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Senior thesis exhibit adorns Cummings Gallery

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Behind Our Eyes, a senior thesis exhibition featuring final projects by 10 graduating art majors, opens Tuesday, March 29, in the Cummings Gallery at Mercyhurst University. All are welcome to attend a reception for the artists on Saturday, April 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibition continues through April 20.

Karly Burns, an art education major, exhibits “What Lies Beneath,” a mixed media work featuring 12 framed images of brightly colored roses. (Photo at right)

Graphic design major Ashley Favata shows four art garments she made from everyday materials. “A lot of people can make clothing out of normal fabric, but to use found items like can tabs, tea bags and plastic forks is a challenge I have been interested in for years,” she says.

Joseph Lehr, also a graphic design major, shows four digital illustrations that feature animals from the Erie Zoo. “I wanted to incorporate steampunk in my design, which is very mechanical in nature,” he says.

Caroline Magoc, an art therapy major, exhibits collaged paper on canvas and acrylic on canvas works. She says the works are “an exploration of color, inspired by the subtle juxtapositions of hue and tonality found in natural landscapes.”

Art therapy major Courtney O’Hara is showing acrylic collages on canvas. She uses black and white with great depth and imagery to find. "Working in black, white, and grey brought forward an artistic struggle in terms of creating something with depth as well as creating something that initiates an aesthetic reaction (whether it be pleasing or unsettling)," she said.

Caitlyn Padovano, an art education major, displays nine black-and-white photographs that explore place. “I constantly find my artistic eye directed toward weird sculptures and outrageous places. With my imagery I try to make the viewer think about where and why this place exists,” she explains.

Art therapy major Katie Porter presents three mixed media works using acrylic paint, papier mâché, gold leaf; glass and polymer resin coating. Her works deal with the theme of love and relationships. “Your partner can either complement you, or drag you down with them.” In her work,Anima Animus,” Porter explores Carl Jung’s school of analytical psychology and the two primary archetypes of the unconscious mind.

Studio art major Kirsten Rambo presents three acrylic on canvas paintings of a bear, a wolf and a hawk that center on the imagery of dreams. Each piece can be opened using a doorknob to reveal text that explains the imagery and the symbolism used. “My hope for my senior thesis was to show others the power of dreams and how much they reflect and reveal about our waking life,” Rambo says.

Sabrina VanTine, an art education major, created three life-sized marionettes using mixed media to show that teaching is a performance and the classroom arena is like a stage. She says, “These three marionette figures represent art teachers at various stages of their early career. Every day we put on a performance to educate our students and the public.”

Sydney Waldron, a graphic design major, exhibits nine color digital photographs with ceramic frames that feature the Adirondacks, a special place for the artist. “I wanted to share this beauty because it is something very close to my heart and I think nature is something that every kind of person can appreciate,” she says.

Cummings Gallery, located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact gallery director Heather Dana at 814-824-2092.