Senior Exhibition offers a glimpse into the student art world
By KATE LARKIN
Each spring, the University of Mary Washington gives senior art majors an opportunity to present the culmination of their talent and growth in the annual Senior Exhibition hosted in the duPont Hall art gallery.
The first half of the exhibition took place in February, and now from March 16 to 26, the second half of the exhibition is open to the public.
As part of their senior year, student artists are required to show their work before they graduate, allowing the campus and community the chance to survey their hard work after the past four years of late nights in the studios.
Senior art major Lilly Schloeder’s work appears in the exhibition and she is thankful for the possibilities that the exhibition offers the graduates.
“The Senior Exhibition is an amazing opportunity for senior art majors at UMW. It’s a requirement before we graduate, so it’s like a rite of passage,” Schloeder said. “It will probably be the first piece in a gallery show on the majority of student’s resumes, and it could help our artists get jobs if they wanted to become a full time artist.”
For many seniors, life after graduation can seem unclear, but the exhibition helps gives them a building block to furthering their artistic careers.
Schloeder also appreciates the independence factor of the exhibition, and how the artists are required to create and display everything on their own without outside help.
During the weeks leading up to the exhibition, the artists spend the majority of their free hours prepping for the big event and promoting their creations. The artists made all of the flyers, posters and press releases for the event.
“I think that this is a great learning experience because in real life, we can’t have everything done for us,” Schloeder said.
Schloeder created an abstract piece for the exhibition made completely from an assortment of brightly colored fabric, titled “In Memoriam.” To create her senior exhibit, Schloeder deconstructed bed sheets and then knotted them together. The creation of her piece took around two and a half weeks.
For Schloeder, the piece represents her youth, and the memories attached to her childhood. “There are memories of my childhood in here like my old clothes and sheets, as well as old curtains, baby blankets, nightgowns, things that I grew up with that have just been sitting in my attic,” Schloeder said. “I made them into something beautiful instead of letting them sit in a box in the attic forever.”
Schloeder’s piece was selected to be shown in the Liberty Town exhibition, located in Fredericksburg. “I’m not the type of student to just reuse my old work once I’ve moved past it and gone beyond it, so this is what I worked on over my spring break,” Schloeder said.
Schloeder went into the creation of her project with the concept of nostalgia as her inspiration. “I went through a traumatic experience with my family and I wanted to latch onto my childhood.
Sheets are such a sense of comfort, and these are sheets that were in my house,” Schloeder said. “Ripping them apart was a sense of destruction and then knotting them back together was a process of trying to hold onto memories, but making it something completely different than before. It is taking on a new and more grotesque form.”
The exhibition runs from March 16 to 26 and is free to the public.