reSites: Senior Art Exhibition opening today

By Mariana Roa Oliva

The seven Studio Art majors of the graduating class are opening their final exhibition today in the Art Gallery.The exhibition, titled “reSites,” is the culmination of the Senior Art Studio Seminar in which the students have developed their ideas and shaped their work as artists.

When asked about the motivations behind the name “reSites,” the Studio Art majors Andrew Gramm and Pei-Hsuan Wang talked about the way in which all the projects they are presenting seem to relate in one way or another to the themes of space and movement. Although each of the projects has a very distinct personality, the graduating artists found a connection in their work through different approaches to spaces; be it through a reflection on migration and identity, like in Wang’s work; or a commentary on the human interactions with nature, like in Gramm’s work.

The Senior Art Studio Seminar is a course required for all Art majors with concentration in Studio Art. During this seminar, each of the students worked in completing their capstone project, which included mounting an exhibition of their work. This is the first time that the students have the gallery just for them, and they have been responsible for all the curatorial work, with assistance from Gregory Fitz, the Gallery Curator. Andrew Gramm said that mounting the exhibition was a smooth process in terms of organization, as the distribution of the gallery space worked out easily, and all of the students found the best site for their work.

The medium, technique and inspirations of the student’s projects are not restricted in the Senior Seminar. In past years the Senior Art Exhibition has included performances and installations as well as photography, painting and sculpture. This year, egg shells hanging from the ceiling, a wall mural with organic elements and peculiar creatures, and a cozy yet unusual mini-library in one of the corners are some of the things the gallery will host for the next two weeks.

Although the Art Department at Macalester is relatively small and there are only seven Art Studio majors this year, Andrew Gramm says he has found a very supportive group in his class. The art students have had the chance to feed from each other’s ideas as well as from their teacher’s experience, who has shared with them her experience as an art practitioner.

About the college’s approach to the Art Studio major, Shannon Thorson ’10 said that, when comparing to friends that attend conservatories or more art-focused schools, she doesn’t feel she has developed as much technique in one single form, such as painting or sculpture. However, she says she appreciates the broader understanding of art she has acquired in her classes, in which discussion of theory and current issues have played a important role. Most of the Art Studio majors are also majoring or minoring in another field.

The Opening Reception to the Senior Art Exhibition is today, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Art Gallery of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center. The exhibition will be open until May 16 during the gallery open hours.