The fruit of their labor — senior artists show and tell

It’s 1 a.m. on Monday night, and Holman Hall is still lit up – at least on the third and fourth floors. As several senior fine arts majors prepare for December graduation, late nights and intense days fill the last few months of school. Art majors are known for the wacky things they sometimes do for the sake of art.

But, everyone should realize that strange activities, such as staying up all night, exploring vacant barns for good photo opportunities and breaking branches off of trees for sculpture class, are not in vain. The work of the senior fine art majors this semester shows that all of this hard work has paid off.

For fine arts major Rosanna Bua, it means finding herself in her artwork. Bua is working on a digital self-portrait using Adobe After Effects and Macromedia Director. Viewers will be able to access different parts of Bua’s brain by clicking on various sections, and the interaction results in a higher understanding of the artist’s feelings, emotions and inner self. The most challenging part of the project for Bua has been revealing herself to the viewers.

“I have to have a better understanding of myself in order to express my feelings,” Bua said. “I just hope the viewer gets a better understanding of me.”

Another digital artist, senior Jed Snyder, is working with the 3-D modeling program Maya this semester. Snyder said his primary concern is to create seemingly ordinary objects by creating a photo-realistic replica of a tool shed. The shed will contain all of the typical items, such as a lawnmower, rakes and tools.

Snyder said that his primary concern is to amaze viewers.

“I want them to be astonished that I was able to create something so real, even though it isn’t real at all,” he said.

Snyder’s work is extremely straightforward – there are no gimmicks for hiding behind his technical ability.

Sculptor Brett Sauder is working on a piece that has more of a social bent. He is creating a work called “Pocket Sprawl,” a vending machine that dispenses cards with illustrations of items from the urban environment. The cards contain illustrations of bulldozers, people, SUVS and a limited edition tree card.

The machine will also display a commercial for the cards that it contains. Through this interactive card game, Sauder plans to comment on the current conditions of our society and teach people about urban sprawl. Sauder said his goal in all of his work is, “to create objects that carry a presence and sense of technical fabrication, function and visual form.”

Kurt Phillips is working on an illustration project that combines his technical ability and creative talent. He creates his own imaginative world by illustrating character studies, settings and a narration in pencil. The elements will come together to form a cohesive world, he said. According to Phillips, the imaginary world will “be a medium to voice my opinion on social issues in the form of a story.”

For Phillips, the most difficult part of the project is paring it down into work that he can complete within the timeframe of this semester.

By bringing more depth to his pencil work, he bridges the boundary between illustration and fine art.

“For art majors, the work never stops because your art is your life,” Bua said. “Every experience becomes your art.”

As the semester continues, the seniors juggle their art, life and post-graduation plans. Be sure to check out their efforts at the Senior Show, which opens on Dec. 5 in the Holman Hall Art Gallery.