Exhibit To Celebrate Graduating Seniors

Eighteen art students will showcase the culmination of years of hard work and learning as they prepare to receive their degrees this spring as part of the Graduating Senior Exhibit beginning Monday (May 6) in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

The exhibit will feature a variety of media representing the different areas of study in the art department, including studio art, photography and animation.

Items will be on display through Saturday (May 11), and a gallery reception will follow the ceremony for the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, which begins at 9:30 a.m. that day.

“The Senior Exhibition is a capstone experience for students completing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree,” said Annie Strader, assistant professor of art. “The exhibit displays a sampling of work from each student to show their final body of work while at SHSU.”

Highlighting the diversity of this year’s exhibit include works by Joshua Yates, who will present a series of photographs and a two screen video piece that investigate issues of identity and the body; and Cheryl Meade, who will present sculptural ceramic work that explores the intersection of decoration and nature.

Zackary Kenna, who will exhibit five of his works in the show, will attend University of North Texas’s Master of Fine Arts in ceramic art program following graduation on May 11.

“This was made possible through hard work and dedication but mainly from the push and support of the art faculty,” Kenna said.

“I acquired all of my major skill sets that make me a committed artist at SHSU, from my ability to inform a piece of art through conceptual ideology to being able to construct anything imaginable because I know how to use all of the tools available,” he said. “SHSU also helped to confirm that I am exactly where I need to be and that’s one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.”

Yates plans to live in Huntsville for a year to focus on his artistic practice and community service while applying for graduate school at Yale University, the Rhode Island School of Design or the University of California.

He said many of the items in the exhibit represent the strongest pieces from each students’ last year of studies, and many of his peers consulted with professors to select the works that “speak the most to our interests and intent as artists.”

“As I prepare to graduate next week, I keep thinking back over the last four years and I realize how blessed I've been to study at SHSU,” Yates said. “Our wonderful faculty and staff in the art department and Honors College have done so much for my education, without their passion and commitment I would not be the artist I am today.

“Every professor I've had has given me so much,” he said, singling out Strader and associate professor of photography Becky Finley as having a special influence on him as his mentors. “I will feel forever indebted to them as I proceed into the art world.”

Also among this year’s graduates participating in the exhibit are Kelly Hathaway, Emily Howard, Kaleigh Hvizdos, Rachel Jordan, Zackary Kenna, James A. Matson, Hunter McLeod, Milah Moes, Stephanie Pina, Amanda Priest, Kaitlyn Richardson, Michael Schaer, Richard Vasquez, Eric Webb, Justin Weyand and Ellen Whitten.

“We encourage people to come to the gallery to experience the high quality of work being produced by SHSU studio, photography and animation students,” Strader said. “Our students are being trained to produce artwork that is relevant in a contemporary context and this exhibit highlights what we teach in our department.”

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is located in Art Building F Room 101.

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