Shippensburg University’s art and design department seniors concluded presenting the results of their art seminar class last Saturday in the Kauffman Gallery of the Huber Art Center.
This iteration of the senior exhibit is the second half of two parts, and it showed works by Amanda Cruickshanks, Dietrich Grakauskas, Emilyn LaBonte, Liv Magallanes, Rebecca Ratcliff, Melanie Ryan, Kristin Smith and Lydia Westre-Smith.
Michael Campbell, director of the Kauffman Gallery, said art seminar takes place over two semesters. During this time, senior art and design students learn practical job-searching skills while simultaneously creating a body of work for display in the Kauffman Gallery over the course of eight months.
Dietrich Grakauskas, whose Japanese name is Masayuki Tsuda, is an international student who created digital prints inspired by the caricatures of the art and design department faculty. Professors Ben Culbertson, Steve Dolbin, Kathryn Keely, William Whiteley, Michael Campbell and Mark Moilanen were all represented in comically styled digital illustrations. Grakauskas also portrayed the art and design department’s secretary, Ellen Fetter.
Grakauskas’ aim was to simplify and stylize the professors in such a way that they could be recognized by those who know them.
Westre-Smith, who is pursuing a certification to teach art K-12, explained her sculptures of hands to the group by prompting them to shake hands with someone near them.
“Someone taught you how to shake someone’s hand,” Westre-Smith said.
Westre-Smith explained that within a handshake is human strength and knowledge. She said she did not want to cast the sculptures of hands, and instead chose to mold them to adapt every detail.
Melanie Ryan presented three armors — inspired by cosplay — displayed on white mannequins that argued against over-industrialization. One suit, named “Hugh Mann (a.k.a. Dr. Smog),” was a villain covered in black-plated armor that had various pipes protruding from a mask covering its face. “Kusa (Grass),” covered in sticks and leaves, and “Yuki (Snow),” wearing an icy outfit, were avatars of nature that opposed Hugh Mann.
Other exhibits included Cruickshanks’ “Catharsis I,” “Catharsis II” and “Catharsis III,” which were minimalist paintings with three-dimensional elements attached to them. Emilyn LaBonte displayed paintings of nature titled “Oak,” “Harmony” and “Dancers in the Forest.” Rebecca Ratcliff showed off “Lipstick Lounge,” “Hollywood,” “Posh” and “Venice,” which are inspired by her modeling career.
Finally, Liv Magallanes showed a collection of painted shirts on the ground, shaped like a top-down image of the United States. Her message was that learning disabilities are often conflated with one another, and that students struggling with them are not always given the help they need to succeed.
The Kauffman Gallery will host this group of senior exhibits until April 19.
After this, the 41st Annual SU Student Art Exhibit will open in the gallery on April 27 at 1 p.m.