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Art Department Senior Thesis Exhibition

Works by twelve art majors from Guilford College will be featured in the 2013 senior thesis art exhibition, SPINE, May 3 – May 17, in the Bauman Galleries and McMIchael Atrium, 2nd floor, Founders Hall on the college campus.  An opening reception will be held Friday, May 3, from 7-9 p.m.  Admission to the exhibition and reception is free, and Founders Hall is open to the public daily.

The exhibition’s title, SPINE, is derived from the idea that the spine is central to a human body, giving it motion, form, and sensation.  Similarly, as the twelve Guilford students learned from Twyla Tharp, “…every work of art needs a spine– an underlying theme, a motive for coming into existence.”  This spine does not have to be obvious to the audience but informs an artist throughout his or her process and creates a foundation to work from.  When strong, the spine encourages a body of work and its artist successfully into motion.

Participating artists and their areas of specialization are:

Ryan James

From Decatur, GA, James is a candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing.  Using a graphic novel format, he uses mixed media on paper to explore the possibilities of an original, wordless narrative.  By removing text from his imagery, the viewer becomes an active participant in the story’s intricacies and outcome.  His drawings and prints have been shown annually in the College’s Juried Student Art Exhibition (2011-2012), in which he received a second place award in the drawing category in 2011.  James also received first place overall in the Art Institute of Atlanta’s Rising Talent Juried Scholarship Exhibition in 2009.

Martha McGehee

A native of Hastings, NE, McGehee is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in oil painting. Her paintings depict surrealist dreamscapes that exist in the borderland between dreams and waking, dancing back and forth between the real and the perceived. McGehee is a recipient of the Charles A. Dana Scholarship for academic achievement and community involvement and has been selected twice to present work in the annual Guilford College Juried Student Art Exhibition. McGehee has also studied children’s book illustration and has written and illustrated several books, including a collaborative project with fellow Nebraskan, photographer Todd Brown, on the poetry of William Blake.

Katherine Maloney

A Bachelor of Arts candidate in ceramics, Maloney is from Shacklefords, VA. Her ceramic body of work portrays sculpted animals integrated with functional forms, alluding to an interaction of animate wildness with domestic human ritual. Inspired by cross-cultural animal symbolism, Maloney’s ceramic forms persuade personal memory and sensorial curiosity. A Dean’s list student of four years, she is actively involved with student leadership and community service work as a Bonner Scholar and Quaker Leadership Scholar. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Homegrown Market in Urbanna, VA. and every fall in the annual Guilford Juried Student Art Exhibition (2009-2012), in 2011 winning first place for ceramics and 2-D design.

Jessica Mrugala

From South Windsor, CT, Mrugula is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Sociology/Anthropology. She is exhibiting a series of large, abstract expressionist paintings, created with oil paint and other media. Mrugula uses her painting process and knowledge of color theory to address issues of impermanence, a theme inspired by her participation in a study abroad program to South Western China. Invested in her community, Mrugula has organized the Art Department’s annual Draw-a-thon and has served as a Teaching Assistant for Two-Dimensional Design at Guilford, and as a Communications Intern at the Art Alliance in Greensboro. She has exhibited in four annual Art Department juried student shows and in the Grayscale show at The Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro, NC.

Samantha Wandel

Madison, WI, native Samantha Wandel is completing her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Biology. For her ceramics thesis she is creating a series of giant teapots whose odd play on humor and functionality relate to the production of beauty and the human need to maintain control. Wandel has volunteered at the North Carolina’s Potters conference in Asheboro, NC, (2010-1013) and taught ceramics at a youth summer camp in Wisconsin. Her work has been shown in multiple Guilford College juried student art shows and in craft shows in North Carolina and Wisconsin. A Dean’s List student, she had the opportunity to study art in Siena, Italy, during the fall semester of 2011. Wandel plans to continue her studies in both Art and Biology after graduation.

Hannah Fillingim

A Bachelor of Arts candidate in Painting, Hannah Fillingim hails from Rome, GA. Her mixed media works on paper focus on the pervasiveness of advertising and the relationship between commercial art, “low art,” and “fine art.” She has exhibited in multiple Guilford College exhibitions and events, and in art spaces in Wilmington, NC, Boone, NC, and Rome, GA. A Dean’s List student, Fillingim served as a teaching assistant for Drawing I and she founded and writes for the Guilford Art Department blog, Hand/Eye.

Jonathan Meade

From Santa Fe, NM, Jonathan Meade is a candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking. He is exhibiting a series of hand-colored etchings whose subject matter is inspired by concepts of community, diversity, and nature. Jonathan interned at the Museum of Modern Art (NY, NY) and at SITE (Santa Fe, NM), and while studying abroad in Siena, Italy, he traveled throughout Europe. He treads lightly upon boundaries in social settings, pushing people to engage in loving and cheerful interaction always.

Madison Heltzel

Madison Heltzel, from Lexington, KY, is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Religious Studies. In her artwork, Heltzel explores the cycles and processes of the natural world through interaction with materials from the Earth. She observes and mimics the structures, textures, and fascinating irregularities produced by the forces of Life. The large symbols she creates from earth pigments, beeswax, and other materials represent the underlying poetry found in the chaos of life and death. Heltzel studies meditational and ritual art from various traditions, which inform her creative process and relationship to the Earth.

Ailey Greig

Originally from Arlington, VA, Ailey is Bachelor of Arts candidate in Painting. Her large-scale oil paintings on canvas address the importance of relationship shared between two living things and focus on aspects of those relationship that are usually invisible in a visual sense. Grieg has served as a teaching assistant for Drawing II and Painting II/III courses at Guilford College and she was the recipient of the Art Department’s James S. Laing Art Scholarship in 2011. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, and North Carolina, and her goal is  to eventually have her art presented at least once in all fifty states.

Keita Tsutsumi

A candidate for a Bachelors of Art in Ceramics, Keita Tsutsumi is from Portland, OR.  His work abstracts the human form drawing attention to how it moves, and what happens to the visual and physical texture of the body. He is particularly inspired by the intricate, abstract details of the human form as a whole. Tsutsumi’s work has been exhibited in the Art Department’s annual juried student art exhibition for the past three years, and was awrded first place in the category of ceramics in 2012.

Sadie Hammond

Hailing from Middletown, DE, Sadie Hammond is a Bachelor of Arts candidate with a focus in painting.  Her expressionist oil paintings depict portraits of people and places.  Utilizing dramatic placement of color and light and shifting planes of space, Hammond creates a collage of personal images. Her work has been twice shown in the Art Department’s annual juried student exhibition. She has found a passion for teaching others in her experiences as a Teaching Assistant for Life Drawing and Painting II/III classes. Hammond assisted in planning the Art Department’s annual Draw-a-thon event in 2011.

Emily Stamey

Emily Stamey is a North Carolina native and a candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting. Stamey’s paintings explore issues with identity and representation of marginalized peoples. Making use of narrative and intimate composition, Stamey aims to bring to light the personalities, struggles, and interests of those who lack representation in mainstream media and art. Stamey was the recipient of the Dr. Edward Flud Burrows Service Scholarship for community building and organizing within Guilford College’s LGBTQAI community; served as a Teaching Assistant for Painting I; won first place in the Guilford College Juried Art Show for painting in 2011; and had artwork shown this year in University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Gallery 1010 Out, Loud, and Queer exhibition.

To participate in the optional honors Senior Thesis Exhibition, students must apply in their junior year and have at least a 3.25 GPA in art.  Selected students partake in a rigorous program of independent work, group critiques, and a required professional practices course, which culminates in their final group exhibition.