BSC senior Art gallery opens
The Durbin art gallery opened March 3rd, featuring the senior exhibition. Each artist’s body of work occupied a single white wall, two walls adjacent, a generous amount of floor space, or a spot on ceiling from which it could hang, allowing the art room to breathe. As a symbol of ownership and accomplishment, above or nearby their artwork in light grey, the artists’ names proudly stuck to the walls: Anna Eggers, Hailey Kirkley, Jane Gleissner, Brooke Akins, Savannah Bullard, Katie Cleveland, Emma Knapp, Ali Sadler, and Timothy McOmber.
Kirkley and Gleissner stood by their sculptures and their cyanotypes that glowed blue as a result of the photographic process, Eggers by her photographs of public restrooms, and Akins near her monumental sculptures based on the aesthetics of African tribal masks. Knapp maneuvered through her sculptures of elegant dresses, her motion as organic as the work itself, and Bullard stood near her colorful arrangement of two-dimensional, mixed media works. McOmber set the figures in his playful ink drawings free from their frames to dawdle around the ceiling of the gallery, and Sadler reminisced with sentimental photos and paintings of her siblings, mother, and late father. Cleveland stood by her lithographic prints of General Patten, her emotional support rabbit, that hopped around his mobile throughout the entirety of the reception of her show.
Surrounded by friends, family, and autonomous admirers, the artists answered questions, gave statements, socialized, and enjoyed their moments in the spotlight.
These activities all transpired on the night of March 3 and again, over a month later, on April 7. The first exhibition, featuring Kirkley, Eggers, Gleissner, and Akins, lasted until March 23. With an intermediary of two weeks for the installation of the second show, the two Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibitions took place almost continuously. Two receptions were hosted for two incomparable groups of artists. This 2017 BFA senior class fit together like an already fixed, nine-piece puzzle.
Behind every beautiful, professionally presented work of art in the BFA Senior Exhibitions are months of hard work and sacrifice. “A lot of people don’t understand how much work goes into making everything for the show,” says Cleveland, a double major in Art and Psychology. “What many people don’t think about when looking in the gallery is that everything is typically made by the art student, not just the work hanging on the walls. We cut down the plexi-glass; we make the frames; we hang everything.” As a matter of fact, the BSC art faculty imposed this independence onto these soon-to-be college graduates in a deliberate effort to allow them the educational experience of a professional artist.
“The week of spring break, I spent probably forty-seven hours working on the show in the studio,” says Cleveland. She admits to spending around a thousand dollars on materials exclusively for her senior exhibition. Similarly, Eggers recalls spending many late nights working in the studio sometimes staring at a white wall until three o’ clock in the morning. Nevertheless, she says that she would be nothing if it weren’t for this program and credits BSC for her current strength as an artist.
The combined strength of Eggers and her fellow seniors manifested in the BFA exhibitions as they reached the summit of their artistic careers at BSC. “I’ve been anticipating this my whole college career but could never fathom what it would be like,” says Eggers. “You know that it’s going to happen but have no idea what work you’ll be doing in four years. So finally realizing that I have a body of work that I am proud of, that I can successfully present, is great.”
Feature photo of art by Ali Sadler