Apr 13, 2010

Seniors exhibit artwork

by Betsy Abraham

With graduation quickly approaching, many seniors are thinking about summer plans and life after college. But for the seniors in the studio art concentration of the Visual Communication Arts (VCAR) program, April 1 marked the culmination of four years of hard work at the grand opening of the Exhibit 492 Senior Art Show.

Students filled the Liberty University Art Gallery in the Helms School of Government hallway to see the work of the five seniors in the VCAR 492 portfolio class. With refreshments in a small room next to the gallery, students, family and friends viewing the work of the artists had a real museum experience.

Senior Jaimy Jensen focused her collection on God’s creation.

“The reason I did the white lilies with the black background is from Song of Songs, where it says that ‘the lily among the thorns is my darling among the maidens’ and I thought that was really cool,” Jensen said.

She described her work as simplistic and unique, saying that she did not like having to do the same thing all the time. She hopes that when people view her paintings, they take it for more than face value.

“I would like for them to think more about what’s really out there as far as God and not just say ‘nice painting’ and move on,” Jensen said.

Senior Rebekuh Powers’ artwork centered on femininity, innocence and the things that define a woman.

“I did four pieces for my show of the child I nanny for and her innocence,” Powers said. “Seeing the way that she’s developed into her own person has really influenced my artwork and how I look at the world. It’s about the intricate details and growing up from innocence into adulthood.”

One of her pieces was a portrait of the 2-year-old child staring out with big eyes and circles all around her.

“I have all these circles emblematic of the universe. Her universe is expanding, but it’s very tiny, and I think there’s a delicateness to that,” Powers said.

Powers used unique items such as lace, doilies and fabric to put together her collection, making it a personal goal to use materials she already owned.

“I actually literally started ripping up books to use as backgrounds,” Powers said.

Suytin Sung said that Powers’ ability to use a variety of materials made her collection stand out.

“I’ve seen a lot of hand-worked details. She used a lot of different materials to make an art piece, and I thought it was very interesting,” Sung said.

While Powers chose a variety of media to work with, some artists, like Amanda Atkins, focused on more traditional mediums such as charcoal and oil paint. Her collection consisted of three black and white portraits, which each conveyed a different emotion, and three colorful landscapes.
“The three landscapes are about hope and light. I like colors and capturing happiness,” Atkins said.

Corrie Fewell also used a lot of color in her works, which consisted of not only paintings but photographs as well.

“I’m a photographer and a painter and a graphic design student, so I wanted to show that I’m versatile and can do more than just one thing,” Fewell said.

Fewell, who is a double major in graphic design and studio art, said it feels wonderful to be done and that despite the stress and work of preparing, she enjoys showing off the finished products which focus on women and are marked by vibrant colors.

“I wanted to do a whole bunch of portraits of women, and what’s individual about each woman,” Fewell said.

Carissa Koch, a sophomore fashion major, found Fewell’s paintings inspiring.

“She has a lot of color, and it’s very different,” Koch said. “The clothing and the colors she uses are stuff I really like.”

Similarly, Sarah Veak centered many of her portraits around significant women in her life. One interesting trademark of her paintings was that they featured a plain brown bird in a picture frame. Veak said she puts these two seemingly mismatched subjects together to show the tension between the natural and idealistic worlds.

“I wanted the women I’ve painted to be realistic and then mixed with the natural elements draws a little bit of tension. I think that tension is what I look for and strive for in my pieces,” Veak said. “The birds are framed to show that separation between the natural world and humanity, how we want so badly to be close to that but we’re so far from it.”

Through her paintings, she hopes to share the beauty of both people and the natural world.

“I hope that people are able to see the importance of the natural world as well as the individual. I think it’s two of the most beautiful things that God created. That’s why I drew the birds and individuals because there is that significance there and should be that unity,” Veak said.

Junior Alex Kolody says that he enjoyed Veak’s paintings.

“I was really impressed with the realistic nature of the portraits. The whole bird theme is cool,” Kolody said.

Veak says that she hopes that when people look at her paintings, they can identify with the people in them, which many times are her family members.

“I wanted the viewer to be able to look at them and almost know them by looking in their eyes even though they don’t know them at all,” Veak said.

She describes having all her work completed for the art show as a gratifying, but personal, experience.

“It’s one of those things that you’re excited that it’s done but you’re exposing so much of yourself. So many pieces I’ve done for the past couple of years and once you get it out there for people to see, you feel like you’ve revealed something huge about yourself,” Veak said. “It’s a good feeling once it’s up there. It’s really rewarding to see that you’ve completed something so large and that other people care about you and your work enough to come look at it.”

Powers felt that the art show was a huge finale and made the end of college seem more real.

“It’s really cool because having a collection of my work as a senior is like this culmination,” Powers said. “This is (how) our entire education is summed up.”

The VCAR exhibit is free and open to the public until April 16.

Contact Betsy Abraham at

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