041714 PSU Capstone exhibit runs through May 15th: 2X PSU Capstone

PLYMOUTH — The Department of Art at Plymouth State University will present capstone works by seven senior student artists in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program that is currently on display in the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building. The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, May 15.

BFA studio art faculty adviser Tom Driscoll said the amount of growth the faculty has seen in the students from their beginning foundations courses to this final exhibition is "truly astonishing." The work on view by the BFA seniors in studio art is the culmination of four years of challenge and nurturing that occurs in the context of the close relationships formed between our faculty and students. The students "develop their ability to see, their skill with materials and their ability to apply larger concepts to their work simultaneously. Throughout this process they are taught to recognize and nurture their personal voice and to develop the confidence to pursue their art beyond PSU."

Joshua Smith, a senior BFA major from Derry, and Kirstina Barrows of Merrimack, a senior BFA major with a minor in digital media and game design, will present their work in the area of studio art. Both Smith and Barrows entered the program in the drawing concentration. Smith will be exhibiting drawings and computer-generated images, some of which will be printed and some projected. Barrows will be exhibiting three-dimensional scrolls and head sculptures and perhaps some drawings.

Smith draws inspiration from evidence of design in objects, structures, mythology and machines. His current work is based on interactions that combine digital painting with computer programming, building from skills honed as a draftsman and mechanic. He says, "In the same sense that we suspend reality from dreams, or secularity from faith, I'm investigating our relationship with digitization and computing. I see the computer as an equal collaborator, and the work becomes evidence of a dialogue between human thinking and mechanical logic."

Barrows' work throughout his time at PSU has been ambitious and challenging to both herself and her viewers. Modern feminism has been a strong influence on her work. She explores many ways to interpret the idea of femininity, addressing gender issues and representation of gender in the arts.

Barrows' said, "My work comes from the heartbreak of realizing just how much of women's influence in the world of craft and art has been taken away and reduced to simplicity, superficiality and inferiority. By juxtaposing the attributes of ancient and modern femininity, a new aggressive version of the feminine image is created. These works are fragile and frantic, created with a desperation to tell the other side of the story, and often confront the viewer in this way, hopefully prompting them to question what femininity means to them, and why."

Graphic designers are Kayla Bernier of Silver Lake, a senior BFA major with a minor in media studies; Zachary Blake and Christian Bua, senior BFA majors from Gilford; Katie Johnson, a senior BFA major from North Attleboro, Mass., and Nathan Sprague, a senior BFA major from Dighton, Mass.

Bernier says that as a designer and photographer, she likes her work to be clean and organized so that it communicates a clear, direct message to the viewer. "I love the challenge of speaking through visuals," she says. Designing materials for her fictitious company "Vividae Paint Company" allowed her to showcase her design approach while incorporating "exciting and in-your-face" elements and an emphasis on color.

Nate Sprague hopes to go into marketing and advertising after graduation. He chose the 2020 Olympic games in Kuala Lumpur as the topic of his design plan. Sprague says the games will be the stage that allows Malaysia to show the world their capabilities as a country.

Sprague says, "The nature of the Olympics has allowed me to push my branding across a limitless number of applications. The goal has been to keep pushing more applications until I run out of time. Among my work you'll see anything from event banner displays to websites and print layouts for event programs. One of the major goals and challenges of the project was tying in a tropical and colorful essence of the region with the sophisticated look of the Olympics. Another big challenge was drawing from all the different aspects of an Olympics in Malaysia that were necessary to accurately represent the region. Figuring out how to tie them together into one brand was difficult at times."

The Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building on North Main Street is open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday until 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

CAPTION — Capstone works from seven senior artists in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Plymouth State University are currently on display in the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building. The image featured was created by Joshua Smith. (Courtesy photo)