Developing a class-wide art exhibition that individualizes and highlights each student's work is the last mission Otterbein art students are tasked to complete before their departure.
With a class of just four studio art students, this year’s Senior Art Exhibition will consist of only one group art show instead of the series of exhibitions presented in previous years.
With limited assistance, students are fabricating every detail of the show, including curating their own work, installing their pieces, creating promotional posters, designing the show's layout, writing artist statements, planning the reception's menu, and more. The requirements of this final project are meant to prepare students for their work as professional artists after graduation.
Janice Glowski, art historian and Museum & Galleries Director, said, “They do everything, and that’s very unusual in terms of senior capstone courses in liberal arts colleges."
“It’s all on us pretty much,” senior studio art major Elizabeth Thomson added. “We’re given the decision-making power."
With the student’s decision-making abilities comes the opportunity to display work that each student feels represents them and their interests.
“We get to pick which pieces are best for us. It’s very much whatever we want to do, which I think is really cool,” Thomson said. “We get to follow what inspires us."
Considering the students are given free rein, a wide variety of artistic mediums can be expected on display during the show, with every piece unique to each student’s personality and interest. Mediums on display could include photography, paintings, film work, printmaking, sculptures, and mixed media.
“You just do what you feel is right. There’s really no limit,” Baylee Roberson, a senior studio art major, said.
When taking an exhibition-focused senior practicum course, the students meet weekly to discuss the logistics of the upcoming show and their collective work to bring the presentation to life. This lets them work on developing skills and knowledge to benefit their future careers in art.
“They learn everything from spackling, sanding, painting, and how to prep a gallery wall properly, which is different from how you paint a wall at home, they learn about the mechanics. They [also] learn how to light their artwork,” Glowski said.
“The biggest thing [I’ve learned] is how much work goes into putting on a show and all the steps that go into it. It’s a lot more than I expected,” Thomson added.
The Senior Art Exhibition’s opening will take place on April 10 in the Miller Gallery at the Art and Communication building with a reception being held on April 16. The opening and reception are open for anyone to attend.
“I just really am so excited to get to see my peers work and get to show my work alongside them,” Roberson said.