Art students learn professional skills in the exhibition

Raleigh High Tower
Lifestyle Editor
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Art and design students from Art 399, Professional Art Practices, contributed a wide variety of artwork to the Professional Blend XII exhibit.

The Professional Blend exhibition is organized each semester by the Department of Art and Design to provide students with an introduction to the professional world of artists.

According to a gallery statement by Director of University Galleries T. Michael Martin, “The Art 399 Professional Practices in Art course is designed to explore the materials, skills, qualifications and strategies necessary for our students to begin and pursue a career in the arts.”

The exhibition is presented in the Mary Ed Mecoy Hall Gallery and features art in several different mediums. The work of different students from the art and design department are presented.

Junior Studio Art Major Olivia Swaidner contributed three different oil paintings to the exhibit. The first of these oil paintings is a landscape painting titled “Extraordinary”, which depicts two towering mountains under a pink sky.

Swaidner’s second landscape is an untitled piece that depicts rolling hills, verdant forests, and a calm lake that sits in the valley created by the hills. Swaidner also contributed an untitled still life.

“This exhibit was really fun in that it was the first time I had my art in a gallery,” Swaidner said. “I was able to see more of the behind-the-scenes details that happen when installing an exhibit and gained some experience in that.”

Three prints in the exhibition were provided by Laurie Snellen, an arts education major. Snellen’s first print, titled “Lady Wisteria”, features a female figure surrounded by plants. The figure is wrapped in vines and has plant-like hair.

The other Snellen prints use invasive plants as a motif. Its “Trapped by Invaders” print features a bird perched on leaves behind bars. The third print is titled “Native Over Invasive”.

“These works, like much of my current work, focus on lesser-known or lesser-known environmental topics, such as the importance of prioritizing native plant and animal species over others in an effort to start a conversation. “, Snellen said.

In addition to paintings and prints, the exhibition also features many three-dimensional objects, such as ceramics and woodworking.

One of these woodwork was a piece called “Framed Trypophobia” by Cross Berry. According to the Verywell Mind website, trypophobia is defined as “a dislike or fear of clusters of small holes, bumps, or patterns.”

Berry’s piece is made of sapelli and poplar wood. The piece features a dark wood slab serving as a backdrop, while a lighter colored wood features gaping red holes filled with clusters of smaller holes.

Michael Crabtree, a senior non-traditional art education student, also contributed a ceramic sculpture. Crabtree’s ceramic, titled “Sam and Biscuit”, depicts a bearded man wearing a straw hat sitting on a stump or rock with his dog.

“The little sculpture depicts an old man and his dog created entirely by my imagination,” Crabtree said. “I’m interested in the relationship we have with the dogs. I was trying to capture a sweet moment between these two characters; I don’t know how well I did, but I think it’s a fun sculpture.

For many of the students featured in the exhibition, this was their first experience of exhibiting their work in a gallery.

“What I enjoyed the most was knowing that my artwork is able to do what I have worked hard for it to do in a way that my art has never been before,” Snellen said. “It only made me more motivated to create art for future exhibitions and start conversations.”

They also found the experience of installing their exhibits very insightful. Junior studio art major Miranda Tynes developed this idea.

“I learned some valuable skills working with the other students and installing art, and I’ll definitely feel more comfortable installing works in galleries from now on,” Tynes said. “I enjoyed putting my technical skills to good use in the gallery, and I could see myself doing it more in the future.”

The Professional Blend XII exhibition will remain open to the public until March 4. The University Galleries are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Department of Art and Design will also host its annual student-juried exhibition, “The OMAS Show”, beginning March 11. The exhibit will be on view March 11-29 and a reception will be held for the exhibit on March 11. 17 hours

The department will receive submissions from students March 2-4, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students of the Murray Art Student Organization will receive two free submissions. All students are invited to participate in the show.

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