This upcoming Saturday, the Wilson Gallery will display “Refinement: The Final Projects of the 2018 Senior Class.”
Cassidy Wheat, a cinema and media arts major, said that the theme Refinement is “the idea of losing parts of yourself to become more whole.”
“It’s like in the Bible,” Wheat said. “The process of [people] being refined until [they] come out golden. Our art is like taking a clump of mud and making it into gold. It represents us as artists and how we’ve changed over the four years and as we leave this chapter of our lives.”
When asked where she hopes her art will take her in terms of a career, Wheat said that she wants to make stories visually.
“I would love to be a director or a storyboarder,” Wheat said. “Ideally, I would love to make an animated TV show or movie and illustrate on the side.”
She hopes that the gallery will bring people to see her art and that her hard work will pay off.
She says that time and effort are her biggest difficulties in making her art.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much effort goes into creating art,” Wheat said. “Even if certain pieces individually don’t take a whole lot of time, it’s all of the practice that you’ve done up until then.”
Wheat said that her inspiration comes from just about everything. “It comes from my life experiences, other people and from my job in Colorado where I work as a wilderness guide,” she said.
Wheat’s senior project is an animated short film titled “Bedrock.”
Noah Volk’s art in the show is based on the theme of spiritual warfare.
“I really hope that people will see how I can take an abstract idea and put an actual image to it,” Volk said. “It’s a questionable and scary topic and something that we can’t necessarily see. Improving my artistic voice is what I really want out of this show.”
Volk also said that creative blocks are a difficulty that he sometimes experiences.
“I usually try to fix that block with a change of scenery to really get the creative flow going. I also compare myself to other artists, but the point is to be as individualistic as possible,” Volk said.
Volk takes artistic muse from his life experiences.
“A lot has happened within the last few years that has really shaped me into who I am today, so often I create artwork off of those experiences,” he said. “I try to make statements with whatever I make, because art comes easier to me in that way.”
Volk hopes to begin his career as a junior staff designer and work his way up to becoming a freelance illustrator along with owning his own illustration company.
Sara Alabdi’s home city, in Saudi Arabia, is culturally behind in graphic design. She hopes to bring something new to her city through her career.
Alabdi designed a cookbook with traditional recipes for the show.
“I want people to know my traditions and my culture with my book and my cooking,” Alabdi said.
“Translation from my language to English is the only hard part in my senior project and other projects,” Alabdi said.
She also said that she takes inspiration from life experiences. “Of course we have to do our research, but most of my ideas just come to me from everyday life,” Alabdi said.
Professor Tai Lipan, director of Wilson Gallery, said that this show happens annually and that it’s more interesting and tricky than other shows.
“It’s a group show, and seniors have very specific projects they’re working with, so it’s hard to not make it look like a lot of micro shows,” Lipan said. “The goal of the senior show overall is to showcase the student’s work in a way that honors how much work they’ve done with their particular piece, but also to make a cohesive, visual experience.”
“The gallery also brings in a new component to play around with that the seniors haven’t thought of before, which is designing the gallery overall,” Lipan shared. “They’re used to page layouts and things like that, but the exhibition gives them a three-dimensional space with which to think about design.”
Lipan hopes students will come see the gallery because there are a lot of different perspectives and designs in the show.
“They get to pick the subject matter, so you get to see little worlds from each of these artists,” Lipan said. “The show consists of projects chosen by their peers and things that matter to them. There will also be a posted statement with each senior’s work, so you get to read about their purpose and what they are trying to convey.”
When asked what she enjoys most about the student’s art, Lipan said that she really likes the range of each senior’s approach in knowing who they are as people and knowing their design.
“You’ll see some that are very professional, and there’s some that are more playful and funky,” she said. “I could almost go blindfolded through the gallery and be able to tell whose projects were whose. They have a sense of who they are in their art, which I really like.”
The opening reception is Saturday, April 14 from 3-5 p.m. and the Artist Talks are Tuesday, April 17 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibit will be open until May 4.