“I wanted to be able to have something big to tell them about, something really exciting and professional,” Gormley said.
Slavick said she and her eight Art 390 students gladly took on the challenge.
They visited each of the graduate students’ galleries to choose the artwork.
“Our first few visits, we thought, ‘Oh, we like all of this. We’ll take everything,’” said Flannery Ronsick, a senior in the class. “After seeing what other master’s students had, we saw what would go together, and things started to fall in place.”
Because of the breadth of styles and mediums among the graduate students’ works, deciding on a theme was nearly impossible, Ronsick said.
But when the class saw Jason Osborne’s painting, “Don’t Be Intimidated by this Painting,” the concept for the exhibit was born, said junior Amanda Hawkins, another student in the class.
“It’s a new concept to have art in the Friday Center, and the art we put in there is definitely a different kind of aesthetic,” she said.
The Friday Center is an ideal space for an exhibit because of its built-in audience of students and conference attendees, Slavick said.
“People will come see it who don’t even know they’re coming to see it,” she said.
Although this is the first large art exhibit the Friday Center has hosted, the students tried hard to make the artwork work in the context of the space, Slavick said.
“Things make sense,” she said. “We really did try to use the space, make the work fit really nicely contextually.”
Master of fine arts graduate student Damian Stamer said he was impressed with how the students found the perfect space for his paintings.
“Two of my works are dealing with surface qualities, and they put them in a wood-paneled room, so it’s an interesting play with the environment that they were able to do,” he said.
Stamer said in addition to appreciating the opportunity to have his work displayed, he enjoyed working with undergraduate students.
“It was a really great collaboration between undergraduates and graduates,” he said.
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