Senior Exhibition I
February 18- February 27, 2015
Opening Reception: February 18, 5-7pm
Featuring the work of:
Michelle Enfiejian, Travis Jarrells, Alison Lee, Rachel Deutch, Marie Firth, Madeleine Rhondeau, and Ashley Stephens
Ashley Stephens: My work explores the duality of my cultural identity as an Iraqi-American. I am fascinated with Middle-Eastern culture, politics, and religion and how they relate to the American political perspective. Portraying the many conflicts that are taking place in the Middle-East today is the subject of my work. I combine this with the American politics that negatively eaffect the Middle-Eastern world, and mainly portray America as an antagonistic character. I incorporate all of these different aspects into my artwork because it is a subject that is highly criticized and one that is typically viewed from a journalistic standpoint and rarely from an artistic one.
Madeleine Rhondeau: As children, our awareness is shaped in color and light and temperature. Memories dull, yet flicker, in brilliant color. Blues and reds and pale pink knees. As the thoughts are stretched and pulled by time, they become someone else’s memories. You don’t recognize them as your own, and it becomes difficult to place yourself within them. Passing thoughts become blindingly bright, distracting and protective. A photograph offers a small window into a distorted scene, but the perspective and opine is of another. You stare at a small self on glossy paper yet only perceive a foreign body receding into the background. Innocence is bliss. Only upon correction did you realize you meant ignorance, and it only becomes harder when you realize you are no longer ignorant or innocent.
Rachel Deutch: Through painting I describe the world as I see it. In my work, visual translation from source to outcome reveals and accentuates observable qualities to which I am attuned. My work evolves as I meticulously study my source and respond to new discoveries within it and the painting. Although I find myself consciously looking for contrasts to push and nuances to capture, I am more interested in the decisions I make unconsciously. A skilled translator is able to interpret one language seamlessly into another, without over thinking it. I desire to develop the same fluency in the language of painting, whereby translation becomes second nature and characteristics unique to the medium itself set it apart. I gravitate toward sources that are, to my eye, rich in visual information. The face and figure, in particular, provide a range of subtle variations and extreme contrasts, as well as a unique set of shape, edge, and line relationships, all of which crave exploration. I appropriate from photographic imagery as well as art historical precedents to reinterpret the stories or people others have described through visual media and to construct my own narratives and perspectives. As I paint from these sources, elements that get “lost in translation,” contribute to ambiguous and sometimes bizarre representations that give more importance to the medium than to the message.
Travis Jarrells: We are assemblages of possible paths, a microcosm of our environment, the reflective surface placed opposite existence. We, limited by the breadth of our surface, disclose the so-called truths of being. We remain confined by our own reliance on semiotic constructions however, and our interpretations are limited by biological processes. My work is a meditation on the physicality of humanity’s existential confinement. I search for meaning in the ways we continually frame our consciousness within the contexts of social frameworks and narrative systems.
Michelle Enfiejian: What fascinates me is farm life in all itʼs aspects. The animals, buildings, plants and other cultivated objects inspire the hidden rustic artist within myself. I focus on the imperfect and folksy beauty that is found in our world and bring it to your attention by exaggeration. I strive to portray the playfulness found in the realm of agriculture, and bring it to life in a nontraditional fashion. I enjoy inserting imperfect, whimsical elements into my pieces, so that the viewer may see them in a new light and is able to interpret farm life differently. This is accomplished by using the colorful, organic palette of the farm and by judicious, but creative use of double entendres as muse.
Alison Lee: A desire to explore the multitude of intriguing places and landscapes in the world has overcome me, and with it I have developed a deep fascination for maps. My work stems from the topics of location and topography, as the pieces I create continue this exploration through the intermingling of maps with wood. The wood grain provides natural contour lines, which hold a topographic likeness, as well as reference the man-made lineation on maps themselves. Instead of hiding the lumber and covering it completely, the substrate serves as a part of the work itself. Doing so allows the untouched areas to yield their own shapes and passages, further alluding to topographical regions. Relationships begin to form between the materials themselves, as well as between the viewer and their own explorative desires.