Truths | 2021 Senior Capstone Exhibition
Truths | 2021 Senior Capstone Exhibition represents the culmination of four years of undergraduate work that results in a final art project or collection of works created by each member of the senior class. This year's participating student artists are Nora Cooper, Kay Knecht, Lior Gevurtz and Nicole Latimer. The body of work by each artist is presented below with an accompanying statement from the artist. Combined, the showing represents a variety of artistic expression in different mediums, including digital photography, digital illustration and image-making, painting and animation. The work grapples with facets of the contemporary human condition, including anxiety, isolation and threats to endangered species.
Nora Cooper | Mila's Influence
My project embraces and demonstrates everyday life. Topics such as vulnerability, control, and grief are explored. My aim is to present the duality of our lives(internal struggles vs external presence). I share my daily battles with the audience and also one way I have found to cope, my cat, Mila. Although the works themselves may seem mundane, there is a larger story revealed within them.
Grief, Digital Painting, 2021
Profile Pic, Digital Painting, 2021
How Many Calories?, Digital Painting, 2021
A Queen & Her Throne, Digital Painting, 2021
Self Care, Digital Painting, 2021
The Calm Before the Storm, Digital Painting, 2021
Always in Recovery, Digital Image, 2021
Vicious Attack Beast!, Digital Painting, 2021
Well, Someone Has to Clean the Coffee Table, Digital Painting, 2021
Lior Gevurtz | They Are Dying
They Are Dying is a series of artworks designed to feature various animals that are classified as endangered. For these four pieces, the animals selected are one from four different classes: Aves/ avian, Mammalia/ mammals, Chondrichthyes/ cartilaginous fish, and Insecta/ insect. Each artwork consists of design elements relating to each animal in a color scheme that is consistent with the animal and/or its environment. Each work has an element I incorporated that specifically references why their population is endangered. The goal of this choice is to invoke an emotional reaction of concern and possibly upset the viewer. The effect is that each piece has undertones that are dark and occasionally sinister in nature, also pushing the urgency required in order to save them. The main intention behind They Are Dying is to spark conversations between viewers of the works and to hopefully inspire people to want to learn more about wildlife conservation.
Honeybee, Gouache on Wood Round, 2021
Whale Shark, Gouache on Wood Round, 2021
Orangutan, Gouache on Wood round, 2021
Macaw, Gouache on Wood Round, 2021
Nicole Latimer | Isolated Innocence
Isolation has created emotional and psychological turbulence in children, disrupting their ability to healthily develop emotionally, socially, and psychologically. I have experienced this firsthand within my own home and my community. During isolation I have watched my children struggle with overwhelming emotional outbursts and behavioral challenges. The youth are suffering because of isolation caused by COVID-19 and the preventative measures like the closure of schools and social activities. My series if digital works Isolated Innocence is a visual representation of abnormal emotional, behavioral and psychological changes children are facing, as a result of the pandemic.
Using photography, digital editing, and enhancing tools, I have created a series of 6 pieces that show masked and unmasked children. The unmasked images contain a complex combination of human emotions such as fear, frustration, loneliness and sadness projected by a child. While the mask children with hold facial expression but speak volume through the depth of their eyes. The vibrant color streams represent the child's essence, and the complete blackness of the background is a depiction of isolation. Each image is accompanied by a white outline mixed with a small amount of color showing the fading of innocence and purity in a child. I have created this series of works to bring awareness to the decay in emotional and behavioral wellbeing in our youth.
I, Digital Image, 2021
II, Digital Image, 2021
III, Digital Image, 2021
IV, Digital Image, 2021
V, Digital Image, 2021
VI, Digital Image, 2021
Kay Knecht | Patterns
Patterns was created with the intention of self expression, validation and mutual understanding. The story is based around real personal experiences, one of the best ways I feel a story can inflict powerful and robust emotions. The goal of the project is to lead the viewer to introspection or internal reflection of the self, personal views and/or morals. The importance of this is in the fact that “support” of current social issues seems to always have a select group whose support is a thin veil hiding stigmas and/or discrimination.
Phe, the main character, is presented after the “opening scene” of time (its first instance and moment of importance); with a relatable experience of the morning bright light. This was a way to make all viewers feel connected to this character. I decided to create gifs instead of still images to still show movement but also a loop, which refers to the cyclical nature of depression; often difficult to break alone, and repetitive in nature via the moments and instances that it latches onto (in personal experience). I decided to use my struggles with years of invalidation and the resulting inability to connect with people on a personal level, not in the sense of empathy but in a sense of “I can’t be that” or “I can’t feel that way as well”, to be the driving force in creating Patterns. I wanted to portray the “basics” or “typical” signs of depression; common symptoms used to define and clinically diagnose a person: fatigue, loss of appetite (in my case), loss of interest in pleasurable or normal activities, and suicidal thoughts. Letting those who may have or are struggling in a similar manner as myself grow to feel seen was a driving motivation behind this project, as depression can be a force that manifests differently for everyone, so many people feel alone when their symptoms aren’t the commonly portrayed ones. This can be seen in a small segment in the final piece where Phe has a discussion with friends about their own understandings of their depression. But even now in modern media when depression is used it’s typically shown as a quirk or oddity. Most outlets don’t show the “dark side” (a.k.a the truth) of depression, like how clothes can be strewn on the floor, a forgotten day(s) of medication, leaving a half empty glass in a room, looking for food but not finding anything simply because you do not have the energy to make anything, or even the inability to care enough about your own personal hygiene. It’s not because you don't care enough, it’s because living with depression is exhausting enough, and not having any healthy way to cope or learn to face and overcome this force, this illness, is exhausting.
Patterns holds value in not only its message and meaning to change and revitalize how we talk about or show depression, but how it has helped me through the process of creating it. Not only as a way to cope through art and through its creation, but through problem solving and behavioral skills I used along the way. And I can only hope for it to be a point of connection for others, whether having a past with depression, going through it currently, or having no personal experience with it at all. I want to leave a mark of empathy.