Students display their work in Senior Exhibitions

Student artist Griselda Duran featured artwork inspired by C.S. Lewis’ ––Narnia in the final Senior Exhibition from May 2-6. Photo by Brad Leuchte

Senior Exhibition: “Communication Arts (Integrated Visual Media)”  

By Cesareo Contreras

Arts & Features Editor

Nine communication arts students displayed some of their portfolio work in the Mazmanian Gallery in the Senior Exhibition, “Exploration” from April 4 to 8.

Professor Jennifer Dowling, the instructor of the senior portfolio class, detailed how the work displayed by the students was the culmination of pieces throughout several of their classes or independent projects.

Although students were able to choose the work that was put on display, within the confines of the class students were tasked to create their own personal brand package which had them design their own personal logo and portfolio website.

Zach Benard featured six small printed images he took while working to create “a conceptual photo series” of album art for FSU senior Anthony Martel’s band, Coyote Coat.

Each photo represented a track off of  Coyote Coat’s album.

In the image, titled, “Some See Smoke,” a person’s flannel shirt breast pocket is shown with a set of unlit matches within it and a burnt match placed in the center.

Benard said the inspiration for this image came from Martel’s reference to fire in the song.

Additionally, Benard detailed wanting to match the song with appropriate warm color tones.

Merissa Zaltzberg described her work as representations of her as “a designer and as a creative individual.”

Be it from her 11 x 17 minimalistic prints meant to depict poignant scenes in the films “Rushmore” and “The Graduate,” to the poster she designed for the FSU’s Senior Nutrition fair, Zaltzberg’s style showed through each work, she said.

Zaltzberg described her process as “spur of the moment but planned out afterwards.”

“It emanates so much of what I like to do,” Zaltzberg said of  one particular collage. “I like to work with my hands from the start, from the get-go. Even though I work with Photoshop and Illustrator and Adobe programs on the computer, I like to start with my hands.”

The pictures placed within the collage ranged from replicas of insects and human skeletons taken from the insides of a variety of museums, to images of tourist knick-knacks, which Zaltzberg described as “materialistic.”

Images from Candace McOsker’s “Human Nature” series showed a number of student portraits blended into photographs taken out in the forest.

McOsker said she initially had taken the nature images while out on a hike and wanted to use the images as part of a final project for her advanced photography class, but couldn’t because she had taken the images too early in the semester.

Upon a classmate’s suggestion, McOsker decided that integrating students’ portraits into her forest photos would make for a better final product.

Additionally, McOsker featured two photographs she took of different types of fabrics as part of a monochromatic themed assignment for one of her photography classes.

The images contained macro shots of both blue denim and a green scarf fabric.


Senior Exhibition: “Studio Art (Graphic Design/Illustration)” 

By Shayna Yacyshyn

Editorial Staff

Senior illustrators and graphic designers showcased their work in the Mazmanian Gallery for a final time as part of the Senior Exhibition on Tuesday, April 12.

The students displayed a collection of pieces depicting their personal interests and accomplishments as artists. More than 50 people attended the gallery showing.

Some illustrations were created using computers, while others were made with pen and pencil.

Senior Emily Cromwell presented her children’s book illustrations, including two colorful book covers.

“I just love to illustrate things that make people happy and feel really good inside,” Cromwell said.

Kelsey Ryan, an illustration major, had a wall display of dog portraits. The personalities of each dog shined through Ryan’s pencil work. Through working at a doggy daycare, Ryan said she developed a distinct bond with each of the dogs and wanted to make that evident in her portraits.

She captured one dog as it begged for food and another as it waited for her to throw a ball. Ryan said, “I’ve been thinking for years to make dog portraits, and then finally I had a great opportunity to do it.”

Illustrator Allison Kittredge showcased her love for nature and the outdoors. Her thesis consisted of carefully detailed flowers and natural elements. Kittredge’s attention to detail was obvious through her intricate patterns and designs made from ink.

The graphic design work exemplified the artists’ expertise in Adobe software. The computer-based artwork demonstrated the seniors’ strengths in typography and placement. Many of the graphic design pieces were recognizable to student viewers.

Carlos Zamora‘s senior thesis consisted of a design he created for campus housing registration. Prior to the gallery exhibition, his poster had been seen around campus. The gallery show served to credit student work, such as Zamora’s, and put a face to the artwork.

E.J. Valencia’s senior thesis was unique in showing his process along with his final designs. Valencia had graphic designs commissioned by the McAuliffe Center, as well as a poster design for a travel agency.

Along with displayable art, several of the artists had small giveaways, such as business cards, stickers and bookmarks.


Senior Exhibition: “Studio Art (Ceramics,Printmaking and Sculpture)”  

By Cesareo Contreras

Arts & Features Editor

The Mazmanian Gallery showcased the senior thesis work of a number of studio art major students with concentrations in ceramics, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Part 1 of the show went on through April 25-29, and part 2 went from  May 2-6.

The seniors worked throughout the duration of their seminar course developing one central thesis, creating artwork that fits within the confines of their chosen premise.

Calvin Ridley’s theme centered on their first love – a relationship Ridley described in their artist statement that lasted 6 years.

Ridley displayed 5 paintings they created while working with Day-Glo shades of oil paint, each one a moment based off of a real photograph Ridley had amassed during the relationship.

“I think it was something that I had to work through personally,” Ridley said. “Doing a series of paintings was a good way to do that. But I also think it’s a topic that people can attach themselves to. A lot of people have already been like, ‘I understand this.’ The moments are somewhat ambiguous enough that people can insert themselves into it.”

Sarah Walker used several art mediums to showcase her overall theme – fragility and finding normalcy in “nature, poetry, the supernatural and folklore.”

Walker displayed 4 paintings and a number of ceramics.

In her paintings, “stoic” women are the central theme.

Starting with a painting of a young woman with horns coming out of her forehead, Walker said she wanted the women in the paintings to act as “guardians” for the ceramic fetuses sprawled around the rest of her artwork.     

“This work is a narrative and folklore inspired series that portrays exposure/vulnerability through fetus-like forms contrasted against stoic female guardian figures within an environment,” Walker wrote in her artist statement.

Griselda Duran used her senior thesis to create a world her 5-year-old aunt could escape to.

In September, Duran said her aunt Alex had a bad 5th birthday because that night a huge family fight occurred.

Duran said her aunt told her that she didn’t want to have another birthday again because of it.

Duran worked to create a world that was inspired by her love of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, a world where her aunt could explore and feel happy.

Additionally, Duran was influenced by her love of street art and her Mexican heritage.

In one of her pieces she wrote, in graffiti style, the word sangre, meaning blood in Spanish.

“In my artist statement, I wrote that Inca was in my blood,” Duran said. “I come from dirt. My parents migrated from Mexico to here … in a way I wanted to make that a part of who I was.”

Duran’s pieces of artwork were spread all throughout the gallery.

From the large black wings that Duran painted onto the back wall, to the basketball molds that lined the center of the gallery, Duran’s work could be prominently seen from almost every corner of the gallery.

“I created this entire world for her to escape all of this negativity,” Duran said.

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