Visual art seniors show off their stuff in senior shows

Amelia Heymann
Contributing Writer

Some of the work by seniors from the craft material studies and sculpture departments are currently on display at the Depot. Photo by Anya Shchebakova

The end of the semester means another graduating class of seniors, many of whom have spent four years perfecting their skills in order to better express their vision to the rest of the world. The end of the spring semester also signals the start of senior art shows, where students show off the progress they have made to fellow classmates. This year has no shortage of senior visual art shows to visit.

The first senior show to debut on Friday, April 17 was for students in kinetic imaging, painting and printmaking, crafts material studies and sculpture. According to Emma Hadley, a senior kinetic imaging major, the show was student organized and featured all senior student work.

Hadley said that they got art for the show by asking for contributions from students. While most of the art in the show was created more recently, there are some pieces not from the students’ senior year.

Hadley said that this year’s senior show had more interactive art pieces than past shows and all of these interactive pieces were kept in the same room. One piece was an “existential” video game by Jess Soumphontphakdy, a senior kinetic imaging major, along with three other video games created by other students.

Moaz Elemam, another kinetic imaging senior, had an animation with an accompanying comic in the show. He said that the animation was an abstract narrative, and the individual will take from it what they will.

There were three performance pieces in the show, including a sound performance on the third floor, which otherwise housed mostly painting pieces. Hadley said the performance took up an entire critique room and was performed by Pegah Vaezi, a senior.

“It’s one of the few moments when all of these departments come together and totally mix it up,” Hadley said.

The show did not have a theme; instead, Hadley said, students were allowed to choose what they thought was their best work to put into the show.

The fashion department’s senior show will be held on Sunday, May 3 at the VMFA at 7:30 p.m. Holly Alford, assistant professor for the fashion department, said the show will feature work by both seniors and juniors. Each collection comprises 5-7 pieces.

Alford said the name of the show is “Evolve.” All of the work will have eco-friendly and sustainable elements within the clothing. She said an example of this were the pieces by Emily Muro, a senior, who worked with ways of using less water in her dying process and utilized sustainable fabrics, such as bamboo and organic cottons, in her collection.

Three of the seniors in the show, Rene Velasquez, Gabriela Villalon and Haley Choi, went to the VCU campus in Doha, Qatar, where their collections were featured in the VCUQ fashion show. Alford said the work that was featured at VCUQ will also be in the VCU fashion show.

The graphic design senior show will be on May 1 at 419 W. Broad St. Abbie Winters, a graphic design major, said that the show will feature works that seniors have been producing over the course of the semester.

Like the collective senior show for kinetic imaging, painting and printmaking, crafts material studies and sculpture, Winters said that the graphic design senior show has no specific theme, and that each student was given a space to work with.

Other shows coming up include the senior thesis show at Studio 6 on May 1 from 6-9 p.m. and the senior film screening at the Byrd Theater on May 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Hadley said the senior show is a celebration of the work the senior class has done over the past four years. It’s a good opportunity for students to show their work, especially if they haven’t been able to for any of the undergraduate shows.

“You go every year to see all the other (senior shows),” Hadley said. “And now all of the sudden we get our own.”

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