By Jasmine Huang, Junior Editor
On April 20, seniors Aidan Bliss, Caney Hummon, Relly King, Maria Monterde, Charles Pappas, Hunter Swenson, and Brook Vann debuted their work in the University Art Gallery during an opening reception. Snacks were laid out in the center of the room as visitors walked from piece to piece.
Featuring a variety of mediums, the group of seven put together a diverse exhibit united in the nature of their concentrations. Some of Vann’s video installations were set up on the balcony of the gallery, while Hummon’s dynamic paintings were interspersed with the remaining art on the first floor.
King displayed fluid, colorful figures she created by overlapping the female form as well as other pieces which examined femininity. Monterde’s concentration explored gender roles and the gender binary. Along with Pappas, Swenson, and Bliss, the seniors put together an excellent show reflecting their own personal experiences, relationships, and current events.
King explained, “My work covers femininity and female empowerment and embodiment. I’ve taken a few women and gender studies classes here, and that’s definitely influenced me a lot. And I’ve just grown with really strong women in my life. So I think it’s a number of things, but especially this year with the #MeToo movement and Charlie Rose, it was kind of the forefront of what I was thinking about for sure.”
Although they utilized different materials and means of expression, the group’s content matter naturally overlapped, resulting in the exhibitions’ format. Vann noted, “It really felt like a group effort to hang this show as opposed to other years, where it’s just been individuals who come to hang their stuff in a specific section, versus in our show where it’s sort of spread out and everyone’s work is throughout the gallery.”
Each of them had an array of reasons for choosing their major. “My mom was a fashion designer, so I was pushed to go into the art world from her, and I think the kind of art that she did has definitely been an interest of mine,” said King.
Likewise, Pappas remarked,“I think I’ve always kind of wanted to do something creative. I was raised practicing art. Pradip Malde was my FYP mentor when I was a freshman, so I was developing film with holga cameras and going around shooting with holgas, so that was one of the first things I learned here too.”
However, Vann entered Sewanee without the intention to enter the creative field and didn’t take an art class until sophomore year. “I definitely did not come to Sewanee to major in art, but I guess I did,” she commented with a smile and shrug.
Considering the last couple of semesters, Swenson said, “It’s been super interesting [being] an art major this year. It’s been hard at some points but really good,” before Vann quickly interjected, “Not past tense, it’s still present.”
Correcting himself, Swenson reiterated, “It is still really hard, we have our presentations and thesis in a week, still working through that. Regardless of that, it’s been really amazing being with this group of artists.”
They both emphasized, “Come to our show!”
On April 27 in Convocation Hall, there will be artist talks from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.