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Academics > College of Professional and Liberal Studies > Department of Fine Arts > Art > Online Fall Art Exhibition

Online Recognition of Graduating Art Seniors


A senior art exhibition is a time consuming and challenging endeavor under the best of circumstances. The Spring class of 2020 navigated additional challenges by completing their artworks and juries remotely. The public display of the artworks is the culmination of significant time and effort. Completing Art Seniors are invited to participate and be recognized for their efforts in a special invitational exhibition at Concord during the Fall 2020 semester. The programs of Art are proud to share the works of the 2020 seniors in Graphic Design and Studio Art.
Alana Humphrey

These pieces exist for my own entertainment. No, there is no higher reason or grand inspiration. I created these pieces because it’s what I enjoy doing.


There is a feeling of numbness that every artist encounters at least once. I’m not quite referring to “art block,” though some may call it that. I would acquaint it more with that numb feeling. That feelings where you grow tired of creating for others and lose your inspiration to create for yourself. An emptiness, almost.

Current circumstances do little to erase that feeling.

The way to break out of this, I’ve found, is to simply pick up the brush. Don’t worry about making something others with think is good or appealing, just move. Move, move, move. Move until that dam of empty breaks and all the feelings built up behind it come rushing out and bleed onto your canvas of emotions. Move until you’re bled dry and the waters are quiet again. When that quiet washes over you, step away and simply breathe.

These pieces are my emotional canvas. They exist to quiet that gripping numbness and quell the emotional turmoil behind it. My body is my canvas, and the creatures depicted on it are my demons, the specters of emptiness looming in that dark storm of emotions.

I created these pieces to feel again.

I created these pieces for me. Nothing more.
 
Dara Ladner

My pieces tell a story about the particular person in the portrait. I enjoyed creating these images of the people closest to me because with so little information on the person and without ever meeting them, you make a connection using all the context in design about who that person is.


The portraits of the people I chose to photograph for this project are very near and dear to my heart, which made this project even more fun and special for me to create. The people in the photographs are my husband, siblings, parents, grandparents, and closest friends. Without these people in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was happy to have a chance to create something in honor of them.

As a graphic designer, I am essentially interested in creating pieces of work that contain interesting subject matter. My favorite aspects of the creation process are focusing on the placement, color and typography of my pieces. Those are the key factors that make or break a design piece.

The subject matter in my work is the most important because without that, you lose the personal feeling and connection of the portrait. With the portrait and typography together, you may get the feeling that you can tell what that person’s personality is just by the layout and words of the typography surrounding the portrait.
Ems Scarbro

When I started this project, I had just lost my mom, and my heart knew that it needed something besides grief. I thought I needed a huge undertaking of mindless work for my hands to help me cope, but what I really needed was to make something I could be proud of. I knew from the start that I needed to work on something that would turn immediately into a labor of love. As a horror enthusiast, I thought to myself: “Life-sized monsters.” As an artist, I thought to myself; “Beautiful women make the best monsters.” And so, I took inspiration from the myths and legends and ancient art of the past that so frequently depict beautiful women as monsters.


Not only that, but each monster I made was a testament to what I wanted for myself in the future. To me, they represent concepts like fierceness, beauty, independence, and the ability to grieve without guilt. The grief I felt blinded me to the future; I had no goal but to keep going. The fact that I could see things I wanted for myself while making these monsters was a special step in the healing process for me.

That healing process began with the werewolf, the first of my monsters to come to form. For me, werewolves represent transformation, not a transformation from good to evil, but one from man to beast. The only thing beasts are concerned with is survival, and I admire that about them. It felt like survival was the only thing I was concerned with during the months after my mom passed away. I was completely shattered then, and I let the pieces lay so long that eventually I didn’t know how to put them back the way they’d been before. Left with pieces of myself that did not fit the same way they once had, I am not the person I was; I’m not worse, not better, I am simply changed.
Gabriel Jones

I love to hike, fish, and explore. I feel the serenity of nature informs my work. I love the outdoors and the nature that surrounds us. I have been creating things from a very young age. I focus in watercolor painting, Graphic design, and jewelry making.


