Weems Gallery from Nov. 16 to Dec. 14 and the hours of the gallery are weekdays 9:00am-5:00pm and weekends 2:00pm-5:00pm.

By Liese Devine, Features Editor


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