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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Senior art thesis open house impresses with successes

The aroma of paint and clay, the sound of music and laughter, artists hard at work in their rooms and the overall ambiance of Hildebrandt. This year’s senior art thesis exhibition was an extreme success.

Over the past two semesters, Guilford art students who chose to do a thesis have been laboring in the house right off of campus. They have spent hours in their rooms painting, drawing, molding clay and drawing inspiration from their fellow artists.

“The students submit a proposal to do a thesis, and the entire art faculty sees it,” said Charlie Tefft, instructor of art. “We try to guide them away from potential pitfalls,
so they can succeed. A student can think one way, and a faculty member can think
another, so we have to hash those differences out and come to a consensus on what the
student will be doing.”

The exhibition itself was a sight to see. Walking from room to room, you were hit with a different emotion from every piece of art. Each student had a way of expressing themself, some easier to read, while others had a deeper meaning that you had to dig for.

“Paintings are about the process,” said senior Sadie Hammond. “I go with what I like to paint at first, and I try things out until it feels right. I’m currently doing an exploration on color and space within my paintings, and I use expressionism, which is taking realism and pushing it beyond to find a new meaning.”

“I’m currently working with abstract expressionist theory,” said senior Jess Mrugala. “Using conscious and unconscious meditation, I jump into the painting and use my entire body to create my work.”

Jess’s paintings ranged from the size of a window frame to the length of the floor to the ceiling of Hildebrandt.

According to some of the art students, the overall amount of time spent on an art thesis a week ranges from 8–30 hours. These hours include waking up in the middle of a night with an idea and going to work until the artist feels at ease.

All of the artists said that since their first year they have been dreaming of doing an art thesis. Some stated that they wanted their work as a portfolio after college. Others said that it was their passion, and they wanted to express that through their work, and others said that they wanted to get concrete feedback and critiques from professors before they are thrown into the enormous post-collegiate world of art.

As with any artist, there are many struggles along the way that one has to deal with.

“The exploration of yourself and learning how to actually express yourself was a challenge,” said Hammond. “I chose to do six paintings, and it was sometimes hard to express myself through those paintings and to find the inspiration I needed even if I wasn’t inspired. Not feeling defeated was also another struggle of mine.”

“Time management was a struggle,” said senior Hannah Fillingim. “Using your time wisely and setting aside enough time to complete your work in balance with all of your other school work was difficult.”

All of the seniors stated that after college they will definitely continue their work, either professionally or just for themselves, refusing to give up their passions.
“I was extremely impressed by all of the artists doing a thesis this year,” stated Burke Reed ’12. “There is a lot of diversity and letting the community come in and see what has been going on in this art studio is really nice.”

The senior art thesis exhibition is always a wonderful experience for the artists themselves and the Guilford community.
Not only does the community get to see what has been happening in Hildebrandt for the past seven or so months, but also the artists receive the pleasure of showing off their works of art.

Editor’s note: This was not the full senior art thesis showcase but was an open house. The artists are still working on their pieces. The full showcase will be at the end of the month, so be sure to go see the final versions and support our seniors. 

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