The pieces I have made are inspired by my childhood and upbringing here in West Virginia. My mind feels at peace when in nature and when I work on my designs. With my skills as an artist I aim to bring that calm mind state back into the reality everyday life with my art.

In my paintings, I use references from my hikes. I take many pictures when I am outside and mix them into a concept for each painting. I use calm soft colors to reflect a peaceful serenity among my artworks.
Hannah Craig

I’ve always valued building connections with others, even if it’s only a brief and spontaneous interaction. I am using this project to demonstrate the beauty in human interaction and how the process is just as important as the finished result. I have photographed a large number of interesting individuals I’ve met over the past couple months and asked each of them the same question, “What is your why?”. This question allows for many possible answers and interpretations from person to person, resulting in a wide variety of responses.


I’ve chosen to take these photographs with a Polaroid camera in order to capture the spontaneous, instant result that reflects the process of meeting and briefly connecting with new people. I also like the idea of using a Polaroid camera because it feels nostalgic and reminiscent of a time where people were more prone to connecting and conversing with each other in a way that is seeming to be less common as technology advances. I decided to display all of my photographs in a precise, grid-like layout spanning across the gallery wall, allowing viewers to easily engage with each photo in an organized manner. I wanted to take up as much space on the wall as possible in order to showcase the volume of photographs being displayed and the large number of individuals I’ve met throughout this process.

The process of completing this project has been very special to me because it has allowed me to appreciate and connect with strangers beyond a surface level, which otherwise wouldn’t have been likely to happen. Meeting people from all walks of life and having them share a glimpse of their purpose has shown me how different yet interconnected we are as humans. The experience of meeting and photographing strangers has taught me a lot and helped me develop a greater appreciation for others by reminding me that each individual we encounter lives a life as complex and multifaceted as our own.
Jessica Davidson

I have always loved exploring new mediums, so when I purchased a pyrography kit a year or so ago, I knew that I was going to have a blast with it. I was right. I quickly became captivated with this fiery art form. I did some experimenting with projects that were solely pyrography, but I felt there was still something missing. Color. Color was one of my first loves when I was discovering art.


As a young girl, I got a set of 50 colored pencils for my birthday and made it my goal to use every single one of them on one paper. I did, and the blindingly colorful result brought a smile to my face.

When I created my first multi-medium pyrography piece, I was concerned because I knew the pyrography wasn’t the primary focus anymore, but I also knew that I had stumbled upon something I could find tremendous enjoyment in because it has allowed me to combine several things I love into intricate artworks that can fit in the palm of my hand.

Firstly, it allows me to be connected to the ancient art world through pyrography. Classical artwork fascinates and inspires me, so to be doing something in the 21st century that was being done hundreds of years ago is very cool to me. Secondly, it allows me to appease that little girl inside of me who just loves to see artwork filled to the brim with colors and details. Thirdly, it allows me to make my work into a double entendre by putting “nature on nature” so to speak. I love a good pun. And finally, it allows me to honor the creator of the real, breathtaking nature that is to be seen all around the world.

As I have gotten out of my comfort zone the past few years, I have explored aesthetics and ideas that I would not have expected. These experiments and discoveries helped me to branch out with my art, but they also helped me to narrow down the things I love most. I have never fully strayed from several of my original loves, which were my fascination with colors and nature.

I’m captivated by artwork that is filled to the brim with color and detail, and so the result of these pieces is pleasing to me. However, the process of planning, sketching, and blending the colors on the wood surface is also very important and satisfying to me. It scratches that “artistic itch”.

It also allows me the advantage of adding details in pyrography. To me this adds a nice contrast to the vibrant colors, sets my pieces apart from pieces that are solely colored pencil, and keeps me connected to pyrography. Pyrography is one of my favorite rural art forms, as well as the root of my inspiration for these.

