This Friday, May 20 marks the opening of Lawrence’s annual Senior Art Exhibition. This exhibition marks the conclusion of a Lawrence art major’s education; all senior art majors are required to exhibit their work in the show. This year, 12 seniors are presenting their work: Zenabu Ama Abubakari, Joshua DeSmit, Andrew Hawley, Jennifer Hoff, Mary Lawler, Collin McCanna, Elyse-Krista Mische, Krissy Rhyme, Jordan Severson, Cara Stelzel-Yesse, Ian Wallace and George Ziegler. The exhibition will begin Friday with a reception in the Wriston Art Center Lobby from 6:00-8:30 p.m., but will remain available for viewing until July 30.
The exhibition will feature art of various mediums; the only requirement was that the pieces were created by a senior art major. This year’s exhibition will include ceramic pieces, paintings, prints and videos. As the sort of capstone of their degrees, the seniors have been preparing all year for the show and many have created series specifically for this day.
Two students displaying work in the show have been recognized by the Lawrence art department for their excellence in art making with two annual honors bestowed upon senior art majors. Wallace has received the art department’s Senior Art Prize for Men excelling in studio art while Stelzel-Yesse received its counterpart, the Elizabeth Richardson Award for Women excelling in studio art.
Wallace, a fifth-year senior, is a painter specializing in watercolor. For his final project as a Lawrence student and for the works he knew he would exhibit in the senior art show, he decided at the end of the last school year to create a series based around the theme of “gold.” Thus, the paintings he’s displaying are all gilded watercolors.
These watercolors have an extra twist: They all incorporate gold leaf in some aspect, “mostly in the shape of ancient Roman coins with Medusa heads, but also as jewelry,” said Wallace. The work he’s displaying in the show is all recent, from the past year, and Wallace considers this to be a good thing. He commented, “My works from my past five years at Lawrence just do not compare. My technical ability and conceptual thinking have changed so much for the better.” For Wallace, at least, it’s clear the Senior Art Exhibition is serving its purpose as the pinnacle and culmination of his work at Lawrence.
Wallace’s series is just a taste of what the Senior Art Major Exhibition will have to offer. If you want to see what Lawrence’s senior artists have produced, stop by Wriston this Friday and take a look at the gallery. Food and drink will be provided and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Even if you can’t make the reception, the gallery will be open through July 30, and this is a wonderful chance to see what the art students have been creating.