Article Written by Brieannah Gouveia
Photo Courtesy of Brieannah Gouveia
This afternoon, beginning at 5:30 p.m., the opening reception of the college’s annual Art Majors Show will take place in Smoyer Gallery. Talia Logan, gallery director of Olin Hall Galleries, said that this year the work of 25 students will be on display: 10 majors, 12 minors, and three minors currently studying abroad.
This exhibition not only highlights the diversity of the fine arts students’ media, styles and artistic visions, but it is also facilitates publicity and sales for the students with the wider college audience.
The artists had to submit their work for inclusion in the show, but not every piece entered was accepted for the final exhibition. The select pieces range from works of painting, photography and illustration, to sculpture, design and printmaking.
Ben Mowers, junior art major, has three pieces on display. The first of these is a self-portrait. He said it was a class assignment and used the painting as an opportunity to experiment with color and planes.
The second, a brightly colored round painting, titled Sugar Rush, Mowers said “was inspired by my love of pin-up aesthetic,” adding that it was created in order to contrast the dark monochromatic style of many of his other pieces.
Mowers said another painting on display, titled Clairvoyance, “was inspired by the television series American Horror Story: Coven. There is actually a hidden image in the piece (the whole image is a skull),” he added.
With one more year ahead of him, Mowers said that he is still finding his preference of artistic style and theme. “I definitely love drawing, and drawing figures, for that matter. Next year I hope to have a body of work that I can really be proud of and have a strong portfolio that I will want to show off!”
Jaina Lanum, senior art major, has about a dozen different pieces in the show, ranging from photography and printmaking to ceramics. Two of her photographs depicting arrangements of glassware have an interesting backstory.
According to Lanum, “The photograph of the upside down cups with blue and green ‘liquid’ in them is actually Jell-O. I had to go to Walmart and buy multiple packs of Jell-O and then pour it into all this different glassware. My refrigerator was quite a sight! And then I had to carefully transport glass filled with Jell-O to the studio. That was a process, but everything went well!”
Reflecting back on her experiences with the Fine Arts Department, Lanum is most thankful for being able “to form really close relationships with [her] professors and with the other art students, which would not have happened at a larger school.” She added that the most valuable thing she has learned while at Roanoke “is time management, especially with ceramics because there are so many processes involved.”
After graduation, Lanum will endeavor to hike the Appalachian Trail with her sister and uncle. She said she then hopes to continue with her personal photography business, ideally traveling the world capturing photos along the way.
The exhibition, which showcases dozens of more work by other student artists, will be up through May 5.