'Seven' artists produce one memorable show
In the ancient world, people looking up into the sky noticed that seven points of light seemed to move, separate from the stars. As a result, the number seven became associated with divinity and perfection.
At the University of Science and Arts this spring, the number seven is associated with a collection of seven senior fine arts students giving their final show, entitled Seven. The opening reception will be held along with the exhibit in the USAO Art Gallery on April 2 from 7-9 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
The USAO Art faculty will be awarding up to four $250 awards to graduating BFA art students.The Bachelor of Fine Arts Award of Merit is awarded to the BFA student or students deemed by the USAO art faculty as having excelled overall as an artist in the areas of professionalism, quality of work and conceptual development. The award is offered annually.
The gallery will offer an additional $200 People’s Choice Award that will be decided by visitor ballots and announced on April 19 at 11 a.m. in the main gallery.
The art on display is the work of USAO students Jeannie Boling, John Fitzgerald, Eric Graham, Elyse Holmes, Riley Million, Holly Titus and Ashley Young. Each will be receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In addition, the work of Tabitha Deskin, Nicole Landers and Sarah Kamolz, each of whom did her senior BFA show last fall, as well as Helen Shafer, who graduated in the summer of 2010, will be included in the exhibition and for consideration for the awards.
Jacquelyn Knapp, associate professor of art at USAO noted that, "“The BFA Program is the highest art degree offered at USAO as students must apply during the second year of studies.
"While in the BFA Program, all students must complete a holistic core of classes in all areas of art that provide a liberal arts approach to their education. Each BFA student must also develop a concentration and concept that has continuity based on their personal vision and research. This group of BFA candidates have developed extraordinary concepts and interesting styles in diverse media. We are very proud to produce students that become thinkers and visionaries, that continue to grow following a personal path of lifelong learning.”
Jeannie Boling is a painter from El Reno who plans to move into gallery work and museum curation upon graduating. Her work, which includes illustrations as well as paintings, utilizes the human form in ways that are both provocative and sometimes surreal.
She conceded that her time spent honing her craft at USAO “wasn’t easy but it definitely showed me what I’m capable of.”
John Fitzgerald’s emphasis is in graphic design but has also worked hard to develop his skills as an illustrator. Often injecting his designs with a sense of humor, this Moore native combines the two disciplines of illustration and graphic design to create pieces that are eye-catching and thoughtful.
Eric Graham moved from Norman to Chickasha to study at USAO. His paintings make ample use of texture and color, often suggesting form through the interplay of the two. A member of the Art Club and Zombie Survivalists Club while a student at USAO, Graham intends to develop his career as a graphic artist upon graduation.
Elyse Holmes is an illustrator from Tulsa whose work is influenced by animation and video game graphics. Often utilizing a mixture of physical and digital tools to create her work, Holmes’ illustrations are playful but demonstrate the kind of clarity necessary for character development and creation. Upon graduating, she hopes to find a career in the video game industry.
Riley Million is a graphic designer and photographer from Norman. His pieces in the show demonstrate a sensitivity to texture and form that go beyond the portraiture aspects of photography. After graduation, Million plans to look for jobs that play to those strengths and continue to create his art work.
Holly Titus is a 2007 graduate of Marlow High School. While at USAO, Holly pursued an emphasis in graphic design but also continued polishing her skills as a photographer. The result is a body of photographic work that utilizes human models but goes well beyond portraiture, employing design ideals to bring out the essence of her subjects. After graduation, she hopes to use these skills to find a position as an in-house graphic designer/photographer in the Oklahoma City area.
Ashley Young has been working with ceramics since she was in high school. Though she began her time at USAO focusing specifically on pottery, she developed a passion for photography and a knack for business studies that resulted in her choosing both for a minor. Her aspirations include continuing to produce and sell works as well as eventually opening an art gallery and a music venue.
The Seven exhibition will be on display in the USAO Art Gallery in Davis Hall from April 2 until April 22.