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Senior Art Exhibition

On Apr. 11, seniors at Meredith College presented a collection of works in an art show titled “Ruminate” at the Frankie G. Weems Gallery. This is the culmination of multiple years of studying and creating art, and senior exhibitions are a major point of pride for seniors in the art department. This semester’s artists were Sara-Rose Spann, Tasha Aaron, Kayla Cooper, Shelby Cox, Gonxalez Ozorio, Sara Grace Lane, Karlie Mullisand Emma Relota. The audience to this exhibition were instructed to “chew on this” while examining the bodies of work that explore “abundant narratives, social issues, and expressions of vulnerability.” Pieces range from stone carving, ceramics, charcoal drawings and paintings. The Herald reached out to these artists for details about their work and to reflect on their time at Meredith. 

Emma Relotais a studio art major who works with multiple mediums but has recently pursued ceramics, fibers and charcoal. While attending Meredith, she stated that “[she] started to understand how to make art that was conceptual, as well as how to find [her] own voice and artistic style.”  Relota discussed how she also learned how to present herself in a professional way. She added that she “didn't give much thought” to how many little things there are to do as artists, noting that there is “quite a bit!” From “taking pictures to writing an artist statement to learning how to exhibit [her] work and how to create a website,” Relota explained that she has “learned so many little things that [she] can use in the future, even beyond art.” In the future, Relota plans to continue making art, pursue artist residencies, and possibly attend graduate school sometime in the future. While reflecting on her time at Meredith, she reported that she loved the classes she took but wishes that she had taken advantage of some of the independent research classes. Relota’s work in Ruminate “symbolize[s] the start of [her] artistic journey. The works [she] presented are basically the turning points of [her] artistic practice.”

Sara Grace Lane, a studio art major whose medium is oil painting, stated that there was nothing she would change about her time at Meredith, aside from a lack of funding for the art department. She stated that “art departments at most schools are the last on the list to get recognition or money, so it's a place that requires passion, adaptability and resourcefulness above all else.” She noted that even different professors that she had would have different views on things, adding that “there was always that foundation that could be agreed upon.” As a transfer student, shenonly spent two years at Meredith, but mentioned that these past two years have been “an intensive learning experience that [have] pushed [her] to be a better artist and professional in so many ways.” After graduating, Lane plans to continue as an independent artist, and in the future, she hopes to receive a master’s in painting as well as find a studio where workshops, retreats and classes can be held. Lane also went into detail about the lessons she’s learned while sharing her work, mentioning that “being an artist can be a very vulnerable position because it can sometimes feel like [artists] are awkwardly sharing [their] diary of thoughts through visual art. “The work she presented in Ruminate covers “concepts [that] vary from [her] experience in Italy studying abroad, to cultivating a healthier outlook on relationships based on [her] enneagram type. It feels authentically [her] and like a true capstone of [her] education.” 

Tasha Aaron, a studio art major and multimedia artist, was originally a graphic design major due to being told she “could only succeed in art if [she] did graphic design.” This didn’t resonate with her as much as art classes where students “get the opportunity to physically work with the material”, and she later switched to studio art, where her only regret is not having done so sooner. While at Meredith, she has been given the opportunity to explore new mediums and “establish [her] identity as an artist.” Aaron added that the professors at Meredith gave her the tools to talk about her work and advocate for herself as an artist.After graduation, she will continue to make art and work at an art center where she’ll begin teaching a jewelry-making class. Her pieces in Ruminate encapsulate her range as an artist as well as her sense of identity.

Kayla Cooper, a studio art major, works in multiple mediums, including ceramics, sculpture, stone carving and fiber arts. She reflected on her time at Meredith by saying that there was nothing she would change, as being an art student at Meredith  was overall incredibly rewarding. After graduating, she’ll focus on furthering her stone carving and join a studio with access to kilns. During her time at Meredith, she has learned “how to think conceptually and how to visibly illustrate that concept in [her] work. Now, most of my work is conceptual in nature and it gives [her] so much more passion and excitement to create art that means something to [her].” Her work in the exhibition “was focused a lot on feminist ideals, social commentary, and an overall bid for change in our society.” Cooper stated that she is “really passionate about creating conversation about change.” Cooper shared that she  wants her art to “ignite conversation and challenge social norms.”

Ruminate will be on display until May 5. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays, and 2 p.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. 

By Liese Devine, Features Editor

Graphic by Shae-Lynn Henderson, EIC


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