Georgia Southern art exhibition unites seniors as they march to graduation
There is a diverse range of works to be displayed in “Emergence,” the newest art exhibition by Georgia Southern University senior Bachelor of Fine Arts students featuring various mediums including watercolor, oil, acrylic and mixed media, screen printing, sculpture, animation and photo manipulation. What will be on view at the Center for Arts and Theater on the Statesboro Campus is a display of expression and individuality, concept and aesthetic. However, what is at its core is a rigorous, supportive and close-knit community which allowed these artists to thrive.
Brennan Gamez, a fire arts senior, will showcase paintings with multilayered plexiglass, offering a unique combination of sculptural and two dimensional work.
Gamez’s path to Georgia Southern’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is an unlikely one. Her original plan wasn’t to attend college after high school. She said she was skeptical about the need for schooling to pursue art.
That opinion has evolved since joining Eagle Nation.
“I am more aware of my abilities and skills than ever before thanks to the staff of the art department here,” said Gamez. “While it hasn’t been an easy path to tread, I have grown and developed not only as an artist but as a person as well. I’ve made wonderful friends with my colleagues as we support each other and work as a team along the way.”
Inyaki Fetalvero, who will exhibit painting, photography and ceramics can occasionally be found asleep in the art building after having stayed overnight to work. He has been known to bring back McDonald’s for the whole team during long nights in the studio.
Like Gamez and Fetalvero, the featured seniors talked about their time in the program and sense of community and friendships fostered through long hours spent together.
“I learned a lot from others, especially from my professors and friends,” said Fetalvero. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without these people on my shoulders. My mentors and friends are the ones who have pushed me to my limits and helped me grow as an artist, so I’d say they’re the most important part of my experience here at Southern.”
Kelly Conrad is also a fine arts senior. She said the bonds she’s made with her student colleagues will carry on after graduation, and so will the lessons shared.
“I’ve learned new creative ways to approach problem solving, and a lot of skills that you wouldn’t think are related to art at first glance,” said Conrad. “Overall, there’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing your classmates grow, stress and improve by your side – and, of course, the late night hours goofing around in the studios, trying to be productive, but being too tired to really be coherent.”
As an extension of the sense of camaraderie and cohesion between these emerging artists, they chose a single flier design for their show rather than depicting samples of each artist’s work. They found this option more representative of the class’s spirit.
“The vast amount of skills that I’ve learned still pale in comparison to the friends I’ve made,” said fellow art student Lane Ruarks.
“Emergence” is on view from April 14-20 in the Contemporary and University Galleries at the Center for Art and Theatre on the Statesboro Campus. A public reception will be April 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Seniors featured in the show are Tyler Anderson, Kelly Conrad, Christopher Cook, Inkyaki Fetalvero, Vanessa Franquez, Breannan Gamez, Anthony Geguzis, Syrin Johnson, Rebecca Laurence, Tyler Lane Ruarks and Michael Weatherspoon.
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