A new exhibition by senior art students claims, “I just do art because I’m ugly and there’s nothing else for me to do.”
Featuring the work of nine seniors in the Art Theory and Practice (ATP) program, the exhibit is titled “9*” and will be on view through June 14 at Dittmar Memorial Gallery, located in Norris University Center.
Northwestern Now spoke to three of the graduating seniors about their work in the exhibition.
Focus on disconnect from my family in China
Connie Deng is double majoring in journalism and ATP and will be working at the Chicago Children’s Theatre as a design teacher this summer.
“My pieces in this exhibition are deeply personal and vulnerable,” Deng said. “They focus on my sadness and fears about my disconnect from my family in China. Over these past few years, I've had some great instruction from my ATP professors that have helped me to examine my work at a deeper level and consider how it fits into the existing art world. I'm also endlessly grateful to Professor Caroline Kent for helping me prepare for this exhibition.”
Hopes to immortalize women in her family
Lauren Fujishima said printmaking is central to her work, as it reminds her of the personal touch and detachment present in familial history. She said her knowledge of family members comes from personal memories and documents like photos and stories.
Some of her work features elements viewers can keep, just as pieces of her family history were shared with her. Fujishima said she hopes to immortalize women in her family by following familial traditions.
“I'm so grateful for everything that ATP has taught me and helped me teach myself. ATP has given me the opportunity to find myself as an artist, and it exposed me to my favorite type of artwork: printmaking,” Fujishima said. “Without ATP, art wouldn't mean nearly as much to me as it does today.”
Peers with “such distinct styles”
Geena Vetula is an oil painter and graphic designer from Canton, Georgia. While she doesn’t want to pursue traditional art after graduation, her post-graduation job plans involve graphic design and brand design.
“The senior show is really special because I get to see my work alongside my peers’ work,” Vetula said. “We’ve all developed such distinct styles, and I've been able to watch these styles grow and change as I’ve taken classes with this little cohort of ATP majors for the last four years.”
Additional artists include Libby Chung Apley, Wendy Li, Meagan Newlin, Nathanial Ortiz, Marcelo Quesada and Moyan (Iris) Wang.
Visitors to the Block Museum of Art can see “blossom soup, blossom salad,” the MFA thesis exhibition featuring the work of Yani aviles, an emard, Whitney Johnson, Scott Kemp, Travis Morehead and jess mai walker. The exhibition is in the Alsdorf Gallery through June 19.
In the museum’s Main Gallery through July 10 is “A Site of Struggle: American Art Against Anti-Black Violence.” Curated by Janet Dees, the Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the exhibition explores art’s role in protesting, processing, mourning and memorializing anti-Black violence in the U.S.
The Block Museum of Art is free and open to all. Graduation weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, June 10; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 11; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 12; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, June 13.