MC senior art exhibits on display at Clayton Center

MC senior art exhibits on display at Clayton Center

Dec. 3, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The work of two Maryville College senior art majors, Katie Connatser ‘13 and Mauriel Rodriguez ’12, will be on display this month in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Blackberry Farm Gallery.

An artist reception will be held on Mon., Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the gallery. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Connatser, an art/design major from Friendsville, Tenn., is showing an exhibit titled “SunSpired Cupcakery” through Dec. 13.

The show is part of Connatser’s Senior Study, titled “SunSpired Cupcakery – An Organic and Environmental Twist on Baking.”

The exhibit includes printed designs and sketches for Sunspired Cupcakery, a hypothetical all-organic and environmentally sustainable bakery. The gallery is furnished to exemplify the bakery atmosphere, and the designed pieces range from the business logo to the cupcake designs, Connatser said.

“I have always had a passion for baking, and opening up a bakery is one of my life aspirations,” said Connatser, who is from Friendsville, Tenn. “While doing a visual communications project on environmental packaging design, I started to research environmental sustainability. I then took it upon myself to design my future bakery that would not only use all-organic ingredients but preserve our local community and environment at the same time.”

Connatser’s Senior Study “begins to explore the concept of what considerations there are in the development of a sustainable small business,” said Adrienne Schwarte, associate professor of art and Connatser’s thesis advisor. “She has generated designs for visual marketing and packaging materials for a potential business concept.”

Rodriguez is showcasing a collection titled “Defining a Relationship” from Dec. 10 through Dec. 14.

The exhibit is part of Rodriguez’s Senior Study and includes paintings and sculptures that are “an artistic interpretation of what modern relationships look like,” Rodriguez said.

“The exhibition is a thoughtful explanation of what a basic relationship looks and feels like from a modern perspective, which will hopefully encourage viewers to think a bit and reevaluate their definition of the word ‘relationship,’” said Rodriguez, who is from Greeneville, Tenn. She is majoring in fine and studio arts with an emphasis in mixed media.

Her works were inspired by a survey conducted earlier this year in which participants were asked to define what a relationship is to them, what a relationship looks like, and what is necessary to maintain a relationship. Survey participants included members of the Maryville College campus population, including faculty, staff and students.

“From my research, I found that within each of the four major types of relationships (romantic, familial, friendships and acquaintances) are six key traits/characteristics of a successful relationship, which are love, care, a bond, trust, communication, and cooperation or a sharing of experiences,” Rodriguez said in her artist statement. “Any successful, modern relationship has to have a certain level of all six characteristics.”

Words chosen for the pieces in her exhibit were taken directly from survey responses. Using painting, sculpture, ceramics and audio, Rodriguez presents her art in a three-dimensional format, which “allows for more physical interaction with the actual word,” she said.

“Mauriel takes a unique approach to exploring and defining relationships by engaging the viewer in her mixed media interpretations of common relationship definitions (based on her survey) and many times expecting the viewer to interact with the work and each other, to further understand the meanings of relationships and interpersonal communication,” said Adrienne Schwarte, who is also Rodriguez’s advisor.

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.