MC senior art exhibits open at Clayton Center

MC senior art exhibits open at Clayton Center

May 4, 2011
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The work of four Maryville College senior art majors, Anna Glass, Lee Steenbergen, Laura Maestas and Lee Craft, will be on exhibit May 5-14 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Blackberry Farm Gallery.

An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. May 5, and a closing reception will be held at 6 p.m. May 14 in the gallery. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“The senior exhibit features works the students have prepared as part of their Senior Study requirement,” said Dr. Carl Gombert, professor of art. “The senior project is an independent study that encourages students to create a meaningful body of work devoted to a particular subject or theme. The senior project spans two semesters and involves six credit hours of work.”

Glass, an art major from Gallatin, Tenn., is showcasing a collection of oil paintings titled “Anna’s Animal Art.”

Her exhibit includes several large oil paintings that depict images of pets, including an 11”x14” painting of a horse, a 30”x40” painting of a chicken, a 24”x48” painting of a dog, a 36”x48” painting of a rabbit, a 30”x38” painting of a cat and two paintings of hairless guinea pigs (the largest piece is 8’x4’). She is also displaying four 2”x2” paintings.

The oil painting of the chicken, titled “Rosemary,” is based on a photograph taken by Glass, which recently won an honorable mention in Photographer’s Forum magazine’s 31st annual “Best of College Photography” contest.

"I have always had a very strong attachment to animals and art, and it only makes sense to me that I combine the two!” Glass said. “Through this body of works, I have practiced my photography, animal taming and painting skills. Until this project I have always been a graphite artist, so this body of work is very special to me as a learning process.”

Maestas, an art major from Rockford, Tenn., is showcasing a collection of fairy tale costumes.

The show, titled “Once Upon a Time,” includes three outfits, each based on an individual fairy tale heroine. Maestas used fabric, including cotton, linen, wool and gauze to create the pieces. She is also displaying preliminary design sketches, as well as finished display sketches for each outfit.

“In contrast to the typical fairy tale ‘costumes,’ I wanted to create more modern and wearable clothing for fairytale heroines,” Maestas said. “Using an overall aesthetic of loose silhouettes, mostly-natural colors, and a focus on texture rather than pattern of fabric, I created three outfits, each made up of multiple garments. In order to make the outfits as close to my designs as possible, I learned and used a variety of methods to manipulate the fabric, including dyeing, smocking, and various other types of decorative stitching.”

Steenbergen, an art major from Columbia, Tenn., is displaying a collection of 10 digital photographs titled “A Foray into Photojournalism.”

Steenbergen said the images “come from everywhere:” an area known as Sodom & Gomorrah in Accra, Ghana; a Tibetan nunnery near Tagong, China; a nonviolence protest of the School of the Americas in Spencer, Ga.; and “everyday happenings right here in Maryville.”

“With each of these images, I hoped to give my subject a voice—a fraction of a second to tell his or her story,” Steenbergen said. “What draws me to photography is that it’s as much an art of people as it is technical skill. It’s about sharing observations—waiting for the moment when the light and the subject unite and the surroundings become details. It’s about saying, ‘I was there, and this is what happened.’ And to be ‘there,’ you have to know how to first get ‘there,’ and that is where photography becomes an art of people. It’s about being with people and knowing people and listening to people and then translating it all into something visually coherent.”

Craft, an art major from Nashville, Tenn., explores the history of automotive design through several different types of media.

“These pieces are an exploration into the history of automotive design, seen through a 21st-century scope,” Craft said. “They are modern designs that give a nod to the past without sacrificing my creativity to do it.”

The title of Craft’s show is “From the Highway of the Mind: An Exploration into Automotive Design” and includes four posters, a brochure and a sculpture in automotive clay.

“This body of work that is being presented is a culmination of experimentation with many types of media,” Craft said. “It is also a major challenge I have presented myself with. To complete this project I have needed to be flexible with time, space and media as I am working in clay, print and digital media, as well as a few photographic components.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.