Finally, the delicacy of these pieces is important to me. I have done pieces of varying sizes, but these are among the most enjoyable for me. I love being able to hold them in the palm of my hand while I work on them, and then easily put them in my backpack for traveling. They are also relatively easy to complete for someone who has the attention span of a stick bug.
Kassidy Shinn

My style of work has always been tied to my interest and drive to create contrast, whether it is with the mediums, subject, or symbolism within the piece. The ability to find balance between two different mediums that are not often viewed together, while finding techniques that work to bring out the beauty of each, while not overshadowing either is something I strive for with every series I begin.


For this series, I wanted to try two media I had yet to use together, the simplistic styling of embroidery mixed with the detail work I can get with painting. The subject is something I have done before, the clear contrast between the skulls and flowers symbolizing life and death, as well as using flowers to show the different cultural meanings.
Lindsey Adkins

As a graphic designer, I create images through photo manipulation of stock images. My initial intent for this series had no meaning behind what the pieces meant, but as I progressed, other people started sharing their ideas of what they thought, and I enjoyed hearing their opinions. So, I decided to add different elements to make the viewer think about what the purpose of the images could be. Even though I made these pieces for aesthetic reasons, I find it fascinating to hear other people’s opinions on what they get from the pictures.


Lighting was another key element in designing these pieces. I experimented with pictures with gel lights, which became a staple in the design. The use of gel/neon lighting helped to create a unified look across all the pieces. It also brings more interest by adding a wide range of colors to make all the images look related.

Typography was not something I had originally intended to use. Even though there is only one word on each image, they all play an important role in unifying the pieces. I chose action words for all the pieces to give it context so that the viewer can make up their assumptions about what they think it is supposed to mean. The neon effect on the type acts as a light source and gives context to the lighting.
Mary Salyers

My show, “Mood Illustrations” is based on the idea that we feel and see art in different ways, and I want to evoke those different emotions with my artwork. My goal is to take a moment out of life, and use colors and people to express a certain feeling. While I have my own interpretation of the piece I create, I want the viewer to relate the piece to their own experiences and ideas.


I have spent a lot of time coming up with this idea and developing my art style, I feel like I have finally found my niche that represents who I am as an artist. I am very chaotic, colorful, and calm. Yes, calm and chaotic are opposite attributes, but I want my art to represent this about me. I want my art to be filled with color and chaos (i.e. the paint splatters) but also calm in the sense that there is a deeper meaning behind all the pretty colors.

My art represents my journey, as it has been a wild ride from the beginning. I’ve always loved drawing people, I’ve always been drawn to things that are colorful, and drawn to things that represent human interaction and emotion (we lack a lot of that in today’s world). So I hope to use my art as a way to make people feel and relate with each other in a very colorful and creative way.
Taylor Perkins

Tangier Island, were all of the works in the show are based off of, is an island in the Chesapeake Bay that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. The island is unmatched in its atmosphere of salt marshes and watermen. Sadly, the island itself is rapidly losing shoreline as it is washed away by the ocean current, 15 feet per year.


That matched with the fact the island is only 4 feet above sea level, makes this quite scary. I simply don’t want this unique of a place to go unknown to most people. The salt water marshes that cover the island, generate rolling waves of greens and browns as the plants grow where ever their roots can take hold. These open fields, split only by salt water creeks, become large shapes of color that overtake most of the non-livable areas. While in the town, oddly shaped and hastily repaired buildings cover what could be passed off as “dry land”. These homes and businesses are run through the worst of weather and salt water. The buildings due to the owner’s limited resources are often repaired with whatever wood or stone can be scraped up from other projects. The bring unique shapes to their town.

Such as a fence built from posts and boards of varying sizes and shapes. Every piece of the homes has been weathered and bleached by the salt and sunlight, bringing with it a myriad of colors. These browns to grays in the structures with the sea of greens behind them caught my attention when I first arrived at Tangier Island. When I stepped off the boat, I was met with a sight of harbor of weathered wood and blue ocean to the secondary sea of green grass dotted with white birds. This is what I am bringing to the mainland with this show, a chance to get a glimpse of Tangier Island before it washes away.