2018 Fall BA Group Exhibition

Fourteen students will present a portion of their senior portfolio in Blower's Gallery in Ramsey Library and the Second Floor Gallery in Owen Hall. This show is the last step for students to earn their Bachelor's of Arts in Art. Mediums include printmaking, sculpture, drawing, painting, ceramics and photography. The opening reception will be held on Friday, December 7th, from 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. in both locations. The shows will be up December 7th-14th.

Jessi Clodfelter, Drawing

Artist Statement: Jessi Clodfelter

This body of work expresses a dramatization of food cravings when on a strict diet through the use of sexual imagery combined with food. The restricting of specific foods, although perhaps good for one’s health, often lead to cravings, bingeing, and temptations to break given restrictions in order to satiate one’s desires. Through the use of combining bright candy colors, delicious treats and sensual themes, I am working to create a series that expresses these indulgent desires in a humorous, colorful way in order to make fun of this self-made limitations. Striking color palettes mixed with lewd imagery in both gouache and digital format are used to create graphic, illustrative style artwork. I combine these edible objects with the figure or parts of the figure to create a dialogue about how people on diets make the act of indulging in specific foods a “guilty pleasure”. -Jessi Clodfelter

Gabrielle Brodman, Drawing

Artist Statement: Gabrielle Brodman

The purpose of this project is to illustrate the connections between my family members and myself, through the use of embroidered collages. Throughout this project, I have looked into the history of embroidery as both an art practice globally and as a tradition in Sicilian culture. The research on this topic has led to a greater understanding of embroidery history and techniques, which I have showcased in each piece. The process of making these pieces involves the creation of a digital collage comprised of family photos, followed by embroidering directly overtop of these collages. The embroidery itself is intended to draw attention to the connection the subjects of the photos have with each other and their environment. -Gabrielle Brodman 

Kaitlyn Williams, Drawing

Artist Statement: Kaitlyn Williams

It is often thought that divinity and humanity are seperate. How could a perfect being be imperfect, and how could an imperfect being be perfect? This work is about this balance between two ends of a spectrum and how they can cross over each other despite their differences. If divinity created humanity, then there would be evidence in our very being. The same should be true of divinity, and they should have imperfections if they were created by humanity. Whatever your religious belief, you must think one created the other, and that means traces of the creator would be present in the creation. Each subject is a real person personified as a deity draped in decorated fabric and framed with a golden halo. The figures are the main focus of their environment and are mostly in the center of the composition. If they are a divine figure, why shouldn’t they be? Being in the center of a piece signifies importance. What should be gathered from these pieces is a sense that humanity can be perfect and divinity can be imperfect, and that one cannot exist without the other. Divinity is part of the human experience and humanity is part of the divine experience. -Kaitlyn Williams 

Lauren Haugen, Drawing

Artist Statement: Lauren Haugen

This body of work, focuses on how human interaction is negatively affecting animals; causing habitat loss and possible endangerment.  The idea behind this concept is that if people see the detailed images in beautiful and harmonious graphite drawings and see how much care was put into them, then maybe the viewer will take that beyond the gallery walls and take better care of the environment. Viewers may then realize what we, as a society, are doing to these organisms. The hope is that people will think twice before interacting with nature in such a way that could bring irreparable harm to a species, such as, littering or cutting down forests for a housing development.

This concept is portrayed by drawing the animal directly in the environment that we, as humans, selfishly altered.  The animals in each drawing are positioned so that the environmental issues that humans have created is in the foreground. This was done for two reasons. The first reason being that humans are creating the problems that are damaging their environment and in some situations, causing the animals to try and adapt, but not all are successful at adapting. The second reason is so that it is blatantly obvious as to what the problem is for each selected species. -Lauren Haugen

Shannon Bodeau, Drawing

Artist Statement: Shannon Bodeau 

Through drawn portraits of people who garden and farm, I build connections between our human existence and the non-human life we share our planet with. I depict each individual person in relationship to the plant life which they feel a connection to, immersing them within a greater natural context. Each subject appears as they did while sharing their own personal life story in a conversation with me. These stories include not only descriptions of the subjects’ interactions with plants and animals, but also their moments of everyday human experience, struggle, and joy. By integrating these topics, the portraits I draw break down barriers between daily human life and our relationship with other species and natural phenomena.

