Communication arts students display artwork in senior exhibition

[Allie Gath]

As part of their portfolio class, a number of senior communication arts students displayed a collection of their work in the annual integrated visual media communication arts senior exhibition.

This year’s show is titled “New Perspective” and students’ works are on display in the Mazmanian Gallery throughout this week.

“What I like about the show this year is that there are a lot of unique contributions,” said Jennifer Dowling, communication arts professor and the instructor of the senior portfolio class. “It’s called ‘New Perspective’ because the students were thinking about how their stance on what’s new and what is coming and what is happening presently and in the future is influenced by their perspective.”

In addition to showcasing branded business cards, portfolio websites and résumés – requirements of the class – students displayed work that incorporated a diverse range of visual multimedia, including graphic design, video and virtual reality.

Meghan Sullivan showcased her video-art installation, a continuation of her “Perception of Beauty” photo series she completed last semester. In that “psychology-driven” series, which was also on display, Sullivan sought to capture the dichotomy between a woman’s natural beauty with and without makeup. In each photograph, Sullivan put makeup on one half of each subject’s face and left the other half untouched.

A former psychology major, Sullivan was interested in incorporating the skills she learned while pursuing that degree in her artwork and explained the whole art piece is “almost like a PSA to women.”

She said, “I want women to get a new perception of when they do their daily routine with makeup. Is it really worth it to cover what you naturally look like every day just because celebrities contour their faces? It’s just really upsetting to watch women call themselves not beautiful because they lack makeup.”

Within the center of her exhibit, Sullivan placed two iPads within two yellow-framed “mirrors.” Each iPad displayed separate videos of women applying a clear substance on their faces in the same way they might put on regular makeup. As they applied the unknown material, the females’ faces would gradually recede and images of either Angelina Jolie’s or Megan Fox’s face would begin to coat the screen, engulfing the scene until the original women were no longer visible.

Taking inspiration from a ‘90s experimental art video in the same vein, Sullivan explained the unknown substance was, in actuality, green paint she later replaced in the editing processing with images of the Hollywood stars.

“So the point of the video [is to explain] how the more ‘paint’ you put on your face, the more of yourself you lose to society’s standards of what is beautiful,” she said.

Tucked away in the left-hand corner of the gallery, Tara Cappellucci’s exhibit is reminiscent of a library study one might find in an old Victorian-style mansion.

With a small personal couch and an assortment of framed black-and-white photos on a blue draped wall, the exhibit is meant to be an inviting atmosphere for spectators to look at Cappellucci’s work.

“I wanted to make things really comfortable and nice for people to sit down and relax and enjoy,” she said.

Situated on the wall on a small bookshelf are four large brown photo albums – each a distinct photo project Cappellucci worked on throughout her time at FSU.

Cappellucci said she wanted people to look at her photography the same way one might sit down to read a book or one of her film scripts. For her, photographs can tell a story.

“When you tell stories you are in a library or a house, and you want to be comfortable when you read,” she said. “You want to be wrapped up in your environment.”

In her “Science Fiction” photo album, Cappellucci showcased photographs she took while on a field trip to the MIT Science Museum in Cambridge for her advanced photography class.    

In that series, Cappellucci was tasked with taking a variety of photos from within the museum itself.

Cappellucci decided to exclusively take abstract images as they showcased her love of textures and colors, she said.

Carefully placed on a red wall – meant to match her branding – Anna Keaney displayed print works that showcased both her personal and professional graphic design projects.

Among her favorites is her mock-Wonder Woman Vogue cover and interview, and her black-and-red checkerboard White Stripes fan poster.

For her Wonder Woman Vogue cover and Q&A-style magazine interview, Keaney was inspired by her love of Vogue and wanted to imagine a world in which Wonder Woman could be real.

Taking advantage of the skills she obtained while an English major, Keaney said she decided to incorporate writing into her work.

She wrote her magazine article “as a journalist who was trying to set up something with Wonder Woman … and finally being able to sit down and getting to know the person that exists behind the superhero.”

Included in her more professional work, Keaney displayed an assortment of logos she designed for the Framingham Business Resource Alliance, whose goal “is to strengthen Framingham’s economy and build community among our local entrepreneurs, while helping them to increase their skills and find opportunity,” according to the company’s website.

“They actually had no branding, no logos, no colors, no nothing,” Keaney said. “So we kind of had to create things for them.”

As shown in her printed poster, Keaney created eight different logos for the company “so they would have a variety to choose from.”

Taken as a whole, Keaney said she wanted to display work that was representative of skills, not only as a former English major but also a former studio art major.

Also included in her work is a digital image of a photo of a mill house Keaney traced over.

“It’s just working all that into one cohesive” display she said. “I’m not going to waste it. It’s all going to come together and it’s all going to come full circle.”