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Art undergrads set themselves apart in juried Hopkins Hall exhibition

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Spring is usually associated with old giving way to new. But for some of the undergraduate students whose work is displayed in the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, art is found in the sometimes old, sometimes broken and sometimes dead parts of life.

The Undergraduate Juried Exhibition features 22 art students’ works on display from Monday through April 17 at Hopkins Hall Gallery. A showing on April 2 will also include a reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

In order for students to be eligible, one must submit at least three pieces of artwork, a 3.0 grade point average and be enrolled as a full-time student. The jury then picks which pieces will be on display, limited to a maximum of one per artist.

Adam Wintz, a fourth-year in printmaking, was cooking in his kitchen when he got an email saying his work, “Fencing #1,” had been selected. He said he remembers being very excited and uplifted because the news had been the best part of his week.

Wintz decided to use raw pieces of wood he bought from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to make the 20-by-26-inch black-and-white release print.

Release printing involves rolling an oil-based paint on the top of the surface of an object, in this case, the pieces of wood, and then running it through a printing press, he said. The pressure induced then pushes the ink from the wood onto the paper, leaving the wood’s indents behind on the paper as a print.

Wintz said the majority of his works involve discarded materials, such as the wood, so that he can show their imperfections in a way that might be more appealing to the public eye.

“The biggest thing for me is this notion of a celebration of the discarded or the broken,” he said. “I want to tell that object’s story in a way and bring out its imperfections.”

While Wintz tells the stories of the broken through his art, Katrina Francis, a fifth-year in drawing and painting, focuses on life.

Francis said her piece “Dead Alive” is meant to push the boundaries of the traditional style of still-life by using animals as the inanimate objects instead of flowers or vases.

Aside from the name of the piece itself, she said the 36-by-24-inch oil painting is also a play on what is alive and what is not. She teases at the hint by having two foxes who are encircling around a taxidermied  rabbit that’s enclosed in glass.

“So when you see this piece, you see foxes that could be taxidermied that are hunting a rabbit that is (taxidermied and) enclosed in glass,” Francis said.

Francis said her quirky style isn’t the only thing that makes her piece unusual. She created it by first doing a monochromatic underpainting in brown, and then glazing over the piece with color.

Andrea Hanson, a second-year in printmaking, uses lack of color as a tool in her piece, “Self.”

Hanson used her elementary art class memories, of scratching away at multicolored paper that was covered in black paint to find the mystery colors beneath, to create her etched board piece.

“Self” depicts the lines and contours of the human face, which is something Hanson said she became obsessed with.

“When I look at someone’s face, I don’t just see a three-dimensional form,” she said. “I see every shadow and line that makes them unique.”

Hanson said she upgraded from grade-school materials and used a black clay board to replace the paper, and a small rounded knife to scratch it, leaving white lines behind.

She added that her fascination with how the human eye sees color played a part for the creation of “Self.”

“I believe the inspiration of this piece was color and how even with the lack of it, your mind still finds beautiful ways to interpret black and white into something more colorful,” Hanson said.

Admission to the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition is free, and the exhibit’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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