My approach in these portraits also visually dissolves the separation between human and nature through drawn borders which disappear and reappear between plant and human subjects. I overlay several images of humans and plants on top of one another, enmeshing my subject’s flow of movement throughout storytelling with the non-human life they find connection to. By using several images merging with and disappearing from one another, I invoke the liminal space between human “self” and natural “other” in order to challenge these divisions in favor of deeper enquiry into what connects us to the other occupants of planet Earth. -Shannon Bodeau

Katrina Chenevert, Sculpture

Artist Statement: Katrina Chenevert

Food takes on many different meanings for me, more than just a basic means for survival.  It’s often been the focal point of many of my social interactions.  Whether it was a movie date or dinner date or holidays where everyone crammed into the kitchen, food was a focal point.

Looking back over many social interactions in my lifetime, certain foods elicit a nostalgic response.   Movie matinees bring to mind the many rolls of Necco wafers and penny candy that I snuck in by way of bulging coat pockets.  Movie intermission meant refueling with a bucket of popcorn, half of which seemed to end up in the seats and on the theatre floor.  Swanson’s fried chicken TV dinners were a special treat my grandmother served while propped in front of their old Zenith round picture tube television. If I was lucky, dessert came in the form of a Moon Pie and RC cola or Dr. Pepper.

Creating soft sculptures and food installations from these nostalgic moments has been a wonderful way to recreate those moments in time and give them a new permanent presence in my life. -Katrina Chenevert

Sebastian Ellison, Sculpture

Artist Statement: Sebastian Ellison

Telling stories or making narratives is an important part of my process.  Therefore, I often work with series of paintings, sculptures or ceramics.  The overall concept is broken into pieces so that I can focus on one part at a time. 

I am mostly concerned with the future of DNA manipulation and how this will affect humanity.  Genomes and physiology will be altered through biological processes to reach a future in which some humans will be drastically and permanently altered. The standard example is altering DNA of embryos to achieve a more perfect child or change the sex or other features in some way desirable to the parents (or whomever is in control).  Other emerging technology involves implanting algae in brain tissue, which will theoretically allow computers to directly engage the human brain. 
For example, my sculpture End of Evolution is part of a series about the possibilities of human evolution and how genetic science and technology will allow great changes to what has been a natural process.  Humans no longer fall victim to evolution and can shape their own paths via science.  The ethics are questionable. The sculpture depicts a person altered from a natural state and wearing a wing-shaped headdress to evoke a sense of a DNA helix.

My current sculpture series consists of three pieces: The Bishop, The Gold Deer, and The White Bull.  The Bishop represents an entity with power within the hierarchy of a new culture involving biological manipulation.  The Gold Deer and The White Bull are figures that used to be human but have given themselves over to the new technology, which I see as mirroring faith and religion. 

I want to present the audience with figures that are interesting and imposing enough that people will seek out the background concepts that drive my creations and feed into the larger scope of the story I want to communicate, as well as be visceral and symbolic so that the audience can engage in their own interpretations. -Sebastian Ellison

Maleah Weir, Sculpture

Artist Statement: Maleah Weir

For centuries, art has been utilized as an expression of emotion, ideology, belief, and conflict. The use of art within the context of mental health is a relatively newer field of study, and currently has little research to inform its process. There is a constant growing interest, however, based in the undeniable fact that many artworks throughout history either reflect a conflict within the artist, or address an outward conflict or idea that affects our world. These two areas parallel the questions asked within the world of mental health - What are the causes, symptoms, and remedies of life-altering conflicts within the human brain, emotions, and mental functioning? The weight of these questions paired with the immense impact they have on countless lives worldwide leads researchers, doctors, psychologists, and artists alike to continually search for newer, more effective, more insightful answers.

For many artists, the idea of art therapy hits not too far from home. As artists, we find a sense of freedom, happiness, fulfillment, and healing through our artistic endeavors. The release of emotion, ideology, or internal conflict through creative means allows a purposeful outlet to either get a message into the world, or simply make peace within ourselves about something, which we reflect in our art. Artistic expression is believed by many to be one of the most powerful gifts we have as humans. The philosophy of harnessing that power towards a specific aim within the psychological world has the potential to drastically impact the healing process of those with mental illnesses. Whether the conflict at hand is a diagnosed mental disorder that needs treatment, or simply an internal battle needing to be expressed in a healthy way, art therapy has the potential to create a safe and holistic space to do both.

