A nudist exhibit of anonymous bodies highlighted the bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts senior exhibit on April 3 in the Baum Gallery.
The showcase featured art works of nine bachelor of arts seniors: Angela Bird, Rebecca Bennett, Wesley Montgomery, Lindsey Payne, Bess Pope, Colleen Rooney, Jessica Seastrom, Makenzie Summers and Jared Welborn; and two bachelor of fine art seniors: Cathleen Brignac and Paul Sanders.
At the end of the reception, UCA art department chair Jeff Young introduced the artists and
announced exhibition honors, which was created several years ago to recognize any student who receives the majority of votes from the faculty.
Sanders won the exhibition honors.
Sanders said his work was a personal commentary.
“I wanted to express how I feel about individuality and how by working together, a greater function could be accomplished,” he said.
Sanders said winning the exhibition honors felt good. “My mother and sisters were there at UCA for the first time,” he said. “And my mentor Roger Bowman was able to see one of his BFA printmaking students win.”
Sanders said it was amazing to show with so many other great artists.
“I hope in the future we could show again with one another,” he said. “And a huge thank you to the UCA faculty and Baum faculty for helping me along the way.”
After graduation, Sanders said he will move to Albuquerque, N.M. to work at New Grounds print shop for a couple of months.
Then he will move back to Kansas City and get ready for graduate school.
Graduating art majors had one month to choose their works for the exhibition, which the faculty committee judged.
The works were put up at Baum Gallery a week in advance of the opening reception.
Baum Gallery Director Barclay McConnell said even though a lot of students didn’t exhibit this semester, their works were strong and diverse.
“The works are very strong,” she said. “There is a lot of print making in the show, but they are all different media: painting, and ceramics, and graphic design, and printmaking, and performance arts, installations, some drawing.”
McConnell said the exhibit was smaller than usual.
“Usually we have them bigger – this one is kind of small but the works are really good,” she said.
Brignac’s installation exposed nude students with paper bags on their heads.
This installation was an exploration of Brignac’s bisexuality and polyamorous lifestyle.
The students with paper bags on their heads represented the shame and fear of showing their identity, which is controversial and not acceptable for many people in society.
The artist decided to convert that feeling of fear to the installation to show human diversity, beauty and uniqueness.
McConnell said the installation was something the gallery doesn’t often show but it was a student’s work and it had to be a showcased.
“We feel very strongly about self-expression being allowed,” she said. “No censorship.”
All visitors had a chance to walk around, talk to the artists and take pictures of their favorite art pieces.