Senior art exhibit displays students’ final artwork before graduation

The gallery’s name, “Bold and Brash,” references a _SpongeBob_ episode and is linked to the senior seminar capstone course for art majors.
Johanna Grothoff created this ceramic as part of the Bold and Brash senior exhibition. She is one of 23 artists featured in the gallery.

Art students in the senior seminar capstone course are hosting their final project, an art gallery, until May 4 in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery. The art gallery is titled “Bold and Brash” in reference to a painting of the same name in a SpongeBob SquarePants episode.

The exhibit is mostly student-run, Bingham Gallery director Catherine Armbrust said. Students were put into committees and helped set up and prepare for the exhibit.

Senior art major Erica Martin was part of the install committee and helped set up the artwork and place it in the gallery the weekend before the opening on April 23.

“I thought [being on the install committee] was really fun, actually,” Martin said. “Probably because it was a hands-on thing, and since I’m an artist, I like hands-on things. Putting all your hard work of one semester into one moment of putting it up onto the wall was pretty satisfying, actually.”

Armbrust said the amount of time students worked on their pieces varied, but most took about a week to finish.

Artwork included oil paintings, photographs, CMYK prints, steel sculptures and even a ceiling tile removed and placed on the floor.

Two pieces by senior art major Andrew Kramer are displayed: “Carter the Hutt” and “Jake the Snake” featuring St. Louis Blues hockey players Carter Hutton and Jake Allen. “Carter the Hutt” is a screen print on paper while “Jake the Snake” is on a lightbox created using mylar.

“These prints are designed to capture the excitement and action of the sport of hockey with use of vivid color,” according to Kramer’s personal artist statement.

Senior art major Megan Harmon-White also displays two pieces. Both are sculptures of ocean life; one is a turtle and the other is a fish. They are both made from steel, which she described as “one of the strongest elements that we build and make things with.”

Harmon-White said using steel to create ocean animals is symbolic of the way humans treat aquatic life, making them appear resilient.

“These creatures are still really fragile, and we still don’t put enough preservation and care into them,” she said. “So I’m kind of making fun of the process of conserving our oceans and what that actually means to me and to us.”

Pieces were also put up for sale. Copies of Kramer’s print are being sold for $100, and his original light box is priced at $450 because it’s one of a kind.

Kramer said he doesn’t typically have his work set up in galleries because it doesn’t have the same market that some other work in the gallery might have. Kramer said he’s featured hockey players in his work before, so his audience differs from people who would buy a more traditional art piece. Instead, he sells his art on his own.

“I kind of have a limited market I guess in the art world, but when it comes to more mass-media stuff, more people are drawn to this type of work to buy for their, like, man caves or whatever,” Kramer said.

Harmon-White is selling her turtle sculpture for $100, and another piece is no longer for sale since her grandmother bought it from her before it was on display.

Having sold and exhibited her artwork before, Harmon-White said it’s typical to have it claimed before it’s even finished. Her series of miniature bronze bottom-dwelling sculptures tend to sell quickly, she said.

Most students have had their work exhibited in galleries before, but Martin said a school-sanctioned gallery is a good way for students to practice having their art displayed for those who have not yet had this opportunity.

She said students may defer from submitting their art to other professional galleries due to time commitments or the fear they won’t get in, but student galleries allow students to have their work shown regardless.

“I think that it’s important because some students, they don’t really get into shows or they don’t think to apply because they’re busy with school or work, and this kind of gives you a default to get into a show and to experience that, and we have committees,” Martin said.

A reception featuring all the artists will be held May 4 from 4-6 p.m. in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery.

Edited by Skyler Rossi |

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