This body of work seeks to explore the process of art therapy more deeply within myself as an artist, and future art therapist. The motivation in this endeavor is to become a more knowledgeable, compassionate, and effective art therapist by personally experiencing the process myself. Through these projects within fiber arts, my objective is to focus in on areas of my own mental health, emotions, and internal conflict, and allow the creative processing of these projects to intersect and interact with those. The visual outcome of this process is not of utmost importance in this body of work, but rather the experience and development of the processes of art therapy that are discovered and recorded along the way.

The written record of parts of this journey into experiencing art therapy is shared in the writings found throughout this body of work. In addition to this, my experiences of utilizing art therapy cross-culturally with trauma survivors are shared in correlation to the artworks representing them. -Maleah Weir

Melissa Porter, Painting

Artist Statement: Melissa Porter

Through our eyes we seek to find a tangible link from the being who lives inside us to the chaotic and often confusing world we perceive around us. We look for the connections to our own selves through the softness of the eyes of a friend, the gaze of a lover, or the wide-eyed blink of a newborn. Our eyes, and all that we see through them help to bind us inexorably to this dimension and to each other.  My work hopes to create this connection between the viewer and the viewed, to bring a sense of aliveness to the images that takes the viewer from the image to lead them inward toward their interior selves. Through my research on images and their effects on our brains, I decided to rotate my show around eyes, which are so expressive and diverse, and almost sure to wring a reaction from the viewer. My paintings are of the eyes, and also looking through the eyes, which is meant to emulate our own state of being, that of existing simultaneously as one looked at, and also one who looks. I hope to use these paintings as a cornerstone to create a body of work that will move to create real change on this planet, by evoking emotional reactions that create feelings of connectedness and peace in the viewer that they can then take with them back out into the world  and share this feeling with all the other “walking eyes”. -Melissa Porter

Avery Gibson, Photography

Artist Statement: Avery Gibson

Ever since I was young, I have seen things differently, and through my art I was able to bring some of those things to life. For me gender and gender roles have been something I have viewed as open despite the standards set out by our society. Working with photography was a bit different for me, for I come from a ceramic and sculpture art background, but I have found my passion for digital photography as I have realized that you can visualize almost anything you want with the power of Photoshop and Google. Since coming to UNCA I have been able to explore and question gender, from outer appearances to transgendered people starting T.  The acceptance and respect within this community have made this topic both interesting and fun to research, and I would not be able to show the world the fluidity of gender  through my photography with the help of some phenomenal friends. 

The inspiration for photographs comes at random times, whether it be talking to friends or just laying around my room.The motivation for this series came after looking at all the sexiest advertisements that companies continually put out  that emphasize traditional stereotypes.  With my photos, I hope to shine a light on how gender is stereotyped and judged solely on the basis on physical appearance. To engage my viewer,I have photographed situations and behaviors that are traditionally viewed as male or female an flipped them around. As an example, one of the more important things I feel that I need to point out is that our society censors women’s nipples, and in my work there will be no nipples shown at all, regardless of the body they are attached to. These photos are my own personal view of obstacles that humans face on a daily basis due to outdated social norms. -Avery Gibson

Rose Howley, Photography

Artist Statement: Rose Howley

I love photography because it allows me to create things that you normally cannot see, and it allows to me to capture moments that would otherwise be fleeting. Recently, I have been using my photography as a form of therapy for nightmares that I have dealt with for a very long time.  Recreating what happened in my nightmares has helped me understand the meaning behind them, why I might be having them, and if certain stressful events in my life are causing them to happen more frequently. This project means a great deal to me because not only am I visualizing my own experience, but because I have also created images that recreate others' experiences. For this project, I connected with others who are affected by the same condition that I suffer from, sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a condition in which the body is frozen or paralyzed but the mind is awake. Often people see hallucinations or feel a heavy pressure on their chest when sleep paralysis is occuring. I was fascinated to find out that all across the globe, some of the same symptoms of sleep paralysis were being experienced by thousands of other people. These symptoms can be: pressure on the chest, seeing dark shadow figures in the room, seeing a witch or an “old hag,” panic, and not being able to breathe.

