Students are ‘Pushing Edges’ through artwork

By Ashley Thomas
Staff Writer

Donald Trump, bondage and cement shoes are some of the art pieces highlighted at the College’s 2016 BFA Senior Art Exhibition, “Pushing Edges,” on display from Wednesday, May 4, to Friday, May 20, in the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building’s Art Gallery.

The artwork represented politics, sex and identity while sharing personal memories and society’s history. The exhibit went beyond social expectations and challenged traditional museum confines through its loud and truthful pieces.

Seven female artists and graphic designers broke boundaries through their portfolios on display, many of which examined the human experience.

“Weight” and “Drag Me Till I Tear” by senior art education major Amanda Intili featured art in motion and captured the weight of womanhood. Through physically walking in cement shoes and wearing dirty bedsheets, Intili used the human body as her art piece to show the draining realities that women face.

Senior visual arts major Jessica Cavanaugh captured photorealistic portraits that represented the intricacy of human emotion. Her piece “Presence of (the subject)” displayed facial expression and paint depth that reflected the inner man.

The work of senior fine arts major Ashley Monticello took a twist on the classic “Alice in Wonderland” through three photography pieces that showcased the conflicting relationship between her childhood innocence and adult sexuality.

Through ancestral designs, senior fine arts major Jessica Hargwood displayed the complexity of biracial identity. Her off-the-wall dimensions made the pieces “Origins” and “History Lost” fit her aesthetic.

Timed with the current presidential nominees’ campaigns, senior visual arts major Kristen Solis used quotes and paintings that depicted Donald Trump, his political views and the current state of U.S. politics. Her art screamed with emotional rage with lines like “My IQ is one of the highest, and you all know it! Please don’t feel insecure or stupid! It’s not your fault.”

The gallery also included senior fine arts Shannon Donaghy’s pieces that portrayed the emotional and physical experiences of her transracial adoption.

“I was adopted from South Korea,” Donaghy said. “My inspiration was my whole experience.”

Some of her pieces used surrealistic eyes, while her silkscreen pieces went beyond the flat canvas and related more to her personal history.

With most pieces evolving from silkscreen, paint, golden gel pens, paper, colored pencils and canvas, the artists and graphic designers showed the College abstract and thought-provoking art through a variety of materials.

Overall, the exhibition broke limits on artistic freedom of speech. Artists told their own stories and the stories of others while challenging viewers to relate yet feel uncomfortable. Their work did exactly what art has been known to do inspire questions, thoughts and self-reflection.