Senior art majors show work at Bates College Museum of Art
Twelve art majors, three of them from Maine, cap their Bates College careers with the popular Annual Senior Exhibition, opening with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday, April 9. The exhibit at the Bates College Museum of Art, 75 Russell Ave., runs through May 30 and is open to the public at no charge.
The exhibition highlights work selected from the thesis projects of graduating seniors majoring in studio art. The program emphasizes the creation of a cohesive body of related works through sustained studio practice and critical inquiry. The yearlong process is overseen during the fall semester by Assistant Professor of Art Pamela Johnson, and during the winter semester by Senior Lecturer in Art Robert Feintuch, who also curates the exhibit and oversees its installation.
In alphabetical order, here are the exhibiting artists:
Julia Allen of St. Paul, Minn., has made cups, bowls and vases of porcelain, exploring varying degrees of distortion in order to find forms that imply fluid motion.
Sarita Fellows of Natick, Mass., has used Nigerian printed fabric as a source of inspiration for intensely colored abstract paintings and etchings.
Jon Greer of Chester, N.H., has worked with abstraction, space and light in his monochromatic paintings of fragmented images of the figure.
Using manipulated and anthropomorphic forms, Paul Heckler of Cross River, N.Y., has made a group of high-fired reduction stoneware teapots.
Alison Locke of Troy has done a group of paintings of Martha Stewart that evoke journalistic photography and address Stewart’s multifaceted and controversial image.
Working with images of furniture, Graham Macbeth of Ellsworth has made paintings and monotypes that play with ideas of geometric abstraction and representation.
Meredith Nutting of Rockville, Md., has used forms found in tree branches as the basis of abstract paintings that explore color interaction and spatial relationships.
Helen O’Donnell of Mount Desert has used etching and drypoint to make images that combine handwritten text, abstract imagery and cartoons, and that question traditional ideas of content and meaning.
Through her work in ceramics, Caitlin Reiter of Mystic, Conn., investigates textured surface patterns in a series of monochromatic functional forms that are hybrids of bowls and trays.
In digital photographs that stress color, Elizabeth Sall of Villanova, Pa., shows still-lifes that she found in domestic situations.
Annie Schauer of Louisville, Ky., has made black-and-white photographs of interiors and landscapes that evoke notions of absence and presence.
K-Fai Steele of Charlton, Mass., is interested in the intersection of banality, humor and awe. Her work in the fall semester culminated in the large-scale installation “Me and Jesus” in the Perry Atrium. Her more recent work uses a structure inspired by dollhouses.
It’s noteworthy that a quarter of the artists in this year’s exhibit are Maine natives. “It seems that we always have at least a couple of studio thesis majors from Maine every year, which is pretty high,” Pamela Johnson says.
“I think that spending your life in a state where artists are celebrated makes the idea of participating in culture simply reasonable,” she adds. “The value and purpose of art doesn’t need to be explained or justified — it’s in the fabric of your life.”
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and is closed Sundays and major holidays. For additional information call 207-786-6158.