The Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College exhibited its Annual Art Student Thesis Exhibition, along with a complimentary photograph collection by Andy Warhol.
As graduation is around the corner, seniors who will be getting Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees this year showcased their artwork in the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery on Friday, April 13. The gallery was filled with art, paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, 3D art and much more. The students each had six pieces of their art in the exhibition.
Director of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery Brian Wallace said, “This year, we have 16 students showing artworks they have developed over the past years working with the faculties and the staffs here at the Thorne Art Gallery.” Wallace said the students have worked for about two weeks with the Thorne-Sagendorph staff members, learning about the museum setting to set up and display their artwork.
A local band called The Signal Over the Air performed at the reception of the exhibition.
One of the participants, Brooke Carlson, presented portraitures in the exhibition.
Carlson said, “Portraiture has been something that I have loved my whole life. I have been drawing since I can remember. People have been always something I have interest in just because drawing helps me understand things I find… it helps me process the things around me.”
She added, “My professor, Peter, he pushed me to run with portraiture just because it was something that I have always loved doing in classes.”
Another student artist Emily Mathieu, who will be graduating with a BA in Studio Art and double minors in art history and women and gender studies, presented a dress made of magazine cut-outs, four photographs of her in various locations in Keene wearing the dress, photographs of her grandmother and a video in the exhibition.
Mathieu shared a story of how she got her idea for the final art piece. She said, “My piece was inspired by actually my grandmother. I was looking through an old archive of photographs and found a photograph of her in one of those old 1950s house dresses. And I was really drawn to it because of the two big pockets in the side of the dress because women used to wear these dresses when they were cleaning and those big pockets were used for helping them in their house on their daily task of cleaning and working.”
She also brought some perspective that she got from her minor, women and gender studies, while making the dress.
Mathieu said, “Being a women and gender studies minor, I think a lot about how media influences us, and I chose to remake the dress and modernize it using advertisements made for female viewers.” She added, “I think a lot about the male gaze while doing this.”
The other complimentary exhibition was selected from the Thorne-Sagendorph permanent art collection on famous American pop artist Andy Warhol and his photographs.
Wallace said, “We, among other works, have 150 photographs taken by Andy Warhol. When Andy Warhol died unexpectedly back in 1987, he left behind 18,000 or 20,000 photographs. He was an incredible collector of all sorts of things, including his own photographs. The foundation that was set up after he died took about 15 years to develop a plan. And when they executed the plan five years ago now, they donated about 150 photographs each to about 200 museums and galleries, one of them being the Thorne.”
Wallace said students helped to set up and display the Warhol photographs with their own ideas and decisions.
The exhibition was a double whammy for the students as they got to expose their artworks to the audiences, as well as learn the insights about the professional museum setting.
Wallace said, “We think that giving the students the opportunity to, or the challenge of, working in a professional setting like this will help them turn their creativity into more like the marketable skill set.”
Wallace encourages students to participate and visit the senior exhibition show.
The exhibition will last from Friday, April 14, until the day of graduation on May 5.
Benajil Rai can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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