I was first inspired to create this project after I had seen another artist, Nicholas Bruno, create beautiful pieces of photography that represented his experiences with  sleep paralysis. Nicholas helped me realize that I too could use photography as a therapeutic way of understanding what I had been through. I decided to interview people for my project and create their experiences to help showcase that sleep paralysis is a serious condition that is often not taken seriously in the medical community, and to give a voice to those who suffer from it. In the United States 7.6% of the population has at least one experience with sleep paralysis in their lifetime, and doctors will say often it is due to stress. One might be told to reduce stress in their life, or to create better sleeping habits as a solution to these chaotic symptoms. There is simply not enough research on why this happens or a solution that is better than reducing stress, which is something very few are able to control.

These images are meant to recreate the emotions and senses a person can feel while having an episode of sleep paralysis. In my photographs, I tried to make the subject anonymous so that my viewers could more easily imagine what it would be like to suffer from sleep paralysis themselves.-Rose Howley

Courtney Stoddard, Photography

Artist Statement: Courtney Stoddard

My series of photographs critically examine some of the cultural issues that women face on a day to day basis. By reconstructing experiences that many women share such as the fear of walking alone through a dark parking lot at night, cat calls, domestic violence, and the negative stigma that surrounds menstruation, I want to promote an awareness of these problems within American culture. Approaching photography much like a film director, the images are staged and use theatrical lighting to engage the viewer and to mirror mainstream film and television that shapes our collective view of what it means to be a woman, with many of these portrayals further amplifying the challenges women face.

Though the women’s liberation movement was more than fifty years ago, inequality, sexism, and violence are still rampant issues in our society. Each photo captures a moment in time that draws you in with the subject, feeling that moment they are in. By visualizing these issues, I hope to not only to promote awareness, but to stimulate meaningful dialog that can lead to positive change, a more respectful culture, and empower women. -Courtney Stoddard

Gussi (Augusta) Hanes, Printmaking

Artist Statement: Gussi (Augusta) Hanes 

The artist uses an 18th c printmaking technique lithography to print editions of hand drawn images and paints them with watercolors. The addition of color on black and white images speaks to bringing experiences and thoughts into life, translating the black and white of imagination into a more clear and tangible representation. She seeks to identify invisible illnesses in a humorous narrative, depicting the phenomena of self-examination as a vehicle for understanding personal identity. She draws on her personal experiences with depression and fibromyalgia to address a broader need for awareness to invisible illnesses.

As such, the drawings are explorations of internal dialogue; depictions of interactions between a compromised body and its mind in a symbiotic relationship. The cactus and Ferragamos Pygmy Owl have such a relationship; the cacti are the home of the owl. She uses these symbols of cacti and owl as an allegory for how invisible disease that resides inside the human body. The cactus, a symbol of a hearty plant capable of withstanding harsh elements and lack of water, marries with the human sinew, breathing life and individualized personality into an otherwise non-sentient organism. The cactus is a desirable home for the Pygmy Owl because it provides a safe and secure niche with a built-in defense system to raise chicks. The Pygmy Owl represents the existence of antagonists that lie within a compromised/diseased body. -Gussi (Augusta) Hanes

Alyssa Sprinkle, Ceramics

Artist Statement: Alyssa Sprinkle

My work is defined by my obsession with detail, process, and abstraction.  I employ tedious and repetitive techniques to produce ceramic vessels which are expressive and aesthetic, while ensuring functionality as a primary concern.  I’ve always been drawn to artistic processes which are extremely time consuming, preferring to keep my hands busy and my brain at ease for long periods of time. The rhythmic nature of throwing forms on a wheel is universally soothing and entrancing, and in my work I use similar repetition in every step.

In each piece I use porcelain for its purity and luminosity, but combine it with scrap clay that I’ve stained with colored additives and other claybodies. My work is often carved or altered, always by hand and always using repetitive, controlled movements.  I exercise a great deal of control in my craft because it is my instinct, and after focusing on each intimate detail of an object I relinquish that control by firing in salt, which is extremely unpredictable.  This ensures that natural processes have the final say.

The surface designs and textures on my pots are not directly representative of anything specific, but are intentionally chosen to mimic familiar imagery.  I’ve always been more interested in the abstract than the actual, and I use my craft as an exploration of a place where the two meet and become interpretable, leaving each user to individually attribute meaning to a piece. -Alyssa Sprinkle