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Senior art majors to display their work

April  24, 2013

Senior Studio Art Student Exhibition

From left, Amie R. Rogers, Huangyuying (MeiMei) Zheng, Konner M. Pemberton, Jessica L. Coons, Brontë M. Benson, Arielle E. Campos,
Kaleigh Wall, Emily M. Hayes, Shannon A. McWherter

Nine Augustana seniors majoring in art will display their work at the Augustana College Art Museum (3703 7th Ave.), as part of the Senior Studio Art Student Exhibition. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 27, and runs through Saturday, May 18. The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and closed for final exams May 14-16.

The exhibition is the culmination of the students' Senior Inquiry process and overall academic experience. As the capstone project for every graduating Augustana student, Senior Inquiry encourages seniors to demonstrate the critical thinking and communication skills they've developed in their major and throughout their liberal arts education, and to reflect on the value of their work for their future profession and for the common good.

Students displaying Senior Inquiry projects are:  

Brontë M. Benson, an art major from Rockford, Ill., will exhibit oil paintings. She notes, "My overall theme became suggesting the difference between what emotions you have and what you show to the world. I depict this through abstract faces that have both a light and dark energy, which represents the emotional contrast."  

Arielle E. Campos, an art and business administration-marketing double major from Sterling, Ill., sees both areas of study as creative activities. Arielle will exhibit weavings using yarn, thread and beads, all inspired by textiles from Africa, Guatemala and the Aztecs.  

Jessica L. Coons, an art and business administration-management double major from Dana, Ill., presents mixed media sculptures that evoke nostalgic recollections of the farm that has been in her family for 100 years, including a calf taking its wobbly first steps or a mother hen sitting on her eggs.  

Emily M. Hayes, an art and psychology double major from Rockford, Ill., has photographed in a positive light people with mental illness in their everyday surroundings. Hayes observes that her models have learned to live with mental illness, and "have figured out how to not let it consume their lives. They continue to recover and live within today's society." She will continue graduate studies in art therapy.  

Shannon Alyssa McWherter, a graphic design major from Lockport, Ill., will display her digital photographs. She has created shapes out of the images of hands and inserted an overlay of typography. The words work their way onto the photograph itself to further express emotions about happiness, depression, anger, love and fear.

Konner Michael Pemberton, an art and history double major, explores contemporary social issues involving the working class in America.

Amie Regina Rogers, an art major from Rock Island, Ill., attained an associate's degree from Black Hawk College before enrolling at Augustana. Her mixed media sculptures, inspired by a love of dogs, pushed her into an exploration of the use of liquid latex to capture the liveliness of an animal. Her theme is "Unleashed."  

Kaleigh Wall, an art major from Eldridge, Iowa, started her Senior Inquiry by just wanting to show the function of buttons in whimsical felted and woven creations, but ended up with works formed as symbols for human emotions.  

Huangyuying (Meimei) Zheng, an art and graphic design double major from Chengdu, China, has a family tradition of going on a small plein-air painting field trip every year. Her series of landscape paintings celebrate colors that are influenced by momentary light effects. While recognizable as landscapes, she has experimented with various types of paint application, including drips and palette knife work. She will continue with graduate work in graphic design at the University of Iowa.  

Each student has been guided by a faculty mentor and has worked countless hours to properly display his or her efforts, expression and progress during the past four years. The exhibiting artists will discuss their art in the Augustana College Art Museum's Centennial Hall gallery during a 55-minute walking tour program at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8. The public also is invited to the graduation day reception for the exhibition from 12:45-2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833