The Grunwald Gallery will show a BFA thesis exhibition from April 28 until May 8. The exhibition will feature works from 17 graduating students in the bachelor of fine arts program.
Persis Wade focuses on ceramics and is working on several tombstones for her exhibition called “The Potter’s Field.” Her goal is to celebrate and honor the dead and encourage people to treasure life, she said.
“I want to make a contrast of the cemeteries that we see everywhere around us that are very gray, very lifeless,” Wade said. “My sculptures are very colorful and energetic.”
Wade said this idea came about through experiencing the loss of her grandmother last year who didn’t have a funeral.
“I feel like we just don’t acknowledge life,” Wade said.”I wanted to acknowledge life.”
Wade also pulls inspiration from her faith and journey with God that began when she entered college, she said. She said her art has allowed her to express the concept of life and resurrection in a place where she hasn’t been able to talk about her faith.
“I define art as expressing something internally that you have difficulty expressing outwards,” she said. “It’s a language.”
Wells Douglas is a senior studying photography. His exhibition, titled “Americhrome,” is a collection of photos from people taking pictures of their daily lives. His collection was built from going to state sales, thrift stores and donations.
“I’ve been using them to create these digital spaces that are critiquing white America and how older generations have perpetuated the same issues and the same ignorance over time,” he said.
He was inspired by looking through his own family photos and observing the role the men played in the photographs. The idea developed into researching the documentation of the privilege of white men to access certain activities and items, such weapons, property and vacations, he said.
Danielle Robison is a senior studying painting and theater design. Her 6’x4’ painting in the exhibition, titled “Somethings,” is a combination of common objects she has collected during her life. She said she wants to talk about the art of collecting and how people attach meaning to basic objects.
Robison’s research has been devoted to asking the question “Why am I interested in this object?” She said she didn’t know what her project for this exhibition would be until the end of last semester, when she noticed the significance of small things in her life. She pulled her inspiration for her painting style through observing the works of other painters.
Wade, Douglas and Robison have found this project to be a highly rewarding culmination of their three years of research, they said.
There will be a virtual reception on Zoom at 6 p.m. April 30 for the public to meet the artists.
Robison encourages students who aren’t studying art to try out a studio class. She said the art classes are not limited to art students, and art students are eager to welcome others.
“It’s just a fun time,” she said. “You’re not sitting in a lecture hall taking notes. You get to create something that you’re hopefully proud of. It’s not as scary or intimidating as it seems.”