MOUNT VERNON, Ohio -- Seniors in Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Art Department will present an art exhibit in the Schnormeier Gallery in downtown Mount Vernon, May 6-18. A reception will be held on Friday, May 6, from 6-9 p.m., along with First Friday activities.
This exhibit comes as a culmination of a year’s worth of work for the four senior art majors. All following diverse paths, these developing artists work in a variety of mediums—from paintings and drawings to contemporary collage and video.
From Madison, Ohio, Haley Burke has created gestural drawings with a focus on contoured lines of the human face and expressions in online profile photos from sites such as Facebook. The images are connected on receipt rolls and through collages, which displays the relational aspect of social networking. The way the images flow together when placed by one another represents the interaction of the people portrayed and their friendship.
“My interest in displaying my understanding of Facebook grew out of my experience growing up in a technological world,” Burke explained. “With the desire to interact with others through online social networking, people often take photographs of themselves with the intent of putting them online as a profile pictures. The idea of self-taken photos that were never intended for print shows how one tries to portray one’s individualism to others. Taking away individuality by uniting them together through the way I draw them shows that we are more unified than unique.”
Liz Misich, also from Madison, Ohio, uses film as her medium of choice, which she says allows viewers to see interactions with common objects in a new light. Her videos are minimalist in that what is shown is the object, hands and the tools used to change and influence the object. Softballs and bananas are used for their immediate sense of skin, layers and peeling away, which translates to our daily routines and questioning why people do what they do.
“In my film ‘The Grid,’ video is projected onto a mirror that reflects the film onto a dividing wall and the opposing wall. Layering the film from mirror to dividing wall to the opposing wall creates a depth in which the viewer must pass through the film,” Misich said. “The audience is forced to interact with the film itself and, with four videos playing simultaneously, is also required to choose which video to watch. As viewers interact, they become the new camera lens of the work itself.”
Inspired by the paintings of Arthur Dove, Danaé Pohly of Hartville, Ohio, brings landscape paintings to the exhibit. Her work includes various shapes and sizes of wood or luan panels glued together and painted over with rolling hills, stormy skies and natural color schemes, representing life’s “uneven surfaces or valleys” and the beauty and growth that can be found in the midst of challenging situations.
“My focus on serenity in nature is a personal endeavor to find serenity within my own life,” says Pohly. “It gives an individual time for reflection, time to form into the person they were meant to be, and time to come to understand and be okay with their true identity as a human being.”
Mindy Stevens is a self-proclaimed formalist. From Windermere, Fla., she creates collages of paper, wood and glue, working in extremes with large paper, small wooden pieces and tissue-thin paper. She explains that each collage is a combination of intention and accident. She used a device such a string dipped in paint to make lines on the paper—allowing physics to have the ultimate control. After the cautious addition of shapes and color, the culmination of the piece is that of organized chaos.
“I wanted to learn to grow from each risk and creative movement. I see line as time or history, whether it be the large history of mankind or that of an individual,” Stevens explained. “When the viewer stops to look and really sees my creation, not only are they observing my journey, but they begin to journey with me.”
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students and working adults. U.S. News & World Report ranks MVNU in the top 50 Regional Colleges (Midwest) for the seventh year in a row. With a 400-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and eight additional satellite Graduate and Professional Studies sites throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,600 students from 26 states and seven countries/U.S. territories.