An art observed
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An art observed

Seniors prepare for final studio art show

By David Seaman | Echo

Every artist is different. Their experiences, their memories, their thoughts are all their own. The art they create is a description of human life. Artists participate with what they have created. In the process, they become integrated, not distant, observers.

“Not Distant Observers” is the name for the senior studio art show, presented today from 5:30–8 p.m. in Metcalf Gallery. Ten senior art majors will showcase their work, which consists of drawings, sculptures, prints, photography, ceramics and more. Even zoo exhibits will be involved.

“(My piece) is a field museum exhibit featuring taxidermies that I am borrowing from the Biology Department,” said Austin Smith, who created a custom major tailored toward zoo and museum exhibit design. He’s merging his passions of biology and art for the show. “This exhibit is a combination of sculptural work, illustration and graphic design along with a large quantity of research into the ecology and natural history of the location and species I am featuring.”

Most students presenting pieces of art have been working on their pieces for the majority of the year, according to Sarah Cook. Art majors also took a senior thesis course, taught in the fall and spring semesters by art professors Josh Welker and Suzie Dittenber, to prepare for the show.

“Our ideas and our work have been critiqued by the faculty at Taylor, visiting artists and our classmates, and each artist has worked to create art that is both technically and conceptually excellent,” Cook said.

That excellence is apparent to Welker. He says that Cook has created apocalyptic imagery that would make William Blake proud, and Smith’s three 15-foot banners could hang outside of any museum. Sarah Coss has photographs that investigate the line between beautiful and awkward in the human body and Callie Haven explores deadly places with her series of photographic portraits.

Welker also explained that Callie Taff’s coil pots are elegant, whereas Isaac Gilmore’s have bites taken out of them. Yeqian Zhao carved owls from books and drew everything he owns onto a very large piece of paper. Mariel Heins has created bone drawings through lithography, and Tim Miller and Nate Scheibe have combined their talents to build furniture and wall pieces.

This creative work reflects the theme of “Not Distant Observers,” which comes from an article by Wendell Berry titled “Style and Grace.”

“Every artist in the show has experienced dialogue between life and art,” Cook said. “Art isn’t just for artists, and we’re looking forward to sharing our work with our families, our friends and this campus.”

“Not Distant Observers” premieres today from 5:30–8 p.m. in the Metcalf Gallery. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. The show runs until spring break.

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