A new exhibit opened in the Shepherd Union Gallery on Jan. 12., featuring four BFA seminar student’s work: final art pieces that are a culmination of acquired skills on which students have spent months perfecting.
Instructors expect participants in the seminar course to experiment, produce a satisfactory amount of work, constantly reflect on their art and continue to discover the specifics of their practices and methods.
“Students who are consistently working in their studios and are consistently asking new questions tend to produce a lot of work,” Molly Morin, an instructor for the seminar class, said. “That is what we constitute as successful. Within that are a good number of excellent works.”
James Evertsen’s is one of the featured artists. Each of Eversten’s pieces, composed mainly of graphite, colored pencil and paper, took roughly six to eight hours to complete.
“I am a perfectionist and it’s in my head perfect,” Eversten said. “I just want to get it right, so I fight with myself until it is down right. The easiest part of this project was coming up with the ideas. I really enjoyed that part.”
Seminar student Abby Van Ess contributed photographs to the exhibit. Her photographs were created using a technique she dubbed “masking.”
Van Ess asked her friends to be the subject and to name five celebrities they admired. She then took a single feature — ranging from eyes, lips, nose, eyebrows and hair — from each of the celebrities and put it onto her friend’s headshots.
“I think of it as a form of protection, because people are so judgmental and celebrities constantly get that criticism…[it’s] very relatable to everyone because I feel like everyone puts on masks,” Van Ess said.
Eversten additionally offered advice to any future students who are going to participate in the program.
“Go with what you want to do and try not to please everyone else,” he said. “Stick with that, because it’s tough to please anyone. It is tough to read minds.”
Amongst some of the most substantial parts of the class were the experiences gained.
“You learn a lot from doing it and developing it,” Eversten said.
Similarly, Van Ess also noted, “It’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be. You really have to work hard and keep on producing. That’s a very important part. Especially in seminar, because you’re allowed that more experimental side. You’re allowed to try things and fail, and try new things and just keep going.”
The show will be on display every Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 28 in the Shepherd Union Gallery, near the fireplace lounge.