Seven art and design seniors showcased their thesis projects May 2 in the Roland Dille Art Gallery.
“The importance is for them to actually see their work up in a gallery setting and to actually have it open to the public and for the university to come look at their work,” said Naomi Schliesman, gallery director.
The students displayed a variety of work including drawings, sculptures, ceramic plate collections, print work on the wall and wood and piles of letters and string on the floor.
Catherine Miller, art education and ceramics senior, had a 65-piece display of ceramic plates and bowls titled “Accumulation.” Her collection was inspired by hoarding and why people have a connection to objects and why they feel it’s so significant, she said.
“I am not a hoarder myself,” Miller said. “People always ask. I moved around a lot when I was younger, and I was always getting rid of things, deciding what I wanted and revaluating my possessions. I think like the whole idea of how we accumulate things is really interesting, especially for me as a maker. Why do people feel so connected to these things that I am making?”
Miller crafted more than 65 pieces during her yearlong construction process but worked only 65 of them into the exhibition. All of the pieces in her collection are for sale.
Elise Forer, BFA with an emphasis in printmaking, constructed a life-like piece titled “An Army of Men.”
“My project revolves around the fracking in the Bakken oil area,” she said. “The issue of fracking to me is very important because I grew up living in the woods and going outside everyday and experiencing nature, and I see fracking as a damage to our environment.”
During the creation of the project, Forer developed her own printmaking process, using poly-extruded foam to create relief prints.
“Developing that new process and the new way of mark making was very exciting for me,” she said.
Medium Density Fiberboard, a wood blend stronger than plywood, had prints of oil workers on them and stood about 18 inches high. The workers were arranged in front of a wall that had prints of oilrigs and houses, depicting western North Dakota oil towns. The prints were wheat pasted, organic glue made from flour, onto the wood and walls.
“The entire process is ephemeral,” Forer said. “The prints are made from newsprint, so they will fade and crack over time, which is a reflection of the conceptual aspect.”
It was a big night for the senior artist, with many attendees perusing the gallery to catch the show.
“They get to put their show up in the gallery setting, have the viewer come and look at it and also photograph their work and have the experience of what it’s like to showcase their work,” Schliesman said.
The gallery runs through May 16 and is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
BY MEREDITH WATHNE
PHOTOS BY JESSICA FLEMING