The uniqueness of their artwork and the extraordinary conditions under which it was created has inspired “Unprecedented,” this year’s annual exhibition by Ohio Wesleyan University’s graduating fine arts majors.
The 2021 senior show will debut with a virtual reception at 5 p.m. May 1. The live, online event will feature a conversation with the 10 student-artists facilitated by Tammy Wallace, assistant director of Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum.
“Unprecedented” will feature artwork selected by a jury of Ohio Wesleyan fine arts faculty. The pieces also will be on display for in-person viewing from May 2 through May 28 at the Ross, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.
In describing their exhibit, the seniors collectively wrote: “We would be remiss to neglect to mention the impact that global events such as COVID and social justice movements have had on us as humans and as artists. Artists often seek to document history and depict what the collective is experiencing; we have been gifted with this tool to speak out about the things we care about most.
“While we have seen the word ‘unprecedented’ so many times we are sick of hearing it,” the seniors stated, “we know also that we – the next generation of up-and-coming artists – can show you something that has never been known or done before. We are ‘Unprecedented.’”
Graduating fine arts majors taking part in this year’s senior exhibition are:
• Miller Buckholz of Cleveland. “Each piece I create collectively extends to my past life and exemplifies where I’ve come from, what I’ve learned, and even features a preview of what I am going to do in the future,” Buckholz said. “I do not limit myself to one concept, style, or medium, but rather journey into each of these principles as a whole. This has broadened my knowledge about who I am as an artist and as a human being.”
• Elise Crawford of Powell. “The mediums that I primarily use are oil paints,” Crawford said. “The manipulative texture of these specific materials allows me to pinpoint the intricacies of features through the connections I witness in form, light, value, and color. … Artwork holds extraordinary power to ensure the longevity of memory of people, places, and moments that have long marked our presence in this world.”
• Isaiah Harris of Hilliard. “Utilizing photography, graphic design, and drawing, my work examines personal and universal exchanges found in various art movements,” Harris said. “I desire to construct prints and drawings that evoke a certain mood out of the viewer. Ultimately, delivering a message through feeling is my goal, whether the feeling comes from throughout the space or due to its emotional resonance through human interaction.”
• Paige Hashman of Mount Vernon. “Before OWU, I had begun art-making with a very closed mind and felt that my mediums were limited,” Hashman said. “Now, I know that there is an endless amount of materials, objects, sounds, colors, and stories that can create something so intriguing and unique to that very artist. We are all so different, and I have loved embracing that fact from start to finish.”
• Mary Kate McElroy of Whipple, Ohio. “While I have become fascinated in depicting what I see around me, I have also turned my attention inward,” McElroy said. “I use painting, drawing, and photography to explore both my relationship with myself and to process the complexities of my experiences. As I have learned to see beauty in places deemed unworthy, I translate this into my view of the female figure and the beauty of femininity outside of the patriarchal context.”
• Maggie Myers of Coshocton. “As I look at the world around me, I am drawn to scenes with sharp lines that intersect and cross over each other vertically, horizontally, and diagonally,” Myers said. “My favorite places to find such features are in my architectural surroundings. I am also intrigued by the relationship between light and shadow and the way their interaction can make the most ordinary objects appear haunting or ethereal.”
• Maithili Rajput of Alexandroupoli, Greece. “My landscape paintings are focused on the beautiful places from my memory and my everyday walk. Similarly, my figures in sculptures portray real-life challenges women face,” Rajput said. “My goal is to keep up my creativity – keep capturing different places in my art, and present to the world how women handle real-life challenges, and communicate how beautiful it is to be a woman. I believe as an artist I have power to create a world I dream about.”
• Kayla Rondinelli of Centennial, Colorado. “I have witnessed how art can directly impact the environment through its influence on the public in inspiring artists and viewers alike to take action in conservation efforts,” Rondinelli said. “I create multidimensional art that inspires meaningful change. As so many incredible artists have done throughout the distant and recent history, my designs are intended to make people think about, envision, and long for a better world.”
• Patience Savino of Yonkers, New York. “I depict what I adore. I cherish these subjects you see so much that I’m compelled to draw/photograph them,” Savino said. “They are that which I need and want in my life. That includes love, sex, music, holding another human close, and my family and friends.”
• Avery Wood of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “As a future educator of the arts, I am very immersed in the art community,” Wood said. “Teaching has been my passion ever since I fell in love with creating art in high school. My work in the arts has been completed on multiple levels at Ohio Wesleyan University. I have taken a multitude of courses in all content areas and feel fully prepared to teach a variety of classes.”
To register to attend the May 1 virtual art opening, visit www.owu.edu/Unprecedented. A virtual tour will be available the following week on the art museum’s website, www.owu.edu/ross, or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RossArtMuseum. The in-person exhibit at the museum will open at 1 p.m. May 2.
During the academic year, the Ross is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum will be closed May 11-12 for Bishop Break days. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Visitors must wear masks and follow the latest coronavirus public health guidelines. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit www.owu.edu/ross for more information.
Created in 1864, Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Fine Arts was one of America’s first college art departments. Today, it offers both bachelor of arts (B.A.) and bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degrees. Learn more about the department, its majors and minors, and its faculty at www.owu.edu/finearts.
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