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Sense Is

 


Sense Is
Senior exhibit is a census of UMaine's leading student artists

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Most University of Maine undergraduates complete their final exams knowing that their test performance is a matter between them and their professors.

Not so for studio art majors in one capstone course. Their final exam is on display for the public to see.

In the senior studio seminar, the artists spend a semester planning and preparing an exhibition of their works. The goal is to synthesize what they've learned in previous coursework to demonstrate essential professional practices in the visual arts.

The class is designed to "be a bridge from undergraduate study to the real world," says Professor of Art James Linehan, who teaches the course.

This fall, 22 studio art majors were in charge of every aspect of launching an exhibit on two floors in UMaine's Carnegie Hall — from selecting the works to designing the lighting, orchestrating the publicity and planning the opening reception.

The result: Sense Is, the senior exhibition showcasing works by some of the leading young artists completing their studies at UMaine. It reveals their talent and passion, vision, voice and visual vocabulary. As a chapter in their lives nears an end, this exhibit invites final examination.

The seven works featured here were selected to demonstrate the diversity of media used by the artists.

By Margaret Nagle

Reflective Self Mask
Lauren Jellison
Reflective Self Mask
Mixed Media, 2004
 

A Portrait of a Young Woman of the 1920's
Celena Grover
A Portrait of a Young Woman of the 1920's
Mixed Media, 2004
 

Inward
Christopher Peary
Inward
Oil Painting, 2004
 

Made with Love
Anne Shank
Made with Love
Intaglio Print, 2004
 

Kitty-Chan: Mamorinuku
Sarah Holodick
Kitty-Chan: Mamorinuku
Mixed Media Installation, 2004
 

Untitled
Morgan King
Untitled
Installation with metal, glass, leaves, dirt, 2004
 

Obsidian
Sarah Louise Peters
Bloody Knuckles
Video Installation, 2004
 

Lauren Jellison

I am inspired and driven to make art by seeing it all around me.
Lauren Jellison, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration in sculpture

I have always had a fascination with masks, and this project began as an exploration of self-identity. My intent was to create a series of self-portrait masks that would be worn in various settings. During the course of the semester, my idea evolved from focusing on the ways in which each of us changes and adapts to different settings, to becoming a statement about how my own self-consciousness causes me to change and reflect the people with whom I surround myself; how my own self-image reflects my surroundings.

Celena Grover

I come from a family of women who have crafted all their lives. I (lived) with my grandmother and learned the traditions that had been passed down to her.
Celena Grover, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration in mixed media

My Portrait of a Young Woman in the 1920s is of my great-grandmother who, at that time, was the same age I am now. I am drawing a comparison between women today and in the past, how the roles and views of women have changed or remained the same. I also am exploring how we romanticize the past and look back at the "good old days." It's fascinating how some of these objects transcend time.

Christopher Peary

My inspiration is the fantastically mundane existence of everyday life.
Christopher Peary, Washburn, Maine, a double major in journalism and studio art, with a concentration in drawing and painting

Microcosms exist in our relative space, (some) no more than four inches square, but they are environments all their own — smaller subsets of the larger whole of our macro world, which is itself a minor subset of a greater existence. On a more personal level, this imagery seems to reflect an inward state, my mind-set as I prepare to leave school to face some sort of uncertain professional art career. The images and subject matter are familiar yet foreboding. It is structured but chaotic, for it cannot be determined in nature how this detritus is going to accumulate. The space beyond is not quite visible.

Anne Shank

The influence of my family's creativity has been my main inspiration.
Anne Shank, South Portland, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration in photography

My piece is a self-portrait. The quilt is a homage to those who helped to make me who I am, both literally and figuratively. I have always considered myself to be one of the lucky ones who had two dads — my biological dad and my stepdad. However, growing up, this always caused confusion and frustration. In reality, the true story of how I came to be had been untold. In Made with Love, both my fathers are shown, because they both have played vital roles in my development as a person. For the same reason, my stepdad's parents also are shown. I am in the center square. It is amazing to think of how many people it takes to make a single life.

Sarah Holodick

I'm inspired by what I see around me, the main portion of which is pop culture.
Sarah Holodick (aka "bug"), Smithtown, N.Y., a studio art major with a concentration in sculpture

Two of my three pieces in the show were partially consumed on the first night at the opening reception. Okashi(i)1 was a sushi meal made entirely of mass-produced candies; Okashi(i)2 had a garden-meets-mandala feel, inviting participants to consume and, in turn, destroy the cliché images of a bonsai tree, a crane and Mt. Fuji, created out of gumballs. The bronze work, Kitty-Chan: Mamorinuku, takes a highly recognized (cultural) character and treats it as a god. In her circle, she protects other anime characters that are lesser known or more destined to fade away. This protective side of Kitty-Chan is not far from her origins.

Morgan King

I want to create a work of art that's so powerful and intense that the viewer is speechless.
Morgan King, North Stonington, Conn., a studio art major with a concentration in drawing and sculpture

This piece was created during my final semester at UMaine. The whole realization that I would soon fully become an "adult" was terrifying and it felt more like I was dying rather then moving forward with my life. I created this sculpture to echo my thoughts and feelings about graduation and what lies beyond. I didn't want to think about joining the real world with everyone else. I don't want to fall and be washed away by the rain like everyone else. I want to hold on to my branch as long as I can. I want to be young forever.

Sarah Louise Peters

Art is as much about research and decision making as it is about object making.
Sarah Louise Peters, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration in sculpture

Sculpture is no longer limited to objects that are attached to a building or a base; it has grown into video, installations and performance, among other things. It also has laid claim to new materials — sound, real time, the artist's own body, for example. This medium gives me the chance to re-experience my life through a different lens of truth. Because of the content of my video and audio pieces in the senior show, I chose not to have an artist's statement. My intention was to create an intense and deeply personal experience, which I hope will lead to dialogue among the participants.

March-April, 2005

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