Seven students culminated their time in Westminster’s art program at the department’s Senior Art Exhibit open house in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts on March 28. The exhibit, which will run through April 29, features a mix of art styles from abstract photography to digital pointillism.
The opening reception allowed the students to mingle with family, peers, professors and the Westminster community and reflect on their growth as artists.
Fairchild’s body of work for this exhibit featured vibrant abstract photography that happened purely on accident, she said.
“I was shooting something else, it didn’t work the way I wanted it to work, and I literally turned around, I did a 180 and shot something else and was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I love this,’” she said. “So, that’s what I started developing the series from.”
Fairchild said she wants the nonrepresentational nature of her art to aid creative thinking.
“It is art to fall into,” Fairchild said, looking at her work. “That’s the only way I know how to describe it. I don’t want people looking at it and thinking one thing. I want everybody to find their own.”
To aid the abstraction further, Fairchild chooses not to name any of her pieces, instead labeling each as untitled with a number.
“All my pieces, if you give it a name, then that’s too much representation,” Fairchild said. “It’s all about color. It’s all about everybody finding their own thing within it.”
Fairchild is currently an administrative assistant in the school of arts and sciences, and she said she plans to continue her work at Westminster after completing her degree.
“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride,” she said. “It really has. I hope everybody that gets the chance will take the chance to come out and enjoy [the exhibit].”
McNeill is a ceramic artist and sculptor whose body of work for this exhibit used ceramics to explore the concept of memory.
“With this series here, I’m trying to analyze what happens to memories over time,” McNeill said. “I have a lot of different transitioning works talking about the filters through which I myself see memory and which we all see through memory—talking about nostalgia, things being romanticized over time, clarity being uncertain, things getting destroyed and rebuilt over time, things like relationships and that.”
McNeill said he loves making pots and sculpting and enjoys the challenge of communicating through imagery and objects alone.
“I feel that art is a pretty easy major to get B’s and C’s in, but it’s an extremely difficult major to make really good work in,” McNeill said. “It takes a ton of time, and it’s really difficult when you want your work to be very good to actually effectively communicate what you want to say and have the technical ability to be able to flesh that out. Trying to articulate concepts without using words and with using clay as a media rather than my mouth pushes me to think differently and to really work hard at what I want to say, as well as I love doing it. I really have a great time, and I think that’s what it’s about.”
After graduating from Westminster, McNeill said he is planning on taking some time off before going to graduate school or law school.
Blatt described herself as “a graphic designer who also does art,” and her body of work explored the collision between technology and naturalism.
“This body I call digital pointillism because I’m working in the style of pointillism but digitally,” Blatt said. “I’m really inspired by our natural world, so I decided to take a look at land animals, sea creatures and insects and look at the geometry and symmetry that’s naturally found in nature.”
After graduation, Blatt said she hopes to find a job in her field in the city.
Curtiss is a wheel-thrower whose exhibit featured a variety of potted goods, such as jars, plates and bowls. Curtiss said she uses her art as a way, not only to mirror the organization through which she lives her life, but also to relax.
“[Wheel throwing] allows for me to have the symmetrical forms,” Curtiss said. “I’m a really big planner and organizer, so all the detailed lines and everything shows that that’s the way I organize my life, I guess. So, this is just a way for me to kind of relax and allow my mind to do what it does best. A lot of people look at this and think it’s super hard and complex, but it’s just so relaxing for me. It’s like a therapy.”
After graduation, Curtiss said she is going to graduate school to pursue a career in art therapy.
“I’m really hoping to go into art therapy and give back to other people and help,” Curtiss said. “It’s been therapeutic for me, so I want to use that for other people to [give] back.”
Sara Doelle / Sad
Doelle, who goes by her initials (Sad), is a mixed-media artist who said she likes to use her art platform to touch on social issues. Her exhibit featured everything from handcrafted pieces made from recycled goods to abstract paintings.
“I actually really just like getting dirty, and part of the mixed media thing that attracts me is that you have a lot of chance of failing; I like to fail...My cat knocked that one over originally,” she said, pointing to one of her pieces. “I had nothing to do with that glue. And then the second one the glue wasn’t sticking, and then the third one it finally took. And it’s still a work in progress, you know? That’s why I like mixed media.”
Sad said she wants to be an educational curator and will pursue a curator’s certificate after graduation.
“I want to teach people about making art and how you can make it,” Sad said. “Which, obviously, there is no limitation in what kind of art you can make, but if you know how to make it and are educated, which I’m hoping to do, then you can do it.”
Although Goff said she usually does portrait photography, she pushed herself for this exhibit to explore abstract photography with a macro lens, “and from there it kind of fell,” she said.
She purposely kept the subject of the photographs a secret to preserve a sense of mystery for the collection.
“I like to explore different things,” Goff said. “I took a new subject, and I went from top to bottom, and I like to have a little bit of my things out of focus, so some are in focus and others are not. And I just explored. I didn’t mess with the colors, and I printed large for the first time. I like to have mystery in my work; that’s the point.”
After graduation, Goff said she plans to open her own studio and see where her art takes her.
Victoria Minji Lee
Minji Lee is a painter and drawer whose work for this exhibit featured digitally imaged “humanscapes” and paintings that centered on the connection between humanity and nature.
“This is the only project where I’ve actually used myself as a model, and that was quite a struggle,” Minji Lee said.
Minji Lee said she got the idea for her collection after taking a digital imaging class.
“I noticed that I had a lot of images of nature in previous works, so I just decided for this one to meld figure work with nature together,” she said.
After she graduates from Westminster in the fall, Minji Lee said she wants to make art on the side while working to save up money and pursue a master’s degree.
“I’ve learned so much here, so looking back just on that fact is really amazing,” Minji Lee said. “I feel like I’ve grown so much just being a student here, and I feel like I’ve been able to become more of who I feel comfortable being.”