Subscribe to Fourth Estate Watch our YouTube Channel Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook

Final Lawton display highlights senior artists

Cyndi Revolinsky, Entertainment Writer
May 8, 2013
Filed under Entertainment, Top Stories

As another year at UW-Green Bay comes to a close, the second round of graduating seniors got the chance to leave their mark on campus. The Senior Show II opened May 5 and runs until May 16 at the Lawton Gallery.

The show kicked off with an opening reception from 2-4 p.m. The event gave artists the opportunity to display their statements and pieces. They were also available to answer any questions.

The second round of seniors participating in the Senior Show II are Spencer Karls, Leah Farley, Jessica Schmidt, Megan Mueller, Sarah Schrader, Lauren Sinner and Kerie Throw.  Every participant is an art or visual design major, with the exception of Schmidt, who is a double major in Spanish and communication.

Each student crafted and installed his or her pieces in the gallery. The show allowed them to gain hands-on experience with the different aspects involved in preparing and setting up an exhibit.

“For the students, it gives them an opportunity to create a coherent body of work with all the attendant issues involved with that,” said Stephen Perkins, Lawton Gallery curator. “The students are also actively involved in hanging and lighting their work, so they also pick up some of the professional skills with regard to installing artwork in exhibition settings.”

Another thing many students learned from the experience is  that projects don’t always turn out the way they were intended to. Because of this, some students learned how to adapt to unexpected problems that can occur.

“I don’t really ever end up with the original concept I started with,” said Sarah Schrader, a design arts and business administration major. “It’s a constant process of creating, critiquing and changing to make the best piece possible.”

With her three-piece poster series, the Senior Show II gave Schrader the chance to do something out of her comfort zone.

“It is so different from what I normally create,” Schrader said. “It challenged me to think in a new way, and that is something I strive for.”

Students dedicated the semester to creating and finishing their projects in time for the show. Featured artist Leah Farley displayed five photographs and put all of her spare time into their completion.

“Every week during the semester I was spending time on my pieces, whether it was shooting, printing, or even coming up with titles,” Farley said. “I felt there wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to get to the final result.”

The themes of the pieces ranged from the personal to the technical. While some artists wanted to convey emotions, the concept of time or personal identity, Lauren Sinner focused more on highlighting the materials she used.

“My concept was to continue the traditions of natural dyes and embroidery,” Sinner said. “I created my own dyes from plants that I collected and dyed cotton fabric and embroidery floss. I then embroidered the plant itself back onto the fabric as a means to pay homage to the plant that did the dying.”

The gallery was packed during the opening reception with students, faculty and families. Guests milled about, pausing every now and then when a work of art spoke to them.

“Based on the history the artists shows and everything that associates itself with me,” said Gabby Gaura, 2012 UWGB allumna. “For someone to be able to capture what I’ve gone through as a person in a way I can’t is really amazing.”

In addition to showcasing the work of graduating seniors, the opening reception served as a venue for Jennifer Mokren, chair of the art and design program, to award more than $21,000 in scholarships to art and visual design majors.

Senior Show II participants are looking forward to continuing their work after graduation.

“My dream job would be to do the design work for film and television,” Schrader said. “I feel like they just get to be way out there and over the top creative, and that just seems so fun. I don’t have a set plan, but I would love to move and experience a new place.”

As the featured artists embark on a new journey, they look back at their favorite times as a Phoenix.

“I have so many fond memories from my time in the UWGB art program,” Mueller said. “I learned so much. I feel as though I’ve gained an open mind and a lot more confidence in my work. I know this is what I want to do, and these are the people I want to be around for the rest of my life.”

The Lawton Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located in Theatre Hall. All events are free and open to the public.