A culmination of four years

SADA seniors display artwork and reflect on their undergraduate studies

SPLIT SHOWCASE — SADA made the show into two parts due to extensive submissions. Photo Credit: Amber Tiller

SPLIT SHOWCASE — SADA made the show into two parts due to extensive submissions.
Photo Credit: Amber Tiller

A variety of student artwork circulates through the Liberty University Art Gallery every semester.

The gallery, which moved from DeMoss Hall and is now located in Green Hall 1855, has allowed Liberty students and visitors to admire works of fine and modern art since 2009.

Many of these pieces have been created by Studio and Digital Arts (SADA) students like Anna Mann and Rachel Strong.

Along with five other student artists, Mann and Strong’s artistic expressions are featured in the gallery’s latest collection: the 2017 Senior Studio Art Exhibit, titled “Resonance.”

Art Gallery Assistant Chelsea Bevins said that SADA has worked toward this exhibit for the past four years.

This year’s senior exhibit is featuring so many SADA artists that the department had no choice but to divide Resonance into two parts.

Part one is open until Friday, April 14, and part two opens Thursday, April 20 with an artist’s reception and opening ceremony from 6-8:30 p.m. in the gallery.

The exhibit will close Saturday, May 6.

“It’s your whole career put into one show,” Mann said.

A full-time wife, mother and student set to graduate in 2018, Mann has her reward in Resonance.

Gallery visitors will find several of her conceptual photographs and portraits on display as well as her oil paintings, “A Child’s Summer” and “Expecting.”

Mann said Liberty’s SADA professors have had much to do with shaping her into the artist she has become.

“All of them are awesome,” Mann said.

“Just taking one professor is not good enough because you need to be able to learn different techniques. One teacher might teach completely different from another, but then you have two ways to make it your own. They all bring something different to the table.”

Several pieces from Strong’s portfolio are currently on display as well, including a Greek sculpture, a hand-painted dinette set and several oil and acrylic floral paintings.

“Those flowers represent the things that I’ve experienced in life,” Strong said.

“I’m a military brat, so I’ve traveled the world and have picked up different things along the way. Together they represent beauty, and the hand above them (in one of the pieces) represents reaching into beauty and trying to grasp it in life.”

After graduation and her wedding in May, Strong plans to spend her summer crafting an organic dinette set similar to the one she painted and entered
in the exhibit.

“Everything that I do (with art) is based on beauty and my desire to glorify God in everything,” Strong said.

“He’s created beauty in such a vast variety of ways in creation, and I want to parallel that to other people and show it in the way I see it. That’s my whole purpose
in painting.”

For Mann, art has allowed her to compose similar spiritual reflections.

“Anything that you do in art is only slightly doing justice to what God created,” Mann said.

“You can paint and you can draw, but it’s never going to be the way God has done it. It’s humbling to know your creator is the best artist.”

Mann plans to fuse photography and painting together as a side business in the future.

Her idea is to create a two-in-one package in which her clients are given both the portraits from their session and a custom painting.

“I want to give people the option to have more than just photographs,” Mann said.

Mann and Strong encourage their fellow students to visit the gallery and see the paralleling expressions of passion and dedication on display.

“We’re showing something that resounded in our hearts,” Strong said. “We hope that other people can look at our work and resound with it also.”

ESTES is a feature reporter.

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